• Bearcat Pantry
  • Bearcat Pantry

Bearcat Pantry

The Bearcat Pantry provides resources for students who may identify as food insecure or who may face uncertainty about where their next meal is coming from. Located in the SOAR Center on the  University Center’s third floor, the pantry contains a selection of fruits and vegetables (fresh, frozen, and canned), proteins, dairy, grains, and other staples. The pantry is sometimes limited to what is in stock but does its best to make sure there is fresh produce and some non-food items, such as cleaning supplies and various hygiene products.

  • The pantry is free to use by all Willamette University students (no ID is required).
  • The pantry is staffed by volunteers and is overseen by student coordinators. All staff and volunteers who support this service are trained to ensure that pantry usage is as private as possible. 

If you would like to receive information about events hosted by the Bearcat Pantry, please email foodpantry@willamette.edu.

Donate

Thank you for your interest in donating! Come to the pantry during hours of operation to drop off items or send an email to food-pantry@willamette.edu to arrange another time. Donors also can purchase items and drop them off (please see our list of most requested items below) or  order items on Amazon and have them sent to us. Please browse our Wishlist for an idea of what would be most useful.

The SOAR Center also has a donation collection program, the WU Community Resource Program (WUCRP). Inspired by the Ashland Food Project, WUCRP seeks to eliminate logistical barriers that prevent Willamette staff and faculty from donating to the SOAR Center. Each donor receives a reusable bag to fill at the beginning of each month. On the first Monday of the month, SOAR Center coordinators visit each donor’s workplace on campus and collect donations. This process is a simple and sustainable way to contribute to our Willamette community. To sign up to contribute to this program, please complete this form.  

Monetary donations also are accepted. 

The Bearcat Pantry also has partnered with Swipe Out Hunger to allow students to donate unused meal points. Students interested in donating meal points to other peers, or who are receiving meals through this program, can read about the process here.

Bearcat Pantry

Food insecurity is defined as “the lack of reliable access to sufficient quantities of affordable, nutritious food” (NSCHH). (https://studentsagainsthunger.org/hunger-on-campus/)

The Bearcat Pantry is open to all Willamette university students. No ID is required.

These items often are available; please find them located in the fridge. We accept fresh produce as donations.

Our coordinators go shopping using ASWU funding. We also receive weekly donations from Marion Polk Food Share through their Neighborhood Fresh Connect program. Our primary source of food is through donations, which help to sustain the pantry in between shopping trips.

Each user of the Pantry fills out a sign-out form every time they come to the pantry, which asks for basic information such as what items they are taking, what year they are, if they live on campus or not, as well as the last five digits of their student ID number. This system maintains student confidentiality but allows the pantry to track how many repeat visitors it gets and accurately record usage information.

Yes! We ask for the last 5 digits of each visitor's student ID number so that we have a unique identifier to track pantry usage while also maintaining privacy. It is very difficult to link the last 5 digits of a student ID number to a particular individual, so visitor identity remains protected. Our volunteers also sign privacy agreements at the beginning of the semester to ensure they comply with our privacy expectations.

Please send an email to food-pantry@willamette.edu

The Bearcat Pantry receives funds from the student governments of each of Willamette's colleges (the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Law, and Atkinson Graduate School of Management). The Pantry also receives donations from faculty, staff, students, and community members.

The following items are the most frequently requested by students:

Non-perishable Perishable Non-food
Mac & cheese Fruit Hygiene products 
Clif bars Dairy milk Deodorant
Cereal Cheese Toothpaste
Nut butter Butter Toothbrushes
Milk alternatives (coconut/almond) Meat Condoms
Granola Yogurt Household cleaning supplies
Juice Eggs Razors
Gluten-free bread Fresh produce Cooking supplies
Canned soup Bread Basic first-aid items

Please feel free to donate other items not listed above. If you have any questions, you can email us at food-pantry@willamette.edu

The Bearcat Pantry is a part of the SOAR Center, which can be found on the 3rd floor of Putnam University Center (Down the hall to the right).