When A.J. Unander, 27, moved to Denver from Boston in 2020, it was hard to meet people because of the pandemic. He researched food banks and found Bienvenidos close to home.

A.J., a structural engineer, still worked on East Coast time. He’s able to volunteer at Bienvenidos on Thursday afternoons after he finishes his workday.

“It started out as a low commitment, but I stayed because Bienvenidos has such great volunteers,” he says. “You feel welcome and part of a team. It’s part of my routine now.”

Although Northwest Denver has gentrified in recent years, A.J. says it’s eye-opening to see how many people still need food assistance.

He adds, “It feels good to serve and it gives me purpose.”