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
Volunteers are needed to assist with distributing food in underserved neighborhoods. Transportation is provided to and from the location. Volunteers will assist with unloading the Mobile Pantry truck and with the distribution of pre-packaged bags of canned goods, fresh produce, frozen foods, and/or bakery items 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 age 18. Please be on time so that we may arrive to the distribution site at the designated time
All individuals working in the warehouse 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 (all the beans in one bin, all the macaroni products to another bin, etc.).
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. (Delivering food with a Mobile Pantry is a separate basic volunteer opportunity, described later in this list. Look for these opportunities listed in the Volunteer Hub.)
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.
There may be another Quality Assurance task on the list of tasks on the day your volunteer, but these are the 5 primary tasks performed by volunteers in Quality Assurance.
You can have a different type of volunteer experience assisting with community and fundraising events, such as Mayflower Marathon or Taste of Hampton Roads or food drives like our participation annually at the Virginia Beach holiday and springtime craft shows, letter carrier food drive, boy and girl scout food drives, and more. 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 once-monthly events 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.” We hope to expand these events to twice-monthly in the near future, as they are very popular and fill months in advance.