Bearcat Pantry

Bearcat Pantry

Bearcat Pantry Logo
Who We Are

The Bearcat Pantry is a collaborative effort among the Student Affairs Department, Chaplain's Office, and various faculty, staff, administration, alumni, and area churches who seek to eliminate barriers and challenges of food insecurity and hunger so that university students can remain at McKendree University and ultimately, earn their degrees.

Our Mission

The McK Bearcat Pantry provides free food, and hygiene items to students with food and other types of insecurities. The pantry also provides access to meals via our Swipe Out Hungry partnership with Sodexo that can be used at Ames Dining Hall. The pantry is meant to provide supplemental support which means we do not supply enough food to completely eradicate food insecurity.  Our goal is to assist students in need by cutting down on their grocery bills and connecting them to other resources in an effort to promote independence.  The Bearcat Pantry is here to support all students who are enrolled as students at McKendree University.

Bearcat Pantry Charge

To develop a resource distribution plan that meets food insecurity needs of McKendree University to assure academic and personal success.

What We Do

We offer two main resources to fulfill the food insecurity needs of McKendree University students and to educate them on the issue of food insecurity.

    • Food Pantry: Students who have a need, can visit our walk-in pantry (First Floor of Bothwell Chapel).

    • Swipe-Out Hunger -- Hot Meal Ticket and or Limited Plan: Students needing a meal voucher can contact the Chaplain at (618) 537-6962 and make arrangements.


Volunteers have several opportunities to assist the Pantry and our service to students.  During our regular hours, volunteers help students that come in to pick up food, as well as restock and organize the pantry.  Volunteers also help with our food drives by picking up and delivering food donations.  Volunteers may also represent the Pantry at campus events or be asked to complete other tasks as the needs arise!

Description of Duties

Assist pantry guests and users as they come in, stock and organize the Bearcat Pantry items from donations complete tasks for additional services as requested. Assist students in filling out the intake forms, which are meant to help Bearcat Pantry understand the needs of students it serves, as well as connect you, the student, with additional resources as needed.

What to Expect


  • On your first visit, please fill out our voluntary intake survey which is meant to help Bearcat Pantry understand the needs of students it serves, as well as connect you, the student, with additional resources as needed. On subsequent visits, we ask you to just sign in.

  • After completing the Intake Survey, the worker or volunteer will take you back to the pantry and give you a bag in which to place your items. You are welcome to visit Bearcat Pantry twice a week and to take three items on each visit. 

  • If possible for future visits, please bring back reusable bags.

  • Our goal is for this process to be as easy, quick, and confidential as possible.


Bearcat Pantry is open the following hours: MWF 10:00am–1:00 pm, TTH 12:30pm-3:30pm.  If these hours do not work with your schedule, please contact us to make an appointment.  Additional appointments may be made during the weekend with Public Safety.


Bearcat Pantry Location Addresses


Wireless Support | McKendree University

Bothwell Chapel, 1st Floor

Email Rev. Bev at 


Contact Bearcat Pantry to subscribe to our donation contact list. We will email you when there is a fundraiser and/or fooddrive occurring on or near campus for Bearcat Pantry.

You may also donate by contacting us at the above email to set up a drop time and location.

If you would like to create a food drive, please call or email us! We would love to work together with you on this endeavor.

Bearcat Pantry also accepts monetary donations.  Please go to donate to the pantry.

Donation Guidelines

Bearcat Pantry appreciates any and all donations!

Here are some general guidelines:

Suggested items include:  Stews, chili, soup, meat, beans, peanut butter, crackers, cereals, pastas, instant breakfast drinks, evaporated milk, fruit and vegetables, applesauce, dried fruit, microwave popcorn, snack packs, microwaveable items are greatly appreciated. We also accept toiletries, chapstick, feminine hygiene products, body wipes, toilet paper, soap, laundry detergent packets, and sanitizing wipes.

Please donate single-serving sizes, pull-top cans and non-glass items are welcomed; however, microwaveable items are preferred. No expired items please. Keep in mind where these donations are going. Some students may not have access to can openers or cooking facilities. Contact Bearcat Pantry to donate monetary funds.

Volunteer Opportunities

For information on volunteer opportunities, contact Bearcat Pantry. Volunteer work for Bearcat Pantry may be eligible for credit hours or community service hours, check with your professors and instructors.  Possibilities include:  Help operate Bearcat Pantry. This would include having new pantry users fill out an intake survey, and also provide a welcoming experience and answer any questions, if possible stock, organize, and take inventory of the pantry or storage areas.


For questions or concerns contact information:

 Chaplain: Rev. Bev at

(618) 537-6962