Lunch Buddies Logo

​​​A Finalist for Michigan's 2010 Governor's Service Award for Outstanding Mentoring Program.

   Mentor with student Mentor with student

Lunch Buddies (LB) is a school-based mentoring program administered by the CMU Volunteer Center. The program was​ developed to help elementary students form positive attitudes about school, encourage healthy nutrition and physical activity, and provide children with positive role models. CMU students serving as mentors help their Lunch Buddies become more healthy, confidant, and hopeful about the future.

Mentor in dino suit and student

Lunch Buddies Mentors spend lunch and recess with their buddy once per week at Morey Public School Academy, Ganiard Elementary, Pullen Elementary, Saginaw Chippewa Academy, Shepherd Elementary, or Vowles Elementary. Mentors must commit one academic year to the program, and go through an interview and criminal background check. Anyone with a desire to help children is encouraged to apply.​


Applications are available throughout the year on the Lunch Buddies OrgSync portal. If they are closed when you look, check back during the beginning and end of each semester. Also, check out our social media and weekly newsletter (join by joining the Mary Ellen Brandell Volunteer Center page). To join any of these, you can find the links to the right.

Testimonials  ​

“Friday is definitely my favorite. I have a lot of fun playing with my buddy; I just wish he was here every day!”

Alonzo, 4th Grader at Vowles Elementary School

“Being a Lunch Buddies mentor is one of the greatest experiences I have ever had. Not only do I feel great about making a difference in a child’s life, I know my buddy has made a difference in my life as well.”

Lindsay, 1st year Mentor at Renaissance Public School Academy

“I think I speak for everyone involved when I say it’s the highlight of our weeks. For the mentors, it’s a chance to make a difference in someone’s life and polish up on our “four square” and “tag” skills while we’re at it. For the students, they get to spend time with a strong positive role model in their lives; which is all too uncommon in some of these children’s lives.”

Justin, Former Lunch Buddies Student Coordinator