About Us

The Wesley Evening Food Pantry began as a response to a community need for a food pantry with evening hours. Since November 2006 the Wesley Evening Food Pantry has provided groceries, health, education, and human services for area residences on the third Thursday of the month.The ultimate goal of the Wesley Evening Food Pantry is for everyone in our community to have enough food to eat – resulting in no need for the pantry. Until that goal is reached, each month we strive:

  • To provide a week’s worth of food to assist people through the end of the month when paychecks and Food Stamps may be low
  • To schedule the food pantry in the evening to accommodate work and school responsibilities
  • To respect self-determination as participants select their own food choices that match their family’s needs
  • To provide regular resource centers of information, referral, and health consultation
  • To train volunteers regarding both procedures and the operational values of respect, access, and choice
  • To address the root causes of hunger for our particular set of clients.

contact Info

What You Can Do

Today I Need Food

Arrive at the Goodwin entrance on the 3rd Thursday of every month between 5:00pm and 7:30pm. Parkland College students may also visit the S Building on Parkland campus on the 2nd Wednesday from 7a-2p. Based on a fair and efficient lottery system, when your number is called, you will have the opportunity to select the grocery items that will be most helpful to you and your family. Everyone who arrives before 7:30 pm at Wesley or 2:00 pm at Parkland receives food. There's no need to be there early.

Today I want to Give

Since it opened in 2006, the Wesley Evening Food Pantry has provided a week’s worth of groceries to thousands of people in Champaign County. In 2009 we began serving over 10,000 people each year. Our membership in the Eastern Illinois Foodbank makes it possible to feed each person for a week for only $6.50. To continue this important work, we need your financial support. If every person who reads this commits to feeding one person a month, it would be easy—so we have made giving even easier...

Today I want to Help

So what kind of volunteering feels good to you? Is it something physical, like moving and building mini-mountains of canned goods? Is it working with people? Is it communicating needs and organizing the effort? Most of our needs revolve around the monthly food distribution and setup. In between pantry days, we can still use you: communicating needs, speaking to groups, organizing and training volunteers, and raising much-needed funds. Contact volunteer@wesleypantry.org Sign up as a volunteer here.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

How is the Wesley food pantry different from most other food pantries?

Two main ways: First, it’s open in the evening, which is important for those who can’t take off from daytime jobs, school, or other responsibilities to get food.  Being open on the third Thursday each month is important for many families who may be running short at that point in the month.  Second, clients walk through and choose their own food, instead of receiving a prepackaged selection.

The pantry is run in a church.  Does that mean I have to be a member to volunteer or to get food?

Church membership is not required in either case, and persons of any faith are welcome.

Can anyone get food at the pantry?

The pantry is run for the benefit of those without the means to meet their family’s current food needs.  Clients are asked to confirm that their income falls below 200% of the federal poverty level, but no proof or documentation is required.

Does the food ever run out?

No one has ever left the pantry without food.  Individual items will sometimes run short, but we’ve always had enough to supply a variety of items for every family.

Does it help to come early?

Not really.  We use a lottery system in which clients are given random numbers, and then called in that order.  At this point, we think that’s the fairest system.  Clients at the front of the line may wait a few minutes or more than an hour.  Those arriving later (but before 7:30 p.m.) are more likely to have shorter waits, though a few items may not be available when they go through the lines.

Can children volunteer?

Elementary age children may volunteer with parents in certain areas, provided the parents have gone through training.  Middle and high school youth may volunteer in all areas after attending training.

Can I bring my children if coming to get food?

Yes, children are welcome, but note that we do not provide child care, though we often have activities for children early in the evening. Parents are expected to keep their children with them when in the building and when shopping.

Why is training required before volunteering on a pantry evening?  Why can’t I just show up?

The pantry evening is a busy time in which organizers can be very busy.  Also, various aspects of the pantry are spread out throughout the large building, and some of it in tight spaces. Through training, we can explain the process, answer questions, and discuss other issues.

I have a physical disability.  Can I still help?  Can I still get food?

Yes. We have volunteer roles for everyone.  And clients have the option to select food on a list and have it put together by a volunteer.

Where does the pantry get its food?

Most of our food comes through the Eastern Illinois Foodbank, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to addressing the issue of hunger in the local area.  We supplement this with limited grocery store purchases.