Basic volunteer assignments are one-time shifts that require little or no advance preparation, but do require advance registration.
Most groups and individuals coming to the Foodbank to volunteer are in this category.
Mobile Pantry Program
Mobile pantry volunteers help distribute food in underserved neighborhoods by assisting with unloading the mobile pantry truck and distributing pre-packaged bags of food. This task is done under the supervision of a staff person or a trained Volunteer Team Leader. Volunteers must be minimum 16 years of age for this activity and must be accompanied by adult guardians in a ratio of 1 adult for every 4 youth under 18.
Quality Assurance volunteers work in the warehouse and must be age 12 or older. Youth ages 12 to 15 must be accompanied by adult guardians in a ratio of 1 adult for every 4 youth. Young adults aged 16 and older should have an adult with them if in a group of 5 or more. Groups and individuals assigned to Quality Assurance will work on one or more of these tasks, depending on current need:
- Sort non-perishable food items. This includes checking food safety of items that have been donated through a food drive, from a grocer, or through a food distributor. Volunteers will be checking for secure packages, food quality dates, and sorting with like items.
- Pack non-perishable food for our Mobile Pantry Program or for emergency food relief. This is an assembly-line process where we pack bags or boxes of food for use in one of our distribution streams; most often distributed through our Mobile Pantry Program, but sometimes used as emergency food distribution.
- Prepare youth-friendly food bags for our Backpack Program. In this program we pack bags of kid-friendly food that is distributed every other week to elementary school children so they have access to nutritious food over the weekend. Again an assembly-line process for volunteers, each bag is packed, label, sealed and placed in large plastic bins that will be delivered to one of 42 area schools enrolled in this program.
- Repack bulk food. This crew of volunteers will be repacking perishable food (frozen peas, fresh potatoes, bags of onions, for example) from large packages (could be 1,500 pound bins or just 50 pound bags) into more family- and individual-sized packages.
- Sanitation & cleanliness. It is necessary to maintain a clean and sometimes sterile environment to ensure food safety and quality. Quality Assurance volunteers may be asked to sweep, dust, mop or perform other light cleaning task as needed to ensure food warehouse standards.
We often need volunteers to assist with fundraising events such as Mayflower Marathon or large annual food drives. There are also special and community events opportunities for Regular volunteers and Leadership volunteers, in addition to the Basic volunteer assignments. Volunteer age minimums may be established for any special or community event activity. Adult guardian supervision will also be required for youth volunteers.
Youth and Family Nights
These events occur every Wednesday from 5:30-7:30pm and are reserved for families with children ages 6 to 11. All children at a Youth and Family Night must be accompanied by an adult. The Foodbank does not have any volunteer opportunities for children younger than 6 years old. Special activities, sorting or packing food, videos, and a warehouse tour are all part of an introduction to the Foodbank. This is a great opportunity to teach children the importance of giving back to their communities. We ask that you allow each child to bring a can of food to donate during our “Follow the Can Tour.”