Skip Navigation

Black Bear Exchange

55 York Village, University of Maine, Orono, ME (see map below)


The Black Bear Exchange is a food pantry and clothing exchange combination. There is no income requirement for users of the food pantry.  Food is available to those that have a need.  Our focus is supporting those who are not able to obtain assistance from other community sources.  For information about other community sources, please view our Bangor Resource guide.

The Black Bear Exchange
Check out this video about the BBE! (ignore the location mentioned in this video.  It needs to be updated!)

Everyone is encouraged to bring gently worn items to swap or small donations can be made instead. The money then goes to buy food for the food pantry. Our goal with this sustainable project is to reduce stigma surrounding food pantries and thrift stores while providing support to the community.

We are always looking for groups and individuals to volunteer short or long term. If you would like more information regarding volunteering please contact Lisa Morin on FC or at 581-4194. Remember to join us on Facebook; search for Black Bear Exchange!

08/22/14 – We are losing our two favorite BBE staff people.  Both Heidi and Jessica are off to new adventures – Jessica in California and Heidi as a Graduate Student.  The BBE will be closed for the next two weeks while we hired and train new staff.  We will re-open during the week of September 7.  New hours will be posted by September 6.


How you can help the BBE

Hold a food drive: Basic food drives are always a good choice! Your group can choose to hold a food drive wherever you choose, though Bell’s Orono IGA has always welcomed us there. We can also supply you with a list of our main needs that can be handed out to customers as they enter the store.


Hold a fundraiser: Pick a fundraiser that fits your group, and its’ talents, and then choose to donate the money or buy food to donate.  If you are a musical group hold a small show, if you are an athletic group hold a workout class, just be creative and use what you know!

Make meal kits: We have several recipes that are made mostly from things that can be kept in the BBE.  Your group can hold a fundraiser or a food drive to get the ingredients and put together the meal kits.  This helps give BBE members ideas for healthy, well put together meal with things they can get in the pantry.

Help staff the pantry: This is good opportunity for individuals or groups.  We are always in need of people to help operate the pantry.  This is a minimum one semester commitment and there is a short training required but your hours can be set to fit your schedule needs.

Help host an educational event: Part of the BBE is that we want to help people learn how to be healthy no matter what their situation is.  If you or your group have an idea for an educational event let us know!  This includes events such as a film screenings, health or nutrition classes, or other ideas you may have.

Help with advertising: Are you good at advertising?  Do you write for a newspaper or other publication?  We are always looking for help to get our name out there and find new volunteers.  Let us know how you can help.

Something else that fits you group: Do you have an idea for how to help that is not listed here?  Let us know!  Everyone has something different to offer and we are willing to work with you so it can benefit both parties.  Volunteering can be a great way team builder for a group!


Where are we?



Signage is still being developed.  Red and Black parking is available in the Global Sciences Lot.  Red and Blue parking is available in the Aroostook Lot.  We will have signs out near the parking lots when we are open to help you find us.