Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What’s the age requirement to volunteer?
A: You must be 8 years or older to volunteer in the Warehouse or Mobile Pantry with us. You must be 15 years or older to volunteer in the Kitchen or Garden with us. All volunteers under 18 years of age require an adult chaperone who is over 21 years or older.
Youth under age 8 are unable to volunteer with us. We do not offer child care services during volunteer shifts.
Q: How early should I arrive?
A: Please arrive at least 15 minutes before your scheduled shift time to check-in and receive your orientation/training. Volunteers who arrive 30 minutes after the shift start time will be asked to come back another time. Accommodations for late volunteers must be made 1 month in advance.
Please park wherever parking is available on the surface lot in front of the building.
Q: I would like to donate food before my volunteer shift. Who should I contact about food donations?
A: If you would like to donate food before your shift, we have a drop-off area onsite. For more information, please visit our website to learn more about donating food and funds.
Q: Where can I put my personal belongings while I volunteer?
A: Each program area has a designated space for you to store your personal belongings for your shift. Please remember, the Food Bank is not responsible for lost or stolen items while you are serving with us. Volunteers do not need to bring any tools or personal items. Please make sure you wear closed-toe shoes and appropriate clothing for your shift. If you need a water bottle, please bring your own.
Q: Why do you need my personal information for the registration process?
A: The Food Bank tracks headcounts and individual service hours to run each shift and program area. These metrics are important for our programs to run properly. Each volunteer must create his/her own account prior to serving with the Food Bank. This helps us capture liability waivers and media release agreements attached to each person’s account. Please register individually for your shift in advance of your service date, so we can account for you being present. If you need to cancel your shift, you may log-in to your account online and cancel your reservation yourself.
Q: How do I register my child to come volunteer with me? My children do not have their own phone number and/or email address. Can they use mine as their adult chaperone?
A: Each person that comes to volunteer has to create an account and register for shifts under their own name, including minors. To create your child’s account, sign out of your own first. If your child does not have his/her own phone number and/or email address, adult chaperones/parents/guardians may use their own contact information to create an account for each child. Once the account is created, you can sign them up for the shift.
Q: I have to leave early. Is that a problem?
A: We prefer you stay for the entire duration of your shift if possible. We plan our operational workflows around volunteer service. When volunteers exit early or do not attend, we are left struggling to feed hungry people. All volunteers may take breaks during each shift. We have a volunteer break room inside our main headquarter facility. Please be respectful of your shift supervisors and fellow volunteers when you exit your program area to take phone calls or use the facilities.
Q: Is the Warehouse climate-controlled?
A: Yes, our Warehouse is climate controlled. However, it can get chilly depending on the temperature outdoors, so please come prepared with a sweater or jacket in winter months.
Kitchen shifts may take place in a cooler/freezer area. Volunteers are encouraged to bring their own warm jackets.
Garden and Mobile Pantry shifts take place outdoors, so please come prepared with appropriate attire for the weather.
Q: I’m allergic to certain foods. Will that impact my volunteer duties?
A: If you have food allergies, please communicate that with our staff before your shift date and we can make special arrangements for you, if needed.
Q: Is there a private lactation room at the Food Bank?
A: Yes, the Food Bank features a lactation room for guests and volunteers needing a private place to express milk. The room features a dedicated refrigerator, sink with soap and paper towels, cleaning supplies, a comfortable chair and foot rest. Please see a Volunteer Engagement staff member for access to the room.
Q: I need proof or verification of my hours at the end of my shift. Will I receive a verification letter?
A: The Volunteer Engagement department does not provide letters/letterhead/forms to verify service time. If you need something signed, you must bring your own form or paperwork, which we will be happy to sign at the end of your shift. Additionally, you can access an official report on your hours through your VolunteerHub account. In the drop-down menu of your account, select “view hours”. On that page select the orange “view hour history button”, select the date range you’d like to see and select “update” to see a printable report of your hours. If you are seeking proof of your hours for court-mandated community service restitution, please see our guidelines for community service here.
Q: Can my group bring lunch? Is there a room my group can use for lunch purposes? If so, how much does it cost to reserve?
A: Onsite meals are permitted as availability allows with prior arrangement. We have a spacious Community Room that can be reserved for a nominal fee. Please email our staff in advance of your shift to check availability and secure your reservation
Q: Can my group schedule a tour before/after the volunteer shift?
A: Absolutely! Please schedule a tour by contacting one of our staff, prior to your shift date
Q: Can we take photos while volunteering?
A: Photos are encouraged during service shifts, while being respectful of your shift leader and fellow volunteers. We encourage volunteers to share photos online. Please tag us!
Q: Are we allowed to wear company shirts?
A: Absolutely! We encourage volunteers to show their team spirit.