Eastern Illinois Foodbank
2405 North Shore Drive
Urbana, IL 61802
Phone (217) 328-3663

Volunteering at a Pantry or Kitchen

The Eastern Illinois Foodbank provides food to a large network of 220 agencies–that is, pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and other emergency food providers–throughout eastern Illinois. Posted here is a list of volunteer opportunities for some of those agencies. Please contact them directly if you’d like to help. Thanks!


CHAMPAIGN CHURCH OF THE BRETHREN / MOTHERLANDS CULTURE CLUB EMERGENCY FOOD PANTRY could use a few extra hands to help with food deliveries between 4:00PM and 7:00PM on Fridays. They are also looking for volunteers at their community pot luck who might bring a dish but especially to help serve on the 4th Sunday of each month from 4:00PM – 6:00PM. Motherlands Culture Club – After School Program needs a few home work assistance, life skills training, and cultural enrichment crafts, games etc volunteers. They also have on-going opportunities to help at the Randolph Street Community Garden such as placing mulch on common areas, installing a rain capture area, install chain link fence for storage area and close out raised beds for seniors. Contact Dawn Blackman at mother-lands(at)sbcglobal.net or (217) 398-5127.

COMMUNITY SERVICE CENTER in Rantoul needs volunteers to unload the Eastern Illinois Foodbank truck, fill bags, stock shelves and distribute food from the pantry. Shifts vary. Some orientation is required. Volunteers can get oriented by coming in early to their first scheduled time in the food pantry. The pantry is open from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. each weekday. The shifts are generally 9:30 to 12:30 and 12:30 to 4. Shifts can be flexible depending on volunteer schedules. The Community Service Center is located at 520 E. Wabash Suite 1, in Rantoul. If interested in volunteering please contact Karen Kelly, Service Coordinator by phone at 893-1530; or by e-mail at kskelly(at)conxxus.com.

FOOD FOR SENIORS: Calling all drivers that are interested in delivering sacked groceries to seniors!  The Family Service Food for Seniors Program is in need of substitute drivers to deliver sacks of groceries to the doorsteps of low-income seniors in Champaign & Urbana. We are short-handed for the month of May and could really use the extra manpower!  To get involved, contact Robbie at rsvpcomp(at)gmail.com or (217) 359-6500!

HEALTHY YOUNG FAMILIES: Volunteers are needed to prepare meals for teen mothers and their children. This is an excellent opportunity for groups or friends to do together. Volunteers are expected to prepare one main dish and two sides to feed 20 people. Healthy Young Families provides drinks, desserts, plates, napkins, eating and serving utensils. Volunteers will be reimbursed up to $50.00 for the meal expenses. Please do not prepare anything containing nuts. When planning a meal, please keep in mind good nutrition. Meals should be prepared in disposable containers. To sign up to volunteer and for more information click here.

MATTOON AREA PADS: Volunteers are needed to prepare and serve the evening meal (a great opportunity for a group of friends looking to volunteer together) and sign in the guests from 9-11pm. Click here to sign up to help.

NEWMAN SHARES FOOD PANTRY: Newman Shares is a food pantry dedicated to alleviating hunger among students attending the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Parkland College. Volunteers are needed for various food pantry duties. Contact pantry(at)sjcnc.org for details.

SALT & LIGHT is looking for volunteers to get involved with hands-on assistance for the needy. Individuals or groups are welcome. They are open for volunteers every Monday-Friday, from 9am-5pm. The first step is to schedule a brief orientation (it takes about 15 minutes). You can do that by emailing Laurie(at)saltandlightministry.org or by calling 217-355-5654.

TIMES CENTER in Champaign is in need of soup kitchen volunteers. Shifts are roughly 11:45am to 1pm and 5:45pm to 7pm every day of the year. Volunteers are also needed to assist the staff and residents with the daily functioning of the shelter. Soup kitchen tasks include serving and clean-up. No orientation is needed to volunteer at the Soup kitchen. There is no time commitment to be a volunteer in the soup kitchen. The Center periodically needs help with office tasks such as answering phones, copying and data entry as well. Orientation is required is for this task. Orientations are held on Wednesday’s at 3pm. If you are interested in volunteering at the TIMES Center, please contact Jenn at 398-7785 – ask for “the cook”. Contact by phone is preferred however Jenn can also be reached at jomer(at)communityelements.org. The TIMES Center is located at 70 E Washington in Champaign.

WESLEY EVENING FOOD PANTRY is in need of volunteers at 1:30pm on Thursday to help us set up for pantry day. Volunteers are needed to help unload the truck the day before distribution. On distribution day, volutneers are need to welcome clients, help clients pick out goods from the food pantry and assist with parking. The pantry is in need of Spanish speaking volunteers. Orientation is required for some tasks. They are also looking for food sitters. For more information contact, the Wesley Food Pantry at: volunteer(at)wesleypantry.org or 217/615-8631. You can also visit their website at wesleypantry.org.