Aurora to begin handing out 9,000 meals a week to residents in need

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AURORA | A roving food distribution service is scheduled to begin rolling through Aurora next week, doling out thousands of free meals to hungry residents.

Deemed the Aurora mobile food pantry, the service is slated to dispense 1,000 boxes of assorted food once a week beginning May 20, according to information released by the city Friday. The effort is a collaboration between the city’s community relations division and Aurora Interfaith Community Services, a north Aurora-based non-profit group.

The service is designed to serve only Aurora residents, according to city officials. Aurorans seeking a food box, each of which are expected to contain about nine meals worth of food, are instructed to arrive at any one of the pantry’s changing locations with a valid photo ID. Those without an ID must prove their Aurora residency by other means.

Individuals experiencing homelessness will be allotted emergency food kits and won’t have to present an ID if they do not have one.

The first food distribution event is scheduled to run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 20 at Aurora Central High School, 11700 E. 11th Ave. The following Wednesday, the pantry will offer food over the same time frame at Hinkley High School, 1250 S. Chambers Road.

Food will be dispersed until all 1,000 boxes are gone, according to a city spokesperson. Additional materials, including at-home library resources and rental assistance information, will also be available.

“We understand the need,” Claudine McDonald, manager of the community relations division said. “We’re going to pass food out until we run out.”

The announcement comes shortly after Stanley Beer Hall announced it is giving out 1,000 meals a day to out-of-work restaurant workers as part of the Colorado Restaurant Response. A bevy of local non-profit groups are dispensing the meals, including the Muslim Community Center, Dayton Street Opportunity Center and Friends of St. Andrew.

Aurora Public Schools has also been busy handing out free meals in recent months, according to information released by the district. Officials have given out more than 500,000 meals since March and plan to continue the daily food program through at least July.

Anyone with questions about the new mobile food pantry is instructed to call 720-557-6444. The events are currently scheduled to run through Aug. 26.