Support Black Bear Exchange during campuswide food drive

A campuswide nonperishable food drive to benefit the University of Maine Black Bear Exchange food pantry will be held Nov. 13–Dec. 15, sponsored by UMaine Auxiliary Enterprises, Facilities Management and UMaine Athletics. 

Donation boxes will be located at the University Bookstore, Bear Necessities Fan Shop, UMaine Dining locations, MaineCard office, Parking & Transportation Services and UMaine Athletics box office locations.

Black Bear Exchange accepts non-perishable food donations. All food donations benefit the pantry, which provides support to students and other members of the UMaine community. 

There are three specific promotions tied to the food drive:

  • University Bookstore or Bear Necessities Fan Shop offering entry into weekly $50 gift card drawings for those who donate.
  • UMaine Dining cashier locations making monetary donations of $3, $5 or $7 per purchase to the food drive. At the end of the food drive, UMaine Dining will use its buying power to stretch donations to purchase exactly what is needed by the food bank.
  • Inviting attendees to bring food to any of nine UMaine Athletics games as part of NCAA Food Frenzy to get a bonus entry to the gift card drawing. Those games include:
    • Women’s Basketball games on Nov. 14 and Dec. 6 at the Pit in Memorial Gym.
    • Men’s Ice Hockey games on Dec. 1, 3 and 9 at the Alfond Arena.
    • Women’s Ice Hockey games on Dec. 1 and 2 at the Alfond Arena.
    • Men’s Basketball games on Dec. 3 and 9 at the Pit in the Memorial Gym.

In 2022-23, the Black Bear Exchange distributed 64,000 pounds of food, according to Lisa Morin, coordinator of the Black Bear Exchange. The 2022 food drives from Auxiliary Enterprises and Facilities Management brought in 592 pounds of food for the pantry.

“This year we are excited to have new partners joining us to collect food,” says Richard Young, Auxiliary Enterprises executive director. “Expanding to include the Food Frenzy with Athletics and our friends at Facilities Management strengthens our campus ties. And it all benefits the Black Bear Exchange.

“We believe that by supporting the UMaine community, we make a difference through actions,” Young said. “Every year, this food drive brings in more and more support for this important organization on campus. They support our UMaine community and we’re proud to support them.”

UMaine Dining, an Auxiliary Enterprises unit, contributes weekly to food recovery, which also supports the Black Bear Food Exchange. Leftover food from the two dining halls and the Bear’s Den is repurposed safely into meal-sized kits that people who use the pantry can pick up when they stop in for a food distribution.

For more information about the food drive, contact Deb Bell,

Information about the Black Bear Exchange food pantry, including instructions for requesting support, is available online.