How  |  What  |  Organize Food Drive

In 2019, the Self-Sufficiency Center distributed enough food to make 91,008 meals and provided 6,374 items from our closet of cleaning supplies and hygiene items. We couldn’t do this work without donations from individuals, congregations, workplaces, and organizations.

MCUM’s Client Choice Food Pantry distributes a three-day supply of food to households in need. The actual content of bags depends on the donations we receive.

The pantry weighs all donations as they come in. In 2019, MCUM received 79,876 pounds of food and other donated items.To give some context to the amount you donate, the food provided to a household of four people weighs about 75 pounds.


Donations can be dropped off Monday-Friday, 8:00am-5:00pm (4:00pm on Wednesdays). If a delivery can’t be made during these times, contact us about an alternate delivery time. For a large food drive, we can often pick up your donations at the collection site. Contact Madison Silvers at (812) 339-3429 x18 to make arrangements.

We are located next to Mills Pool and Tri-North Middle School at 827 W. 14th Court. An accurate map and directions can be found on our website. When you arrive, turn right into our upper parking lot. Come into the office so we can help you unload at the far end of the parking lot.


Food: Our food pantry accepts all non-perishable food. Unfortunately, we cannot accept home-made, or home-canned items, or opened packages. We do not distribute expired items to those seeking assistance, although we may make recently expired items available in addition to the bagged groceries we distribute.

The only perishable food we can accept are frozen meats and we particularly welcome donations of 1-2 pound frozen packages of ground meat and whole frozen chickens. Please ensure that your donation has remained frozen and has been carefully handled before arriving at our pantry.

All donated food will be used to help our neighbors in need, but the most useful sizes of cans, bags and boxes are those that you would buy for your own family. Restaurant/industrial size cans and bags are accepted, but they are not quite as useful in this pantry setting as smaller sizes.

Please check out our wish list for items currently needed.

Cleaning Closet Items: Our Cleaning Closet accepts donations of hygiene items, cleaning supplies, paper goods, diapers, new socks, and new underwear. These items cannot be purchased with food stamps and this type of service is rarely offered elsewhere in the community. Full- and travel-size hygiene products are welcome. Regular-size items are distributed upon request. Travel-size products are distributed, along with a roll of toilet tissue, with each bag of groceries.

Please check out our wish list for items currently needed.

Paper Bags: Paper bags are the best way to organize the food we distribute. They hold lots of product and they stand up nicely on our shelves. Please ask for paper bags at the store and pass them on to us. Bags are welcome anywhere that food is collected for MCUM.


To meet the growing demand for basic needs assistance, we need volunteers in the community organizing food drives on our behalf. Schools, congregations, workplaces, clubs, and neighborhood associations are all great places for a drive! Although organizing a drive is fairly easy, we are happy to provide resources and assistance. Here are a few suggestions for organizing an efficient and successful food drive:

  • Decide what type of drive to host. Some groups prefer to focus on food while others prefer to collect items for the cleaning closet. You can have a general drive that collects any needed item, or you can have a drive for one very specific item, such as shampoo or laundry soap. Choose a drive type that you think will best suit your group. Contact our office if you would like more information about currently needed items.
  • Decide on the time period for the drive. Some groups ask for donations at every monthly meeting. Some congregations hold two food drives a year for one week per drive. Workplaces often hold drives for a week or two. The timeline can very greatly depending on the needs of the food drive site.
  • Set a goal. MCUM can tell you how much your group collected in the past, if that helps with goal-setting. Don’t forget to update participants about how the drive is going, with announcements or a simple thermometer posted near the collection site.
  • Find a collection site with easy access and high visibility. Collection boxes can make transporting the donations easier. If you anticipate a large drive, MCUM can provide a collection bin for your use.
  • Use flyers, email, staff meetings, and other outlets to promote the food drive. Don’t forget to talk about the need in the community and why the food drive is important. If you would like specific statistics to share, please contact our office. Sample flyers are available for your use.
  • Deliver your donations to 827 W. 14th Court, Monday-Friday 8am-4pm. Or call us to arrange a pick-up or alternate delivery time. Your collection will be weighed when it arrives.
  • Thank the participants in your drive. Share with them the total weight of the donation and how it will benefit the community. Invite them to take a tour of the pantry to see where their donations went or volunteer to sort the donations they made, preparing items for distribution to those in need.