Elburn, Aurora food pantries win big during Check-Out Challenge

  • State Sen. Karina Villa, foreground, and state Rep. Barbara Hernandez load their carts with food during the Kane County Farm Bureau's 20th Annual Food Check-Out Challenge at the Jewel-Osco in Batavia. The food collected will be donated to the Elburn-Countryside Food Pantry and Marie Wilkinson Food Pantry in Aurora. It was purchased by the Kane County Farm Bureau. Villa collected $1,294.64 worth of food, and Hernandez $1,793.50.

    State Sen. Karina Villa, foreground, and state Rep. Barbara Hernandez load their carts with food during the Kane County Farm Bureau's 20th Annual Food Check-Out Challenge at the Jewel-Osco in Batavia. The food collected will be donated to the Elburn-Countryside Food Pantry and Marie Wilkinson Food Pantry in Aurora. It was purchased by the Kane County Farm Bureau. Villa collected $1,294.64 worth of food, and Hernandez $1,793.50. Sandy Bressner/Shaw Media

  • State Sen. Karina Villa grabs boxes of cereal during the Kane County Farm Bureau's 20th Annual Food Check-Out Challenge Monday morning at the Jewel-Osco in Batavia. Volunteers from Elburn and Aurora food pantries worked with the shoppers, telling them what was wanted.

    State Sen. Karina Villa grabs boxes of cereal during the Kane County Farm Bureau's 20th Annual Food Check-Out Challenge Monday morning at the Jewel-Osco in Batavia. Volunteers from Elburn and Aurora food pantries worked with the shoppers, telling them what was wanted. Sandy Bressner/Shaw Media

  • State Rep. Barbara Hernandez loads her cart with canned fruit, during the Kane County Farm Bureau's 20th Annual Food Check-Out Challenge Monday at the Jewel-Osco in Batavia. Hernandez collected $1,294.64 worth of food, to be donated to two local food pantries.

    State Rep. Barbara Hernandez loads her cart with canned fruit, during the Kane County Farm Bureau's 20th Annual Food Check-Out Challenge Monday at the Jewel-Osco in Batavia. Hernandez collected $1,294.64 worth of food, to be donated to two local food pantries. Sandy Bressner/Shaw Media

  • With guidance from Elburn Countryside Food Pantry Director Rita Burnham, right, state Sen. Karina Villa picks out cereal, racing against the clock, during the Kane County Farm Bureau's 20th Annual Food Check-Out Challenge.

    With guidance from Elburn Countryside Food Pantry Director Rita Burnham, right, state Sen. Karina Villa picks out cereal, racing against the clock, during the Kane County Farm Bureau's 20th Annual Food Check-Out Challenge. Sandy Bressner/Shaw Media

  • State Rep. Barbara Hernandez loads her cart with bread Monday during the Kane County Farm Bureau's 20th Annual Food Check-Out Challenge at the Jewel-Osco in Batavia. She competed against state Sen. Karina Villa.

    State Rep. Barbara Hernandez loads her cart with bread Monday during the Kane County Farm Bureau's 20th Annual Food Check-Out Challenge at the Jewel-Osco in Batavia. She competed against state Sen. Karina Villa. Sandy Bressner/Shaw Media

 
 
Updated 2/22/2021 6:36 PM

State Sen. Karina Villa and state Rep. Barbara Hernandez are both Democrats, but they were rivals on Monday at the Kane County Farm Bureau's 20th Annual Food Check-Out Challenge.

They had five minutes to race around the dry grocery aisles of the Jewel-Osco store in Batavia, grabbing groceries for two local food pantries.

 

"Slow down, Barbara, I'm coming for you!" Villa yelled as she grabbed oatmeal and pancake mix on one side of an aisle, while Hernandez tossed canned fruit into her cart on the other side.

Hernandez, of Aurora, shopped for Marie Wilkinson Food Pantry in Aurora. Villa, of West Chicago, shopped for the Elburn-Countryside Food Pantry in Elburn.

Pantry volunteers accompanied them, telling them what to grab and supplying empty carts.

There were rules. They could not sweep a shelf into their carts, for instance, and could only take two identical items.

When the race ended, they took a minute to catch their breath, and then started scanning the groceries at registers. They also helped box up their take.

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Hernandez was the winner, collecting $1,793.50 worth of items. Villa collected $1,294.64 worth.

The farm bureau purchased the food. It also donated cooking oil and coffee.

Villa represents the 25th Senate District, which includes parts of Aurora, Bartlett, Batavia, Campton Hills, Elburn, Geneva, Montgomery, Naperville, North Aurora, Oswego, Plano, South Elgin, St. Charles, Sugar Grove, Warrenville, Wayne, West Chicago and Yorkville.

Hernandez represents the 83rd House District, which covers parts of Aurora, North Aurora and Montgomery.

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