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 the various insecurity needs of McKendree University to assure academic and personal success.

What We Do

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

    • Food/Clothing Pantry: Students who have a need, can visit our two walk-in pantries (West Clubhouse and Bothwell Chapel).

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

    • Food Recovery Student Team: Students assist in recovering extra food from weekly meals at Ames Dining Hall to be preserved and redistributed to a local site serving food to those in the community who are food insecure.

    • Market Day: One day a month, free fresh vegetables and fruit will be provided for students at two sites (McKendree West Clubhouse and the Lair) until the supply is gone.


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. Please take what you need but use what you take. We are a completely free choice pantry.

  • 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.


West Clubhouse Bearcat Pantry is open when the clubhouse is open. The Bothwell Chapel is open the following hours: 9:30am–3:30 pm.  If these hours do not work with your schedule, please contact us to make an appointment.  Additional appointments may be made during the weekend.


Bearcat Pantry Location Addresses


    • McKendree West Clubhouse (24/7 Pantry)

Bearcat Pantry


    • Bothwell Chapel, 1st Floor (9:30am-3:30pm)


Contact the Bearcat Pantry to subscribe to our donation contact list. We will email you when there is a fundraiser occurring on or near campus for the 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! But here are some general guidelines:

Suggested items include: Stews, chili, soup, canned meat, canned nuts and beans, peanut butter, cereals, pastas, sliced bread, instant breakfast drinks, evaporated milk, canned fruit and vegetables, applesauce, dried fruit, jelly, popcorn, snack packs, toiletries, chapstick, feminine hygiene products, socks, underwear, diapers, baby food, baby wipes, toilet paper, soap, laundry detergent packets, and sanitizing wipes.

Please donate single-serving sizes, pull-top cans/can openers, and non-glass items. 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 the Bearcat Pantry to donate monetary funds.

Volunteer Opportunities

For information on volunteer opportunities, contact the Bearcat Pantry. Volunteer work for the Bearcat Pantry is eligible for credit hours.  Possibilities include:  Help operate the Bearcats 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: 


(618) 537-6962