Growing Support

October 2019 View more

The Marie Wilkinson Food Pantry in Aurora hosted its inaugural Garden Harvest Dinner on Saturday, August 17. Guests enjoyed a five-course meal served outdoors, under a white canopy, across from the community garden that supplies the food pantry with fresh vegetables. Produce from the garden comprised 80 percent of the ingredients, showcasing the delicious benefits of growing healthy food.

Student volunteers from East Aurora High School Junior ROTC helped with event setup and greeted guests in the garden with appetizers. Attendees toured the garden while sampling locally crafted beverages and appetizers, and were the first to taste fresh deviled eggs produced by hens from Aurora’s Urban Farm Chicken Coop pilot program. East High Culinary Arts students assisted chefs Mike Bomberger and Matt Schmuck from Livia Italian Eatery with preparations in the kitchen and serving. Live music was provided by Olivia Ports.

The food pantry was founded in 1957 by Marie Wilkinson, a lifetime social and civil rights activist who worked to relieve poverty, hunger, homelessness, joblessness, and injustice. The garden plots were established in 2014 on a vacant lot across from the pantry.