Aurora Women’s Empowerment Foundation Makes Grant Possible

Shannon Cameron, Executive Director, Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry

AURORA, IL, USA, October 20, 2021. “We had a deep desire to support the Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry with a special focus on the women they serve,” said Amy Baudouin, Board Chair, Aurora Women’s Empowerment Foundation (AWEF). “When we heard they had an idea to expand their Pop-Up Pantry program to provide disadvantaged women throughout Aurora with feminine hygiene products and more, we quickly said ‘yes’ to fund this important need, giving women a helping hand over several very real and significant barriers.”

In addition to providing feminine hygiene products, the pop-up pantries will also offer women deodorant, disposable baby products that cannot be purchased with WIC (Women, Infants and Children) program assistance, women-focused food and snacks, cotton underwear, and calcium-rich drinks.

Shannon Cameron

“The pop-up pantries do much more than simply provide young women and mothers with a bag of necessities,” said Shannon Cameron, Executive Director, Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry. “This assistance can be the life-changing help some of them need to propel themselves forward, get a new job, job training, education, and continued employment.”

The sobering reality when it comes to purchasing basic, everyday necessities, many women are not on a level playing field. According to a survey of 1,000 teen girls ages 13-19 by Harris Insights & Analytics, 20 percent (one in every five girls) cannot afford to purchase menstrual hygiene products. A quarter of those surveyed missed class or were absent from school solely because they didn’t have access to tampons or pads.

In another recent survey conducted by St. Louis University, nearly 50 percent of the women surveyed said they had to decide between food and period products due to financial difficulties. “These items provided through the pop-up pantries can be the difference between a teenage girl going to school or skipping, a single mother’s ability to go to work to support herself and her child or calling in sick, or a young woman being able to go to a job interview or having to cancel,” said Shannon. “With the odds overwhelmingly stacked against them, this grant from AWEF will make a significant difference in molding the future for hundreds of Aurora women.”

The Aurora Food Pantry is busy launching a marketing plan to ensure those women who can best benefit are aware of the scheduled pop-ups and their locations. The first pop-up will be on Thursday, October 21, from 1:00 to 2:00 PM at Family Focus, Aurora (550 Second Avenue in Aurora, IL). No registration is required, but supplies are limited.

Those interested in learning more about the Aurora Food Pantry Pop-Ups for Women or need assistance with registration, can phone Becky at 630-692-3067 or stop in at the 1110 Jericho Road location in Aurora.

The Aurora Women’s Empowerment Foundation mission is to elevate and empower Aurora-area women and future women by making grants to tax-exempt nonprofits engaged in meaningful, measurable work that helps women over the hurdles of inequity and exclusion, propelling them forward with life-changing programs and services.

For more information about grants made by AWEF, including our grant guidelines and online application, visit

Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry operates one of the largest food pantries in northern Illinois, distributing 47,000 grocery baskets full of food to approximately 23,000 unique, low-income residents annually.

The mission of Aurora Food Pantry is to help end local hunger by ensuring that everyone has access to enough nourishing food, thereby helping our overall community stay healthy and productive.