In October, we welcomed the CU Boulder Buff Pantry as our newest Partner Agency. The launch of the university’s first on-campus, brick-and-mortar food pantry is the culmination of our four-year partnership with Feed the Stampede, a group of CU students and staff members working to end hunger on campus.

In late 2016, we completed our research initiative that mapped geographic pockets of unmet food needs and identified barriers that community members faced to accessing existing food assistance programs. The data revealed that food insecurity levels in the neighborhoods surrounding CU Boulder were high while use of charitable food pantries was very low. At the same time, university staff and students — the group that would soon form Feed the Stampede — noticed this trend as more and more students were sharing personal stories about their inability to purchase food.

Hear What One Student Has to Say

“Between paying my tuition and paying for housing, I am on an extremely tight food budget…At the moment, it’s $20-$30 every two weeks that I can spend on food, which means a lot of ramen and mac and cheese. I am just looking for some help until I’m a little more stable.”

— Student who visits the new CU Boulder Buff Pantry

As an immediate response, Community Food Share began supplying food to offices around campus so that students in urgent need could receive groceries instantly. In pursuit of a long-term solution, our food bank, along with several other community organizations, joined Feed the Stampede’s advisory committee. Over the last four years, insights from surveys with students and staff led to ongoing mobile pantries that have served thousands of students, faculty, and community members. The program’s success and evidence-based approach led to the university administration’s approval to launch the long-awaited CU Boulder Buff Pantry. We are both proud and honored to be part of this monumental achievement, and we look forward to continuing this important collaborative work.

This story originally appeared in our Winter 2021 Newsletter. Photo generously donated by Clifford Grasswick.