Food Pantry Services

Bear Essentials Pantry

The Bear Essentials Pantry is located in the McFarland Student Union Building and can be accessed Monday-Friday from 8 AM - 4:30 PM. Come to the Office of Student Involvement in MSU 153, across from the KU Campus Store. 

The pantry is stocked with a variety of non-perishable foods and products, including canned fruits and vegetables, peanut butter, jelly, snack bars, crackers, rice, sauce, pastas, etc. Personal care items and school supplies are also available. No appointments are necessary. 

Bear Essentials Pantry

Available to students in the McFarland Student Union Building

Bear Essentials Pantry 2

Available to students in the McFarland Student Union Building

Photo of our Bear Essential Pantry
Photo of our Bear Essential Pantry
KU Student Food Pantry 

Any student in need of food or personal care items may also come to the KU Student Food Pantry, a satellite of Friend, Inc. located at the Lutheran Center- diagonally across the street from Golden Bear West.  The Lutheran Center address is 15175 Kutztown Rd, Kutztown, PA 19530. Students may access fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, dry foods, and canned foods. There are also personal care items available such as menstrual hygiene products, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, and shampoo. 

All students will sign in and complete brief paperwork. Your KU ID will need to be presented on your first visit (paperwork is renewed annually). Reusable grocery totes are provided to be used to carry selected items and then again on return visits.  Students arriving in a car are asked to park behind the house in a proper parking spot on the Lutheran Center property, or in the larger adjacent parking lot.

The additional social services provided by Friend, Inc. can be seen in detail here. A Friend, Inc. staff member is one site during these pantry times.  Additional opportunities for food access may also be arranged.  


Wednesdays from 4PM - 6PM

Thursdays from 11AM-12:00PM

Pasta & Canned Goods

The food pantry provides students with numerous canned goods and pasta products.

Meet Ryan Tuerk

Ryan is one of the Friend Inc. staff members dedicated to the Student Food Pantry. (Photo taken September 2019)

Fresh Frozen Meats and Seafood Available

These proteins, along with plant-based nourishment, are critical to a balanced diet.

Canned Soups and Vegetables available

Students have access to fresh fruits, vegetables, and an assortment of non-perishable canned goods.

Pasta and macaroni and cheese
Our Friend Inc Staff, Ryan Tuerk helping stock shelves for the Student Food Pantry.
Meat products available
Assortment of fruit, vegetables, and canned soups
Information for Students & Families
  • About Food Insecurity

    Food insecurity, as defined by the College & University Food Bank Alliance, is the limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods or the inability to acquire such foods in a socially acceptable manner. The most extreme form is often accompanied by physiological sensations of hunger.

    Statistically, 1 in 5 students are hungry and lack sufficient access to food. Food insecurity cuts across all demographic statuses, enrollment levels, and geographic locations. These stressors affect student success in the long-term by impacting learning, grades, graduation time, and more. Kutztown University is proud to provide students with services like the Bear Essentials Pantry and the Student Food Pantry to address the issue of food insecurity on our campus. We are also a member of the College & University Food Bank Alliance (CUFBA).

  • How You Can Help

    Physical donations of nonperishable food items can be dropped off at MSU 153, as well as monetary donations. Donations of Giant or Weis gift cards are welcome, too.  We thank you in advance for your generosity!

    Looking to volunteer with us? At our Student Food Pantry, we could always use a helping hand. We have times available on Wednesdays from 12:30 PM-2 PM, and Thursdays from 11 AM-12 PM to volunteer. Masks are required.  If you are interested, please contact the Office of Student Involvement by stopping in or emailing

  • SNAP Benefits for College Students

    Most students ages 18 - 49 who are enrolled in a college, university, or other institution of higher education at least half of the time are not eligible for SNAP benefits. However, students may be able to get SNAP benefits if they meet certain criteria under one of the following: 

    • Receive public assistance under a Title IV-A Program of the Social Security Act;
    • Take part in a state or federally financed work-study program;
    • Work at least 20 hours a week; or
    • Are taking care of a dependent household member under the age of 6, or a member of the house over the age of 5 but under 12 and do not have adequate childcare that prevents them from attending school, working a minimum of 20 hours, or taking part in a state or federally financed work-study program.

    Please refer to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutritional Service for more detailed information about college students and SNAP benefits

    Students needing assistance completing the application for SNAP benefits (or any other assistance) may get that help by contacting Friend, Inc.  

Quotation Mark

"Thanks to the Student Food Pantry, I was able to provide myself with a week of meals. I found out about this service just in time, when I was not able to afford food. I am grateful that the Kutztown community has come together to provide this service to the students."

- Kutztown University Student