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Want to help?

It would be impossible to do this alone. Keeping our pantries fully stocked at our current demand rate runs an average of $830 per week -- more than $43,000 a year.

We are operated entirely by volunteers and funded entirely by donations. We are always looking for committed, passionate community members who are interested in helping to feed our neighbors.

We are endlessly grateful for our donors. Every dollar and every can of food makes a difference! 

There are multiple ways to help:

Donate Food

Just as anyone is welcome to take food from the pantry, anyone is welcome to donate food to the pantry. Donations can be dropped off directly at the pantries (5151 Central Avenue and 2837 E. New York Street). If the pantry happens to be full at the time, please place donations neatly at the foot of the pantry. To coordinate a drop-off of larger donations (such as multiple boxes or cases), please reach out to us.

You can also shop our Amazon List to have pantry items shipped directly to us.

Our greatest needs:

  • Peanut butter

  • Jelly

  • Granola/protein bars

  • Canned meat and fish (chicken, tuna, salmon, beef, etc.)

  • Beef jerky

  • Instant oatmeal

  • Cereal

  • Canned fruit

  • Canned vegetables

  • Beans

  • Rice

  • Instant sides (mashed potatoes, stuffing, noodles, etc.)

  • Pasta

  • Pasta sauce

  • Hearty soups

  • Instant pasta meals (canned ravioli, mac and cheese, etc.)

  • Snacks items (easy grab-and-go snacks for kids)

  • Baby food

  • Baby formula

  • Hygiene items (deodorant, soap, shampoo and conditioner, toothbrushes, toothpaste, tampons and pads, hand sanitizer)

  • Cleaning supplies (laundry detergent, dish soap, bleach wipes)

  • Small toys 

  • School supplies

  • Pet food


  • expired items

  • damaged items

  • alcohol or tobacco products

  • opened and partially used items

  • medicines of any kind, including vitamins, supplements and over the counter medication

  • things that could be dangerous, including lighters and razors

  • perishable goods

  • homemade items

Donate Funds

Donations can be made to CentralGeneralStore through Venmo. 

Volunteer Pantry Manager 

Ready to help feed hungry Hoosiers? Manage a little free pantry for a day! Groups and individuals can now select a day to "manage" a pantry location. Click here to learn more and sign up!

Serve on our Board of Directors 

We are in the process of forming our Board of Directors and will be looking for committed, involved community members to help steer our organization as we grow and expand. More information and the application will be coming in early 2023. Check back soon, or contact us to express early interest.

Sponsor a Family for the Holidays

Thanks to a generous donation, Central General Store has launched a holiday assistance program to provide basic household items and gifts to families in need this season. While we’ve been able to help many families already, the need is huge.

We have families remaining that we’d love to serve. Sponsoring a family in need is a great way to spread the holiday spirit with your friends, family and coworkers. It’s fun to get everyone together to do the shopping, wrapping and play Santa for a day!

  • In line with other holiday assistance programs, we suggest spending $100 on each child in the family and $50-75 on each adult. (Most families are single parent households.) While very good condition used items are allowed to be gifts, please do make sure they truly are in very good condition (no holes, rips, stains, broken and missing parts, outdated styles, obvious wear and tear, etc.) and would be something you'd be proud to give a special person in your life.

  • Our families have filled out an application that lists their sizes and needs/wishes.

  • You have the opportunity to meet the family you’re sponsoring when you deliver their presents.

  • We have families ranging from 2 to 8 people, so we can match you up with someone based on your preferred sponsorship budget.

  • All gifts will need to be delivered to the family by Sunday, December 18.


Once you are matched, we will send you detailed next steps on how you can connect with your sponsored family and help make their Christmas bright. 

Fill out the interest form here!

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