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