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EIU Civic Engagement and Volunteerism

Food Insecurity/Poverty

Nutrition (aside from water) is one of the most important needs a person has. There are many people in the United States and beyond who do not get adequate food. You can help with this problem by volunteering with some of the agencies below. By giving your time, you are helping someone receive a warm meal.

For more information about these organizations, please contact our office at 217-581-3967 or email

Charleston Food Pantry

The Charleston Area Churches Food Pantry provides emergency and supplemental food to local people and families in need of assistance. The food pantry is open on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 1:30pm to 4:00pm and Thursdays from 5:30 - 7 p.m. The Food Pantry is located at 990 W. State St., Charleston, IL 61920.

Volunteers are needed to sort food, pack bags, and carry bags for clients. Volunteers are needed Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 1:30 - 4 p.m.

Contact Person: Todd, Director
Telephone: 217-348-3030

The Haven

The Haven provides shelter, hot meals, and guidance through various agencies of Coles County. 1812 Western Ave, Mattoon, IL.

Volunteers are needed to help with meals and staying overnight.

Contact Person: Chris Davis
Telephone: 217-234-7237

Mattoon Community Food Center

Furnishes emergency and supplemental food at no cost to qualifying low-income families who need assistance in Mattoon, Lerna, and Humboldt. 600 Moultrie, PO Box 126, Mattoon, IL.

Volunteers are needed to pre-pack food, sort food, and take applications. Open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 1:30-3:30 p.m., and occasionally weekends. Must sign up for specific days.

Contact Person: Mary Russell, Director OR Jerry Parker, Warehouse Manager
Telephone: 217-258-8321 (Food Center)

Soup Stop

The Soup Stop is a local organization that is funded entirely on donations and through volunteer efforts. Soup Stop serves lunch at the Otterbein United Methodist Church in Charleston weekdays from 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Soup Stop serve a hot meal to anyone who is hungry.

Volunteers are needed to serve meals Monday through Friday. This program may be steady or minimal in time commitment.

Contact Person: Mary-Nance Miller
Telephone: 217-348-1677


Fit-2-Serve is local non-profit organization that is a catalyst for a vibrant collaborative community through strengths, service, and relationships. We are specifically passionate about strengthening relations through community gardening, wellness education, and our Community Bridges programming!

Learn-2-Grow (K) 30 minute sessions held on Mondays and Tuesdays at the Mattoon Riddle and Williams Elementary Schools

Learn-2-Grow introduces students to the basics of gardening & brings awareness to the importance of caring for our environment.

Farm-2-Table (1st Grade) 60 minute sessions held at our building (1316 Lafayette Avenue, Mattoon) on Thursdays and Fridays at 9a and 1p.

Farm-2-Table students are introduced to farming & agriculture communities each month to bring awareness & appreciation for the origination of the foods we eat. Students are bused to Fit-2-Serve to participate in two very unique classroom experiences, including time in the Teaching Kitchen to taste & create a recipe centered on the community being studied.

School-2-Farm (2nd Grade) 45 minute sessions held on Wednesdays at a variety of venues (One of our gardens, Mattoon High School FFA classrooms and greenhouse, and the 2nd grade classrooms at Riddle and Williams Elementary Schools).

School-2-Farm programming deepens students’ understanding of the agricultural community. In the Fall & Spring, students travel to the Community Garden for experiential gardening practices, such as planting, weeding, & harvesting. Additionally, MHS FFA students host two field trips in which they plan & facilitate a S2F program.

Volunteers can join us for one of our programs above or in our Presbyterian Garden on Saturday mornings from 8a-Noon. Fit-2-Serve is also open to having college students serve as interns to support our mission to equip people for works of service.

Contact Person: Beau Scott
Telephone: 217-235-3839

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Contact Information

Leadership & Engagement

Eastern Illinois University
MLK Jr. Union 3rd Floor
Charleston, IL 61920

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