Saluki Food Pantry

A student volunteer restocks the shelves at the Saluki Food Pantry.  (Photo provided)

November 23, 2020

Help Salukis with food insecurities now and all year long

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Here is your chance to help Salukis in need. The Saluki Food Pantry at Southern Illinois University Carbondale is a beneficiary of this year’s GiveSI 30-hour community day of giving fundraising campaign from 6 p.m. Nov. 30 to midnight Dec. 1.

The Saluki Food Pantry provides nutritional assistance to SIU students to help them stay in school and reach their educational goals.

“As a result of the pandemic, we continue to see a heightened need from our students,” said Kent Epplin, associate director of the Student Center. “We will support the students even after Thanksgiving break. Many of the students needing assistance are living off campus or in SIU family housing, so they will remain in Carbondale, even after the campus shifts to remote learning.”

Organizers say the upcoming charitable event will give the pantry the opportunity to obtain matching funds to go along with direct donations to benefit the students even more.

How it works

Any time during the fundraiser, people can make an online donation by visiting

All donations made to the Saluki Food Pantry will go directly to the pantry. At the conclusion of the GiveSI fundraiser, the event sponsors will distribute a Matching Bonus Pool of funds they provide based on the percentage of donations each organization brings in, up to a maximum of 2% of the pool.

The sponsors include:

  • Southern Illinois Community Foundation.
  • United Way of Southern Illinois.
  • WSIL News 3.
  • Southern Illinois Healthcare (SIH).
  • Harness Digital Marketing.

Helping students who face food insecurity

When the campus switched to primarily remote learning after spring break in March due to COVID-19, the Saluki Food Pantry continued to distribute emergency food bags to students. Between mid-March and the start of the fall semester, the pantry gave over 1,000 emergency bags to SIU students, Epplin said. During that time, the pantry couldn’t conduct any campus or community food drives to help restock the shelves.

“We almost completely exhausted all of our stock and reserves, resulting in the need to purchase food as the semester began,” Epplin said.

At the start of the fall semester, the food pantry reopened to students, and it supplied food bags to students who were isolated or quarantined.

To continue serving students, donations are crucial, Epplin said.

“We greatly appreciate any and all items we receive during our food drives,” he said. “There are certain items that the pantry always keeps on hand though to assure students’ nutritional needs are met, and oftentimes, these items must be purchased. Thus, monetary donations are especially helpful as they allow staff at the pantry to purchase exactly what is needed to fill in the blanks to meet student needs.”

Learn more

For more information about the Saluki Food Pantry, visit or email