Black Bear Exchange
Your on-campus food pantry
and clothing exchange!!!
The Black Bear Exchange envisions a community where all those who work at and attend the University of Maine have equitable access to resources; and where creative, situation-specific collaborations are actively nurtured to meet needs. This community will also value the reuse of goods and seek to eliminate the waste of resources. These actions will minimize dependence on supra-local, socially unaccountable systems and better provide for the well-being of all community members.
During the 2018/2019 school year, the BBE recovered 3,800 lbs of food from UMaine Dining Halls, received over 6,200 lbs of food from food drives and fundraisers held all over campus, and distributed over 10,000 lbs of food during nearly 900 visits to the Black Bear Exchange. We assisted 157 different people.
Hours for Fall 2019 (Sept 16 – December 21):
Mondays 11:30 am to 3:30 pm
Wednesdays 10:00 am to 3:30 pm
Thursdays 2:30 pm to 5:00 pm
Saturdays 9:00 am to 12:00 noon
Please check our Facebook page and this page for any updated information.
The food pantry is open to students and their immediate families as well as staff and faculty. There is no income requirement and no application process. Just present a valid MaineCard. Our focus is supporting those who are not able to obtain assistance from other community sources. For information about other community sources, please visit 211maine.org.
The Clothing Swap is open to anyone and everyone!!!! People are encouraged to bring gently worn items to exchange/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. If you have clothing to donate, but can’t find anything you need right now, you can “bank” your points and use them later. Know someone that has a need? Give your points to them!
Want to run a food drive or a clothing drive? Contact us! Remember to join us on Facebook; search for Black Bear Exchange at UMaine!
How you can help the BBE
Hold a food drive
Basic food drives are always a good choice! We can supply you with a list of our most needed items.
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 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?
55 York Village (see map below)
University of Maine
New signs are out along Grove Street Extension and in the Village. Red and Black parking is available in the Global Sciences Lot. Red and Blue parking is available in the Aroostook Lot. Look for our sign on the side of our building, and we will have a sign in front of our door when we are open to help you find us.