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.


During the school year, (starting August 29, 2018) the Pop-Up Pantry is open every Wednesday & Thursday from 1pm-4pm.

During the summer, (starting May 16, 2018-August 22, 2018) the Pop-Up Pantry is open every Wednesday from 11am-4pm.

The pantry is permanently 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.

** We are proud to offer fresh items such as milk and eggs, but be mindful of your commute time.  Shop and plan accordingly so items do not spoil.  Especially during the hot summer months. 

** Individuals are served first come, first served.  Please be mindful that due to limited supplies and quantities of some items, they may be gone before you arrive to shop.  Please be patient as we expand our selection and quantities to accommodate everyone.


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

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

  • Has Residence * Required
  • How many people are you soley responsible for providing to? Roommates do not count.
  • Please indicate the number of people in your household in this age range.
  • Please indicate the number of people in your household in this age range.
  • Please indicate the number of people in your household in this age range.
  • Please indicate the number of people in your household in this age range.
  • You must write the your entire physical address. You will not be able to utilize the pantry until this information is provided. Address: Suite, apartment/unit #, etc: City/Town: State & Zip Code:
  • How did you hear about the Pop-Up Pantry * Required
    Tell us how you heard about us!
  • Which of the following best describes your current living situation? * Required
    Check all that apply.
  • Client is a student * Required
  • This is the date that you are registering.
  • Please let us know if there is something you'd like to tell us!
  • In the past 12 months, I've worried whether food would run out before we got money to by more * Required
  • In the past 12 months the food I bought just didn't last and I didn't have the money to get more * Required
  • Which of the following resources, if any, have you utilized? * Required
    Check all that apply.
  • If you live in a UIC residence hall, do you have a meal plan? * Required
    If you do not live in a UIC residence hall, please choose N/A.
  • Do you receive some form of financial aid? * Required
    Please check all that apply.
  • Year in school * Required
  • Are you currently employed on campus as a student employee? * Required
  • Please type N/A in the box if you answered "no".
  • Do you work off campus for pay? * Required
  • Please type N/A in the box if you answered "no".
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.