Community Cares

A Food & Essentials Pantry

Welcome to the Community Cares page! If you’re familiar with our efforts, please feel free to navigate directly to our Shopping or Resources sections. If this is your first visit, please take a moment to read the Overview, Vision, and Community Cares Charter to learn about what we do and why it matters.

The BU Wheelock Community Cares Food & Essentials Pantry is temporarily closed due to the circumstances imposed by COVID-19.  We urge our community to make plans for accessing alternative food programs (some of which are listed here on our site) as our operations are interrupted.  

What is Community Cares?

This pantry was established thanks to the support from the BU Wellbeing Project and the BU Wheelock Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee, one of Boston University’s first college-based EDI committees.

In its pilot year, Community Cares endeavors to end food insecurity for BU Wheelock students, but its doors are open to the entire community of BU students who are in need of support. Community Cares will also help students in need of essentials like toiletries and feminine hygiene products.

At this time, Community Cares can only support BU community students. To verify your current affiliation with Boston University, a log in will be required. We also need your name so that we know who will be picking up the items ordered. We are not tracking or turning over names of students who complete the form. With our current resources, a BU student can access the pantry up to 3 times in each 30 day period. Please review the Additional Resources section below for a list of other food resources in our community that students may wish to access.

If you have questions, concerns, or comments about Community Cares or special requests or recommendations about how we can better support you and other students, please email us at whestu@bu.edu.

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How Does it Work?

For the foreseeable future, there is one option to shop the Community Cares pantry.

Shop Online, Pick up in Person

Click Here to Shop Online

Pickup Hours of Operation
For the foreseeable future, pick-up hours will be scheduled between the requester and Student Services on a case-by-case basis.

Reminder: Same day fulfillment is not possible at this time. If you need immediate assistance Mon – Fri, please contact BU Wheelock Student Services (whestu@bu.edu).

How to shop online:

  1. Log-in to the shopping form using your Kerberos*
  2. Shop by selecting from our in-stock options or make special requests if you are unable to meet your needs using our items.
  3. Stop by 2 Silber Way during your scheduled pick-up hour to collect your order in room 112 at 2 Silber Way.
    1. Room 112 is on the first floor of 2 Silber way. If you enter the building via Commonwealth Ave,  proceed right towards the lobby; go down the ramp on your left; bear right; and then turn left into the short hallway on your left before you get to the vending machines or cafe seating area; room 112 is the first room on your left. If you enter from Silber Way, proceed through the lobby; turn right into the short hallway located after the vending and cafe area but before the elevators; the hallway is to the right of the main seating area of the lobby; room 112 will be the first door on your left.

*Why are we asking for students to log in with their Keberos?
We are not tracking or turning over names of students who complete the form. At this time, Community Cares can only support BU community students. To verify your current affiliation with Boston University, a log in will be required. We also need your name so that we know who will be picking up the items ordered. Lastly, some of you may have specific questions or needs that cannot be addressed by the regular options in the form. In those cases, you’ll ask questions or make special requests. This means we’ll need your name and email address to contact you so we can work on solutions together.

How are we helping students whose needs are not met by our pantry stock?
If the items in our online pantry order form do not meet your needs due to dietary restrictions (ie. kosher, vegan, allergies) or if you feel that some other need is not being met (ie fresh produce or some other missing product), please use the Other section in our online form to make a recommendation or special request. A staff member will reply to you from the BU Wheelock Student Services (whestu@bu.edu) email account.

Additional Resources

On campus support
Sargent Choice Nutrition Center offers expert consultations for meal planning that can help people with food intolerances or restrictions, athletes in training, and people who are looking to create healthier eating habits. Students qualify for a limited number of free consultations, but insurance may cover the cost of others. They also have free recipes and videos.

Terrier Meal Share – Terrier Meal Share is an initiative that gives students the opportunity to donate their unused guest meal swipes online to any undergraduate, graduate, or professional student in need at Boston University. Students experiencing food insecurity will be able to receive meals by contacting the Dean of Students’ office, University Service Center, or the Office of Financial Assistance.

Marsh Chapel’s Ministry of Food Program– All are welcome to join the fellowship events and meals hosted by Marsh Chapel.

External Resources

Brandless is an online shop where you can find good quality, healthy food and household products. It even has selections of certified Kosher, gluten-free, and vegan foods for $3 or less.

Brookline Food Pantry offers pantry hours at two locations: 55A Egmont St. and 15 St. Paul St.

Good and Cheap is a free, downloadable cookbook with recipes aimed at helping people prepare great meals on $4/day.

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Why Community Cares?

Some people may wonder why a large, top-ranked, research 1 institution needs to have this kind of initiative on its campus. The simple truth is that food insecurity impacts millions of people across the United States, and today’s college students are no exception. Just look at the data from the College and University Food Bank Alliance (CUFBA), which culled research from 2018 GAO Report and the 2018 Hunger on Campus Report.

Some put these stats as being lower than what is happening in reality. This means that food insecurity is happening all around us, to our friends, peers, and roommates. It’s happening to people who are working hard or who did their part to apply for financial aid or pay for a campus meal plan to meet minimum requirements set by the university but can’t afford one that gives them enough food each week. It’s happens on a persistent basis and it happens on an occasional basis.

There’s no shame in being food insecure. But there is help.

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Community Cares Community Charter

Beliefs & Values

Our beliefs and values inform not only why but also how we do this work and engage with the BU student community. 

  • We believe that education professionals, such as those in student services, should support and uplift students with a humanistic approach.
  • We believe that in acknowledging basic needs of students and is a critical step in helping them to fulfill their potential.
  • We believe that our experiences within our community compounded with relevant research calls for us to address food insecurity.
  • We believe that not being able to help everyone should not be a barrier to helping anyone.
  • We believe that our entire community can and should contribute its individual and collective talents to solve problems relevant to us.
  • We believe it is our role to model good professional and civic behavior.

Community Cares Volunteer and Shopper Compact

  • Although there is no shame in seeking assistance and while we cannot guarantee total anonymity at this time, volunteers and shoppers will work together to facilitate an experience that is as discreet and private as possible so people can feel safe and comfortable.
  • Volunteers will engage with one another with respect, fairness, and kindness.
  • The pantry, and by extension its website, form, and communications, is a judgement-free zone.
  • Shoppers may make requests of Community Cares and its volunteers to ask for special considerations with the expectation that they will be taken seriously and reviewed fairly.
  • Shoppers may expect assistance with basic needs for food supplies and some other lifestyle essentials (i.e. notebooks, bathroom, feminine hygiene products), but will respect decisions made by Community Cares to not fulfill a request.
  • Community Cares volunteers will not discriminate against any students seeking assistance.
  • Community Cares volunteers will carefully review special requests made by shoppers and will make efforts to accommodate reasonable requests.

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Getting Involved

Contact BU Wheelock Student Services via email (whestu@bu.edu) if you’d like to get involved.

We accept donations:

Contact BU Wheelock Student Services via email (whestu@bu.edu) if you’d like to make a donation. Items most appreciated include:

  • Grocery store gift cards between $10 – $25 (local shops include: Whole Foods, Star Market, Trader Joes, Target). These help us supplement student diets with fresh produce, eggs, and dairy.
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Toiletries – soap, lotion, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrush, floss, mouthwash, sunblock
  • Non-perishable foods (healthy options preferred)
    • Rice
    • Pasta
    • Canned fruits, veggies, beans
    • Cereal and oatmeal
    • Granola bars and trail mixes
    • Small quantities of “treats” are also acceptable because who doesn’t want to indulge every now and then?
      • Hot chocolate packets
      • Cookies
      • Chips, pretzels, popcorn
    • Tea and instant coffee
    • Canned or boxed soup
    • Reusable bags
  • If you have an idea for ways to help (products we should stock, recipes to recommend, communities to reach out to), please contact BU Wheelock Student Services via email at whestu@bu.edu.

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Gratitude

Community Cares is grateful for the generous financial support of the Wellbeing Project and the BU Wheelock Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

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