The YMCA's Beyond Hunger food pantry program began at the Southwest YMCA in January 2021, following the YMCA of Metro Denver's response during the pandemic and growing food insecurity in the metro area.

Volunteers and staff provide balanced, nutritious food to the community and individuals of all ages can get a bag of groceries on a weekly basis.

We are currently distributing bags of food at the Southwest YMCA, 5181 W. Kenyon Ave., Denver, CO 80236 every Thursday from 4 to 6 PM.

Beyond Hunger bags are filled with a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, proteins, dairy and grains. Quantity of bags are limited, so you must sign up every week to make sure we have a bag for you. Come by Southwest YMCA and pick up your bag curbside, without leaving your car!

Reserve your bag

Are you interested in volunteering for the Beyond Hunger food pantry program? Volunteers can help in many ways, including sorting groceries, filling bags, passing out bags of food and making connections with our community. Read our volunteer guidelines

Sign up to Volunteer

Additional Community Food Resources

List of Community Pantries

Looking to Donate Food?

Thank you for considering a donation of food to our Beyond Hunger program! We accept donations dropped off at our Southwest YMCA. Please see our guidelines.

Food Donation Guidelines


Beyond Hunger FAQ 

Why are we having this food drive?

The food donated during this food drive will directly support our Beyond Hunger program at the Southwest Y and Wyatt Academy. We will distribute the collected items to families in our Denver community that can support them especially during the transition of going back to school.

When will this food drive take place?

This YMCA Beyond Hunger Food drive will take place from August 1-14, 2022. We will start collecting items on Monday, August 1st and will stop collecting items for this food drive on Sunday, August 14th.

Where will we be collecting donated items for this drive?

Donation boxes will be placed at YMCA centers across the Denver Metro area - University Hills YMCA, Southwest YMCA, Arvada YMCA, Aurora Family YMCA, Littleton Family YMCA, and Downtown YMCA, as well as Glendale Sports Center and Dennison Elementary School.

How can people donate?

YMCA members and others in the community can bring the items to any of the locations listed above and place them in the donation boxes. At the YMCA wellness centers, collection boxes will be in the lobby area and will remain there for the duration of the 2 weeks of the food drive. There will be additional collection boxes located in the drop-off/pick-up areas of day camp sites at the University Hills YMCA, Arvada YMCA, and at Dennison Elementary School for families to donate items when dropping off or picking up their kids from camp.

What items are we hoping to collect?

Since this food drive will be ongoing for 2 weeks, we are asking for donations of shelf-stable, non-perishable items only. We also ask that items not be in glass jars to avoid breakage. A list of suggested items is below:


  • Rice
  • Boxed potatoes
  • Microwavable noodles
  • Boxed Mac n Cheese
  • Pasta & Canned tomato sauce


  • Canned chicken, tuna, salmon, ham
  • Canned or dried beans & lentils


  • Canned soups
  • Spices and dried herbs
  • Cooking oil in plastic bottles (such as olive oil, canola oil)

Snacks & Breakfast Items

  • Nuts and seeds
  • Dried Fruit, like individual boxed raisins
  • Canned fruit (preferably canned in fruit juice, not syrup)
  • Granola bars
  • Instant oatmeal
  • Pancake mix
  • Popcorn
  • Individual packaged cereals (preferably lower sugar cereals, like Cheerios)
  • Applesauce pouches/cups
  • Fruit snacks
  • 100% fruit juice boxes
  • Shelf-stable milk/ non-dairy milks

Baby food (preferably not in glass jars to avoid breakage)

Hygiene products

  • Toothbrush/paste
  • shampoo, conditioner, bodywash, soap, sponge/loofa
  • toilet paper
  • Diapers /baby wipes
  • Feminine products
Are there any food donation guidelines?
  • Please check to make sure that the food you are donating has not expired and is also not set to expire within six (6) months of donation. While many dried or canned foods have a long shelf life, they do expire.
  • Since this is a 2-week long collection period, we are asking for shelf-stable items only and NO perishable items that require refrigeration.

The Beyond Hunger program seeks to provide nutritious foods to families in the community who have limited access to these types of items. We ask that you keep this in consideration with the items you are donating (i.e., lower sugar cereals & granola bars, no candy, sodas, or items with high fructose corn syrup).