Food Assistance & Well-Being Program
It is our mission to ensure that the Illinois community has access to nutritious food and key necessities in a welcoming and educational space. We collect demographic information and a variety of other data to improve processes and ensure that it is equitable, inclusive, and accessible to meet the needs of the diverse Illinois student population.
How it Works
The Food Assistance & Well-Being Program is a shopping-style pantry. It is open to current Illinois students with an active i-card. Food is set up on shelves by food groups. Shoppers walk through the space and select food according to pantry guidelines while being mindful that is a shared student resource for food supplemental program. This model allows shoppers to handle food, choose items, and look at the labels as if they were shopping in a store. Student volunteers are available to answer questions and provide resources.
Before the Pantry Opens
Your must be physically present to hold your place in line. DO NOT Leave your personal belongings unattended. Any item left outside the kitchen will be placed in lost & found. We are not responsible for personal belongings, nor we can guarantee you can retrieve them.
During Pantry Open Hours
- Present your i-card to the staff upon entry.
- Check in on the laptop. If this is your first time, Create a profile by following the volunteer instructions.
- Once your entry data is saved, you can start shopping in the pantry! Please keep your personal belongings with you while you access the pantry.
- Don't hesitate to ask questions. We are here to help!
Location and Staffing
The Food Assistance & Well-Being Program is located in the rear of the ARC Instructional Kitchen (entrance on the concourse level, next to the indoor climbing wall). The program is focused on the development of students in a supportive and inclusive space. It is staffed by student volunteers from Food Science Human Nutrition who provide food support while developing their community-building skills. We also work closely with faculty to provide educational resources to pantry shoppers.
- Drop off your donations at the member service desk at the ARC
- We accept unopened, unexpired food items and key necessities (e.g. feminine hygiene products and dental hygiene products).
- Use the links below to donate food or contribute funds
- A $20 donation provides at least 20 servings of healthy food
- A $40 donation provides at least 40 servings of healthy food
- A $60 donation provides at least 60 servings of healthy food
- An $80 donation provides at least 80 servings of healthy food
- A $100 donation provides at least 100 servings of healthy food
On the Menu
Host a Food Drive
Groups, organizations, and RSOs interested in partnering with the Food Assistance and Well-Being Program can host their own virtual or drop-box food drive! To get started, view the How to Host a Food Drive (PDF) instructions and then fill out the request form. If approved, we will reach out with more details!
Interested in helping to support the program? Fill out the Food Assistance & Well-Being Program Volunteer Interest Form for Summer and Fall 2023. We have a full volunteer staff for Spring 2023.
- Everybody Eats: A campus-wide initiative to ensure everyone in our Illini community has access to a hot meal and is provided with adequate nutrition.
- Eat. Move. Save.: Learn how to make heathier choices on any budget partnered with the Illinois Extension and UI Health.
- Eastern Illinois Food Mobile Schedule: Mobile food pantries that are designed to increase access to nutritious food for residents in rural and under-served communities.
- School & Collegiate Food Pantries: Food Pantries that are dedicated to students and their immediate families.
- “Where to Find Food” Eastern Illinois Foodbank: An interactive map that shows available food resources in the selected areas.
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): helps low-income people and families buy the food they need for good health.
- Women, Infants and Children (WIC): helps pregnant women, new mothers and young children eat well and stay healthy.
Explore wellness resources on CampusWell, an interdepartmental website that provides articles and videos about various topics, including food and nutrition!