Volunteer for Buddy Backpacks

Buddy Backpacks packing sessions have been canceled for the foreseeable future. For an up-to-date list of COVID-19 updates as well as other community resources, click here

United Way of Northeastern Minnesota needs your help to pack
Buddy Backpacks meal kits!

Please be aware that new volunteer rules have been put in place for the Buddy Backpacks packing sessions for the 2020-2021 school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please review the new procedures in their entirety before signing up to volunteer.

By signing up for a packing session, you are agreeing to the following:

  • UWNEMN is only able to accommodate 20 individuals per session.  We will need all 20 people who are registered to plan to attend.  If you are unable to attend, please notify United Way immediately in order for a substitute to be found for you.
  • All volunteers will be required to wear masks while inside UWNEMN's building.
  • Upon arrival to the UWNEMN building, volunteers will drive through the gate and park in the parking lot.  Volunteers will enter through DOOR #4.  Once inside the building, volunteers will have their temperature taken.  If a volunteer’s temperature is 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or above, you will be asked to not participate in the Buddy Backpack session.  Volunteers will be asked to fill out, sign, and date a health form each time they participate. 
  • Volunteers will then move to another station to complete a volunteer release form.  This form will be completed once per school year, as in the past.  They will also receive their name tag with table number and job duty.
  • Volunteers are asked to not touch any items on their tables before the staff kicks off the session.  This means there will be no opening of boxes, stock piling additional items, or starting to pack any bags.
  • Volunteers will be divided into two groups of 10; there will be two packing tables with plenty of space between them.  The job duties will be the following and will be pre-assigned:
    • Bag Opener (1 volunteer)
    • Bag Filler (4 volunteers)
    • Runner (2 volunteers)
    • Boxer (1 volunteer)
    • Cardboard (2 volunteers)
  • Volunteers are asked to wear closed-toe, comfortable shoes or boots.

Thank you for your understanding of these new rules for volunteering and adhering to them.  UWNEMN will continue to do what’s best to keep our volunteers, staff, and local children safe!

As always, volunteers for Buddy Backpacks must be 18 or older.

All sessions will take place at United Way of Northeastern Minnesota's office at 608 East Drive in Chisholm.

Click here to download your volunteer waiver prior to your session.

Bring your change when you volunteer to help FEED THE BUDDY BACKPACK PIG! Your donation will help UWNEMN purchase food for the Buddy Backpacks program!

piggy bank

If you would like to make an online donation to support Buddy Backpacks, click here!

For more information, please contact Michelle at 218-254-3329 or michelle@unitedwaynemn.org



UWNEMN is currently unable to host Buddy Backpacks packing sessions.

Don't fret! Thanks to volunteers like you, we have enough food packed to last throughout 2020, and as soon as it is safe to host packing sessions again, we will let you know!