2,000 Volunteers Each Year
We value the time and contribution of our volunteers!
Each year more than 2,000 people choose to volunteer with The Food Bank, making it possible to acquire and distribute 5 million pounds of food to over 80 community food programs in Waterloo Region. We provide ongoing volunteer recognition and demonstrate our appreciation through a variety of events and opportunities.
Volunteers Distribute 5 Million Pounds of Food
By volunteering with The Food Bank, you will:
- participate in a collaborative team environment
- contribute to the support we provide to our community
- build and share your strengths and experiences
- feel inspired — every day
Volunteers Serve Over 80 Community Food Programs
Current volunteer opportunities include:
If you are a new volunteer interested in helping out as an individual, please set up a volunteer profile to help us get to know you. Once you’ve completed your profile, you will receive information about attending an information session and short interview.
Please note that each position with The Food Bank requires volunteers to be able to lift at least 40 lbs.
Weekly Volunteering: Warehouse Opportunities
Our weekly roles are vital in the success of serving our agencies. These roles require a commitment of one shift per week, for at least 6 months.
General Warehouse role: Assist the Operations Team with all areas of food operations, food movement and warehouse maintenance. This is an ideal position for a student or volunteer wishing to learn warehouse procedures.
Perishable Support: Help The Food Bank of Waterloo Region ensure perishable product is distributed in a timely manner by sorting perishable product. This position is to sort perishable product and maintain the cooler inventory in preparation for agency order selection.
Customer Service role: Provide support to the growth and service excellence objectives of The Food Bank of Waterloo Region. The Customer Service Team provides service to any public entering warehouse including agency members; donors, Food Drive Coordinators and other volunteers. The Customer Service Team also maintains cooler inventory and helps prepare perishable orders for agency delivery.
Driver & Driver Assistant: Join a volunteer driver with food pickups from local grocery stores, businesses and organizations who are participating in the food drive. Assist the Operations Team with delivery of food drive supplies or agency orders, food donation pick-ups during the Fall, Spring and Holiday food drives as well as other various transportation needs.
Brand Ambassadors are the face of The Food Bank to the public during events, campaigns and other speaking engagements.
The Food Bank of Waterloo Region is privileged to be a part of such a great community and we need Brand Ambassadors who are willing to engage with the public, helping them understand the importance and value of their food and fund donations.
This is a great opportunity for someone with excellent interpersonal skills who would like to learn more about The Food Bank and its operations, while utilizing their customer service, interpersonal and sales skills.
Events throughout the year include grocery store outreach (food drive bag hand-out), Ribfest, Oktoberfest events, family events such as Aviation Fun Day, and our own Waffles in the Warehouse.
Our events take place on weekends and the occasional weeknight.
Food Sorting Support
We have two roles that support our community and corporate groups who come in to sort food.
Sorting Associates provide quality control of food donations being sorted by community volunteer groups which will be distributed to member agencies; they engage groups by sharing their own experience and answering any questions that the groups may have about the food sorting process. It is a great opportunity to work with various volunteer groups from schools, churches, services clubs and corporate teams.
Food Support volunteers provide support to the Sorting Associates and group sorting process. This is a warehouse position that involves moving inspected and labeled boxes into inventory and properly stacking them on skids. It is an ideal position for an individual who wishes to learn the procedures of our operations and food sorting process.
These roles generally take place on Tuesday afternoons and Thursday evenings.
Social Media, Community Research, and Promotion
These roles are a great option if you’re looking to help on your own time with flexible hours.
Social Media: Join our social media team to share our events and posts through many different channels.
The Community Calendar Research Assistant will use the internet to seek out local, free, online community events calendars in Waterloo Region where The Food Bank can post upcoming event promotional information. These calendars include, but are not limited to websites run by the media and community groups.
Poster Hanging: Hanging posters around our community helps to spread the word and create some buzz in support of our Food & Fund Drives.
Speaker’s Bureau and Youth Engagement: Coming soon
Office and Administrative Support
This volunteer role is a great way to see the inner workings of The Food Bank of Waterloo Region and get to know the staff. This key volunteer role supports critical functions such as phone call support and event tasks. This role requires a weekly commitment of 1:30pm-4:30pm.
How Do I Become a Volunteer with The Food Bank of Waterloo Region?
Please take a look at the Volunteer Role Descriptions and complete a volunteer profile noting your availability and interests. You will receive a follow-up about upcoming information sessions and details on scheduling a short interview. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our Manager of Volunteer Resources or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
When Can I Volunteer?
Shifts vary based on each volunteer role.
Brand Ambassador: As needed for events, which usually occur on weekends or evenings.
Food Sorting Support: Food sorting community and corporate groups come in twice a week and are assisted by our volunteers. Shifts are usually Tuesdays from 1-3pm and Thursdays from 6-8pm. These are flexible and volunteers can commit when they are able, and are not required to come in for regularly scheduled shifts.
For our regular warehouse roles such as Customer Service and Perishable Food Sorting, Volunteers are scheduled for 4 hours shifts once per week between the hours of 8:30am and 4:30pm.
What Types of Volunteer Opportunities Are Available?
Our regular volunteer opportunities include:
- Brand Ambassadors (special events, grocery store bag handout)
- Warehouse help (customer service, order picking, perishable food sorting)
- Food sorting support
- Delivery drivers and driver assistants
- Office and administration support
- Social media, community research, and promotion
- Speaker’s Bureau and Youth Engagement
A description of these roles can be found here.
What Should I Wear to Volunteer?
Comfortable clothing and footwear is always encouraged. When volunteering in our warehouse, closed toed/heeled shoes are required.
When volunteering at special events, recommended dress, such as our Food Bank aprons and name tag, will be indicated.
How Old Do I Need To Be To Volunteer for The Food Bank?
Volunteers must be 14 years of age or older to work in the warehouse.
During special sorting events we make an exception providing parents follow and adhere to our Parental Supervision Agreement, which states: children 6 years of age and up are permitted under the direct supervision of a parent or guardian.
Do You Take Student Volunteers?
We are pleased to assist students in the completion of the 40 hours of community volunteer hours. Please complete a volunteer profile to learn more.
Do I Require a Police Records Check?
We require police record checks for our driving volunteer roles, as well as positions working with youth. The Food Bank of Waterloo Region reimburses this expense.
Will I Be Photographed During My Volunteer Activity?
With frequent media events taking place on-site at The Food Bank, photos and/or video footage may be taken throughout the duration of your volunteer activity and released through various media outlets. You will be asked to sign an optional waiver as part of your volunteer application and confidentiality agreement.
Can I Just Drop In to Volunteer?
Individual volunteers and groups are required to book in advance of volunteering with The Food Bank.
What is the Time Commitment?
For our food sorting support and Brand Ambassador roles, there is no minimum time commitment to participate. For our warehouse roles, we rely on the weekly commitment of our regular volunteers to serve the community to the best of our ability.
Can I Do Court Appointed Community Service Hours at The Food Bank of Waterloo Region?
The Food Bank of Waterloo Region works with the John Howard Society for court appointed hours. Please reach out to them for more information.