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Volunteer FAQ

The following will provide you with general information about volunteering at the Food Bank. Depending on your specific volunteer activity, you will be given further direction upon arrival.

 

How to create a volunteer account and sign up for a volunteer shift

Where can I find current volunteer opportunities and sign up for a shift?
With a variety of ways to volunteer, your unique skills can help us fight hunger! Take a look at some of the ways we need your help then browse the Volunteer Opportunity Calendar for volunteer opportunities to fit your schedule.

From the calendar, you can register and sign up for a shift. Use the “Sign up with a team” function to sign up with a group, your family, or young children (See Section: How to sign up with a team).

How can I join a volunteer shift?
In order to sign up for a volunteer shift, all volunteers are required to register and create a volunteer account here: https://volunteer.foodbankccs.org/volunteer-sign-up. Once you have created a volunteer account, you can sign up for available shifts here: https://volunteer.foodbankccs.org/calendar.

Volunteers age 16 and older may sign up directly for any volunteer shift. Youth between the ages of 11 and 15 are welcome to volunteer when accompanied by an adult leader. If you are signing up with young children or a group, please use the “Sign up with a team” feature (See Section: How to sign up with a team).

How old do I have to be to have a volunteer account?
You must be 16 years old to have an account. Children between the ages of 11 and 15 can volunteer, but only as part of a team created by an adult. (See Section: How to Sign up with a Team.)

Can I just show up?
As part of our safety policy, in order to participate in a volunteer shift, all Food Bank volunteers are required to create a volunteer account and then to sign up for available opportunities. Walk-ins are not allowed and will be asked to leave. You can register here.

I see a shift open for tomorrow, but I can’t register. Why is that?
There is a registration cut-off to help us to prepare for your arrival and ensure the safety of all volunteers. Fairfield: 1 hour, Concord: 1 hour, distributions: 24 hours.

What can I do with my Volunteer Account?
You can do the following with your volunteer account:

  • Register for a shift
  • Create a team
  • Check your volunteer shifts
  • Print out a copy of hours already served
  • Remove yourself from a shift
  • Update your password and contact information

I forgot my Volunteer Portal Account password. What do I do?
To request a new password click here.

How do I contact Volunteer Services?
If you have questions about volunteering, please contact the Volunteer Help Desk at volunteerhelpdesk@foodbankccs.org Monday – Friday during our regular business hours. The Help Desk is closed on weekends and holidays.

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How to sign up with children or a youth group

Can children volunteer?
Children ages 5 to 15 are welcome to volunteer, within the below parameters that adhere to our safety policies:

  • Children under age 16 are not allowed to register for a shift or to volunteer without an adult. Parents and guardians are required to register themselves and use the “Sign up with a team” function to add the child(ren) as their “teammate” (See Section: How to sign up with a team).
  • Children between the ages of 11 and 15 are welcome to volunteer with an adult.
  • Children between the ages of 5 and 10 can ONLY volunteer at our Family Food Sorts.
  • Children under age 5 are not allowed to volunteer at the Food Bank.

What is a Family Food Sort?
Families with children as young as 5 can participate in our Family Food Sorts and special events such as Earth Day and Girl Scout Day. This is the only opportunity available for children between the ages of 5 and 10. Family Food Sort shifts are limited to 30 people. Scheduling is first-come, first served. To learn more and sign up for a Family Food Sort at our Concord or Fairfield warehouses click here.

What are the requirements for youth groups?
All youth groups (school clubs, church groups, etc.) must be scheduled by an adult group contact who will be actively volunteering with the group. The adult group contact must not be a fellow student, but is required to be a parent, teacher, or other staff person from the group’s organization. The minimum age is 11. High school groups are required to have an adult group contact.

How many adults are required to volunteer with children ages 11-15?
One adult volunteer per eight children is required. All adult chaperones are counted in the total for your volunteer group and are expected to volunteer.

When are new opportunities posted?
New opportunities including Family Food Sorts and special events are posted for the upcoming quarter, approximately one month before the start of each new quarter in a calendar year. For example, Quarter 2 opportunities for April-June are posted by March 1.

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How to sign up with a team, group, young children, or more than one person

How many people can volunteer at one time?
At our warehouses:

  • Our Concord warehouse can accommodate groups of 15 people per shift.
  • Our Fairfield warehouse can accommodate groups of 20 people per shift.
  • Family Food Sorts at both locations can accommodate groups of 35 people in Fairfield and 45 people in Concord per shift.

At our distributions:

  • Please refer to the Volunteer Opportunity Calendar and current opportunity to see the number of volunteers we need.
  • If a shift is full, the opportunity will not show up on our calendar. Due to safety, we do not allow walk-ins and we cannot overbook a shift beyond capacity.

For questions, please email the Volunteer Help Desk at volunteerhelpdesk@foodbankccs.org.

How do I sign up with a team? 
Use the “Sign up with a team” function to sign up with a group of two or more people or to sign up with children who are between the ages of 11 to 15 for our warehouse sorting and distribution shifts.

Team function is not available for Family Food Sorts, which have a different sign-up process.

Please pay attention to the “Spots Remaining” as we are not able to exceed the limit and cannot overbook a shift beyond capacity.

If you have already signed up as an individual, log into your volunteer account, remove yourself from the shift and then sign up again using the team function.

We do not permit any walk-ins and all volunteers, including minors, are required to be scheduled.

STEP 1: When you sign up for a volunteer opportunity, select “Sign up with a team.”

STEP 2: After you select “Sign up with a team” you will be given the option to create a new team or to use a team you have already created.

How can I schedule my corporate group?
To schedule your corporate group, contact the Volunteer Help Desk at volunteerhelpdesk@foodbankccs.org.

How far in advance should volunteer groups make a special request?
Please plan ahead. The farther in advance you request a volunteer date, the more likely there will be availability. Special group requests need to be made at least six weeks in advance.

Volunteer opportunities are not guaranteed and are subject to change and availability.

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How to sign up for community service for school or court-ordered hours

What if I am a student who wishes to fulfill community service requirements for school?
The Food Bank welcomes students who wish to fulfill community service requirements by volunteering with us. Please visit our School Community Service page to learn how to register and sign up for a volunteer shift. No walk-ins are allowed.

How can I apply for court-ordered community service?
The Food Bank has a limited number of volunteer opportunities for those seeking to fill court-ordered community service. Court-ordered community service volunteers are approved on a case-by-case basis as openings permit. All applicants are required to fill out and submit a required form. No walk-ins are allowed. Please visit our Court-Ordered Community Service page to learn more.

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General information for when you arrive

What can I be expected to do if I volunteer at the Food Bank?
At our warehouses, volunteers help us by inspecting, sorting, and packing donated products, and by bagging and boxing produce for distribution in low-income neighborhoods. At our distribution sites, volunteers help us by bagging and giving out food. At our office, volunteers help us by answering phones, greeting visitors, performing administrative tasks, and preparing for events. Volunteer opportunities are available throughout Contra Costa and Solano counties. Search for available volunteer opportunities on our Volunteer Opportunity Calendar.

Is there a dress code to volunteer?

Closed-toe shoes required. No inappropriate shorts or clothing. Please wear comfortable clothing. Layers are encouraged. At distribution sites, dress for the weather.

Can I bring in food and water?
Due to safety regulations, no food or drink is allowed in the sorting room or warehouse.

Does the Food Bank have a Volunteer Waiver?
When you register and sign up for a volunteer shift, you are agreeing to the policies outlined in our Volunteer Waiver for yourself and any guests you are bringing. A copy of the Volunteer Waiver is also located by the check-in kiosks.

What is the Food Bank’s address? Where can I park?

  • The location of your shift is linked in the email reminder that you receive.
  • Walk-ins are not permitted and will be turned away.
  • Parking is limited at our Concord and Fairfield warehouses. Carpooling encouraged.

Concord warehouse: We are located at 4010 Nelson Avenue, Concord (94520). Follow the signs to the Volunteer Entrance, located at the back of the building where the Food Bank trucks are parked. Look for the Volunteer Entrance sign on the far right-hand side of the building. Enter there to get to the Volunteer Sorting Room where you will check in at one of our electronic kiosks using your email address.

Concord office: We are located at 4010 Nelson Avenue, Concord (94520). Come to our main business entrance. If our front office is locked, you can enter at our volunteer/warehouse entrance. Follow the signs to the Volunteer Entrance, located at the back of the building where the Food Bank trucks are parked. Look for the Volunteer Entrance sign on the far right-hand side of the building.

Fairfield warehouse and office: We are located at 2339 Courage Drive, Fairfield (94533). Parking and Volunteer Entrance are located at the back of the building. Upon entering the warehouse, follow the yellow path on the floor and posted signs to the check-in area where you will check in at one of our electronic kiosks using your email address.

At a distribution site: Our distributions are located throughout Contra Costa and Solano counties. Please reference your email reminder for the address. Do not block the walkway for our clients. If you have questions, ask the Food Bank manager as soon as you arrive at the site.

Where do I go once I arrive at the Food Bank warehouse? Who should I ask for?
When you arrive, please go to the Volunteer Sorting Room to check in for your shift. Wait there for instructions from the sorting room staff.

Why should I want to volunteer with the Food Bank?
Every day thousands of people in our community struggle to meet their basic nutritional needs. Children, adults and seniors are suffering from hunger. The Food Bank is leading the fight against local hunger and you can make a difference right now. Learn more on our main website at foodbankccs.org.

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Connect

4010 Nelson Ave
Concord, CA 94520

Toll free: 1-855-309-FOOD (3663)
volunteerhelpdesk@foodbankccs.org

Food Bank of Contra Costa
and Solano is a non-profit
501(c)(3) organization
Federal Tax ID# 94-2418054