Pop-Up Pantry - Feeding the Flames since 2014

The mission of the Pop-Up Pantry is to combat food insecurity among students at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). UIC students come from a plethora of backgrounds and our aim is to assist those who may be facing personal and/or financial hardship.  It is especially important that during these college years all students are healthy and able to focus by always having enough to eat. Research shows that proper nutrition is critical for cognitive function and memory. Food is a basic human right.

During the summer of 2014, Carol Petersen, the Associate Director of the UIC Wellness Center and Brandon Gaskew the 2014-2015 Undergraduate Student Government (USG) Vice President, developed the Pop-Up Pantry to target the growing food insecurity on campus.  The initiative was successful from the beginning and aided a large number of students. Since the inception, the Wellness Center with the support of UIC faculty, staff, students, USG, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, and many other supporters have served over 3,252 bags of food to UIC students who are experiencing food insecurity.   As of May 2017, the Wellness Center is proud to announce our partnership with the Greater Chicago Food Depository (GCFD).  This partnership will allow us access to fresh fruits, vegetables, and dairy to better serve the nutritional needs of our students.


The Pop-Up Pantry is open every Wednesday & Thursday from 1pm-4pm.

Kicking off the 2017-2018 school year on September 13th.  The pantry now has permanent space and is housed in the Wellness Center.

You must be a registered UIC student to access the pantry. Please bring your icard to the pantry as you must swipe in to shop.

We believe in sustainability, please bring your own shopping bag.


Without donations, the Pop-Up Pantry would not exist. Even with the support of fresh produce and dairy from the Greater Chicago Food Depository, donated canned and dry goods are still critical.  If you want to support the Pop-Up Pantry, we currently accept both food and monetary donations. No amount is too small. If you wish to make a monetary donation, please click below.

Make A Donation

Food donations

Food donations are accepted throughout the year and can be dropped off at a designated bin throughout numerous buildings on campus or directly to the Wellness Center. We accept food donations as well as donations of toiletries.

  • Items must be in cans, cartons or bags
  • Must be non-perishable (requires no refrigeration or freezing) ** We unfortunately cannot accept fresh produce or similar items due to food safety regulations.
  • Unopened and in the original container with original product label
  • Free of dents, rips, stains, moisture and other forms of damage
  • Must not be expired

Most needed items:

  • Peanut butter
  • Jelly
  • Rice
  • Cereal/Oatmeal
  • Breakfast/Snack Bars
  • Canned fish
  • Canned meat
  • Canned beans
  • Canned soup
  • Canned vegetables
  • On-the-go/instant meals
  • Pasta
  • Pasta sauce

The Pop-Up Pantry does not accept:

  • Candy/treats
  • Perishable items
  • Expired items

Volunteer: Interested in volunteering?
We need volunteers to help us on the day of the pantry. If you want to volunteer, please send an email to uicpantry@uic.edu

If you are a part of an organization and are interested in hosting a food drive for the pantry, please send an email to uicpantry@uic.edu and we will provide you with bins for your food drive.

Pantry Elves: To be efficient, the pantry utilizes UIC staff to support the pantry in its food collection efforts. Pantry elves, composed of UIC faculty and staff, provide a vital service and are located throughout east and west campus and have bins located in their area or building.  If you are interested in becoming a pantry elf, please email, uicpantry@uic.edu