RSVP in advance so I can let them know how many people we are going to have in our group. We can all meetup after somewhere for a beer or two.
The Greater Chicago Food Depository regularly needs volunteers to help with repacking donated food and other products. Together, we can properly and efficiently distribute quality food to participating food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters in Cook County.
Please read the following information carefully before scheduling your group. Volunteers must be able to stand for up to 90 minutes while doing some light lifting and bending. Anyone volunteering to complete court-ordered community service must fill out this application and return it to the Volunteer Services department before setting up a volunteer session. This document may be mailed, faxed or returned electronically. Email: [masked]
What do you mean by 'repack'?
Repack sessions are the most common volunteer opportunity at the Food Depository. These are held in three hour time slots. The majority of the food that the Food Depository receives needs something to be done with it: repacking bulk product to individual/family size, assembling boxes with assorted food, checking expiration dates, labeling product, gleaning products, etc. While projects are determined based on warehouse needs, all repack sessions are spent in the warehouse.
What should I wear?
Volunteers must wear long pants and closed-toed shoes to work in the warehouse. Jeans and sneakers are best. No volunteers may work in shorts, skirts, tank tops, or open-toed shoes.
Do I have to schedule in advance or can I just show up to volunteer?
All volunteering must be scheduled in advance. The schedule is available four months at a time.
Do we need to bring anything to our volunteer session?
In addition to a positive attitude(!), we ask that each volunteer bring at least one nonperishable food item. Priority items include: cereal (cold and hot), canned vegetables, soup, stew, tuna, canned fruit, rice, beans, pasta, pasta sauce, shelf-stable milk, peanut butter, jelly, macaroni and cheese.
Is there a place to lock up my personal belongings?
While the Food Depository encourages volunteers not to bring any personal belongings with them, there are a limited number of lockers available.
Do we have to attend a training session prior to volunteering?
Volunteers for repack sessions will receive a brief orientation introducing new volunteers to the Food Depository and detailed description and instructions of the project prior to your session. Some volunteer positions do require training.
Will we be required to lift heavy objects?
Repack volunteers are not required to do heavy lifting, but should be prepared to stand for 90 minutes at a time with some light lifting and bending, depending on the project. Some volunteer positions including produce delivery and loading vehicles do require heavy lifting.
Are there volunteer opportunities on Sunday?
The Food Depository is closed on Sunday. Please contact a member agencyfor possible Sunday opportunities.
Is there parking available?
Yes, there is non-metered, non-permit street parking surrounding the building.
How do I sign up to complete court-ordered community service?
Anyone volunteering to complete court-ordered community service must be approved by our Human Resources department prior to scheduling. Please fill out an application (PDF) and return it to the Volunteer Services department along with any court-issued paperwork stating the nature of the offense. These documents may be mailed, faxed, returned electronically, or in person during normal business hours (contact information is below). Once all paperwork has been submitted, you will be notified in one to two weeks of your application status. If your application is approved, you will be free to schedule your service. Please do not schedule any service until you have been contacted.