Branching from the Volunteer Resource Center, the volunteer program for the Basic Needs Center had a head start developing our relationships. We have strong ties with the Community Food Share food bank in Louisville and connections to local Boulder resources. The volunteer program aims to gather community and use our collective action to provide goods and services for the CU Boulder community.
The Basic Needs Center has provided an incredible amount of food to the CU Boulder community over the years. At a recent mobile food pantry, we supplied students, staff and faculty members with over 9,633 pounds of food. In the fall of 2022, we served over 1,311 people with almost 40,000 pounds of food over four months.
We continuously look for opportunities to expand our reach and help more people. As the volunteer program ventures into community outreach, we expand our potential for change.
“I entered this program with little knowledge of the community's needs or how I could even help. I have been with the Basic Needs Center for over a year now, and I see the challenges the CU community faces, and I am invested in the cause. I have found such a community within this group and could not be prouder to work with these people to help alleviate barriers to student success. As the volunteer coordinator, I try my best to include everyone and create a positive experience. I hope you will join us!” - Brady, Student Volunteer Coordinator
Buff Pantry volunteer
The Buff Pantry provides food to undergraduate and graduate students at CU Boulder. Thanks to our partnership with Community Food Share, we receive a delivery twice a week with about 2,500 pounds of food, most of which we distribute during the course of the week.
The pantry depends on trained volunteers to help manage day-to-day operations. Volunteer duties include helping with deliveries, checking in clients, restocking food and assisting clients with other needs.
- Commit to 2 hours of work each week
- Complete a 1 hour volunteer orientation
- Demonstrate basic customer service skills
To volunteer regularly at the Buff Pantry, sign up for our next volunteer orientation below.
Mobile food pantry volunteer
The Basic Needs Center offers mobile food pantries each month. During these events, we provide education on food insecurity and connect with the community.
The food pantries often have over 300 attendees and are open to a larger population. Our team distributes around 10,000 pounds of food within two hours. While this event can feel a bit stressful, it is one of the most rewarding things we do. These high-impact events align with our goal to give back to the CU community and the larger Boulder area.
Must be able to lift 30 pounds
Volunteer orientation is not required for mobile food pantry volunteers.
Swipe It Forward volunteer
In partnership with Campus Dining Services, the Basic Needs Center hosts Swipe It Forward, a biannual donation event where students ‘pay it forward’ by giving meal swipes to students in need. Students can donate one meal swipe a day over the course of the three-day event to support their fellow Buffs.
Volunteers for this event will table at various dining halls Sept. 26-28 to encourage students to donate meal swipes.
- All volunteers will be expected to attend a short volunteer orientation via Zoom prior to the event.
- The virtual orientation zoom link will be emailed to you once you register.
Buff Break Boxes volunteer
On November 20, the Basic Needs Center is partnering with Saint Aidan's Episcopal Church for a grab-and-go meal distribution event to support students throughout fall break.
Volunteer with us at Saint Aidan's Episcopal Church and help our team distrubute fully prepared holiday meals to 100 CU Boulder students.
Volunteers can choose between two different shifts:
- Meal preparation and box building: Help cook food items and prepare boxes for distribution
- Meal distribution: Help students locate the distribution site, check-in attendees and distribute boxes to students
Bread and Belonging volunteer
Sign-up to volunteer at Bread and Belonging, a weekly meal distribution event at Saint Aidan's Episcopal Church, Aug. 21 - Oct. 24!
Volunteers will help prep, cook and host free meals for CU Boulder students.
Volunteer shifts run from 4-6 p.m. every Tuesday starting Aug. 21.
“I started with Buff Pantry via the Volunteer Placement Program in the fall of 2021 and have been here ever since. I've continued to renew my commitment to the pantry because I believe in its mission. It has a great community of people to work with and I find the work itself enjoyable.”
- Lucas, Buff Pantry volunteer
This summer's winner is Jackson (pictured right), a third-year student majoring in psychology. When asked why he signed up to volunteer, Jackson said, "I had space in my schedule over the summer and knew the Buff Pantry would be a positive way to spend my time. I look forward to coming in to volunteer every day, knowing that I'm doing something positive is very motivating."