About Us

Mission

Our mission is to alleviate food insecurity in our community one family at a time by providing them with one week’s worth of nutritious groceries.

The Wesley Food Pantry is unique in a number of important ways.

  • We were the first food pantry in the community to offer evening pantry hours. Pantry clients who worked during normal business hours needed a pantry that they could visit after work.

  • We are a Choice model pantry. Clients are allowed to choose the food items that best suits their families needs. We do not distribute prepacked grocery bags unless the clients request them.

  • We strives to address the roots causes of food insecurity by providing our clients with health, education, employment, and social services information and referrals.

  • We promote childhood literacy by giving each child 2 books to take home. We distribute over 100 children's books every month. Additionally, we provide the chidlren with crafts and activities.

History

In the fall of 2006, the Eastern Illinois Foodbank informed church members of the Wesley United Methodist Church in Urbana that there was an urgent need for a food pantry in Champaign County that offered emergency food during evening hours.  In response to this need, three church members, Donna Camp, Lee Boyer, and Dan King Crede, started the Wesley Evening Food Pantry, which is now open the third Thursday every month from 5:30pm to 7:30pm.  The first day the pantry opened we served 5 people; we now provide food to an average of 1500 people every month.

In the fall of 2013, the Wesley Food Pantry opened a second location at Parkland College to help serve struggling students. In the fall of 2014, the Parkland Pantry was opened to the public. It is open on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month from 10am to 12pm and every Wednesday from 11am to 1pm.  The hours were chosen so that students and those working would have an opportunity to visit the food pantry.    

Our Team

Our staff is a diverse team dedicated to fighting hunger in our community. Meet them below.

Katie Thomas

Director

Katie is responsible for all aspects of the pantry's operation. She is passionate about serving the community and is currently a board member for Illini Fighting Hunger and a Commissioner on the Urbana Human Relations Commission. Katie graduated from the University of Illinois College of Law and practiced family law before joining the nonprofit sector.

Contact Katie at kthomas@wesleypantry.org

Dawn Longfellow

Operations Manager

Dawn, a U of I graduate, has a background in non-profit marketing and fundraising. She has worked with U of I students at Illini Media and local schools as a part of the Market Day fundraising program. In her free time, she enjoys baking and volunteering for a variety of causes.

Contact Dawn at operations@wesleypantry.org

Pantry Board of Directors

  • Morgan Boes, Ph.D.

    Medical student

        
  • Maxwell Colon

    Graduate Student, IFH Director

            
  • Susan Haney

    Board Treasurer

    Ikebana Professor

        
  • Del Jacobs

    U of I Extension

  • James C Mansfield

    Parkland Department Chair

        
  • Clyde Snyder

    Board President

    Retired United Methodist Pastor

        
  • Harith tamimie

    Retired Teach, Danville School Dist 118

        
  • Beverly Ujcich

    American Greetings