Coffman Memorial Union

Pack & Give Back Program - Free Store

Como and Marcy Homes neighborhoods

Move-out season in student housing and surrounding neighborhoods is an exciting time. The next big moving adventure, whether it’s across the street, across the neighborhood, or back home for the summer, is on everyone’s mind.  It’s the time when students with a car find out how many friends they have, others find out how much a rental truck costs, and everyone realizes how many stairs are in their new house. It’s the time of year when we realize what we don’t really need, and these items end up on the curb. Most of these cast-offs are picked up on trash routes and end up in the dumpster.  We can do better than that!

The University of Minnesota ReUse Program started “Pack & Give Back” in May of 2013, an initiative aimed at reducing waste generated by students moving at the beginning and end of each semester. Partnerships with local non-profits also help facilitate distribution of reusable items that might otherwise end up in landfills. This event targets students, but is open to all residents in the Marcy-Holmes, Southeast Como, Prospect Park, and Cedar-Riverside neighborhoods*.

The ReUse Program Warehouse is open for donation drop-offs from June 1st to August 28th, 9am-3pm Monday-Friday.  Items collected on campus by the ReUse Program, or brought to the ReUse warehouse by students and neighborhood residents, will be part of the program's "Free Store". Based out of the ReUse warehouse (883 29th Avenue SE), all items in the Free Store will be offered free of charge to students from August 27th to September 8th. Residents of neighborhoods Marcy-Holmes, Southeast Como, Cedar-Riverside, and Prospect Park may also shop the Free Store during the last week of the sale if they have made a donation. 

DO NOT drop materials outside the ReUse warehouse overnight.  This is considered illegal dumping and will be prosecuted.  Materials for donation can only be accepted during normal business hours.  Violators will be prosecuted.

Since its inception, the Pack and Give Back program has diverted over 300k pounds of household items from landfills, and back to students and the neighborhood.

The Free Store dates for 2018 are:

  • Monday Aug 27th - 8am to 3pm
  • Tuesday Aug 28th - 8am to 3pm
  • Wednesday Aug 29th - 8am to 3pm
  • Thursday Aug 30th - 8am to 8pm
  • Friday Aug 31st - 8am to 3pm
  • Saturday  Sept 1st - 12pm to 4pm
  • Sunday Sept 2nd - CLOSED
  • Monday Sept 3rd Labor Day - CLOSED
  • Tuesday Sept 4th - 8am to 3pm
  • Wednesday Sept 5th - 8am to 3pm
  • Thursday Sept 6th - 8am to 8pm
  • Friday Sept 7th - 8am to 3pm
  • Saturday Sept 8th - 12pm to 4pm

*For residents of the neighborhoods to shop at the free store, a donation must be made during the drop-off period (June 1–August 24).

News Stories

Star Tribune news article about Pack & Give Back.

Daily Gopher - U Launches New Pack & Give Back Program