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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 stronger collaborative community through strengths, service, and relationships.  We are specifically passionate about strengthening relational restoration through intergenerational learning, community gardening, and farm to table culinary classes!

After our first year (2014) of community gardening where 100% of the food was donated to food banks, we shifted to an 80%/20% model. 80% is sold locally and the funds are used for the operational cost associated with Fit-2-Serve. 20% is donated to local food banks.  Fit-2-Serve maintains several community gardens in Mattoon.  We are recruiting volunteers for “a day in the garden” to assist us in all things gardening to include harvesting the produce this fall.  At any given time, volunteer gardeners from elementary schools, scouts, daycares, and local adult service organizations are tending and harvesting produce that is in turn supplied to a) taste testing for area children through Project Lifespan (our intergenerational program) and Farm-2-Table culinary classes, and b) Mark's My Store – a local independent grocery store.

Volunteers can “drop – in” or schedule a “day at the garden” as a student group or class. 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

Related Pages

Contact Information

Civic Engagement and Volunteerism

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

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