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Volunteer at the food bank to repack food for Chicagoland's hungry!

Space is limited. Please RSVP on the master list at


According to a September Chicago Tribune article, "Chicago saw another 15,000 enter poverty last year, bringing the city's total to 261,400." Stop and think about that huge number. Hunger often accompanies poverty. Instead of shopping all day on the day after Christmas, why not volunteer as a group for just 3 hours? The Greater Chicago Food Depository is an impressive operation that provides food for nearly 678,000 hungry people (not just Chicago) each year but needs the help of volunteers.

Catch the jolly holiday spirit and let's volunteer as a group!

(Please! The food bank takes reservation counts seriously, because they plan each day's work based on that number. Don't rsvp and not show up.)

FAQs about Greater Chicago Food Depository

FAQs about volunteering

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 close-toed shoes. You will not be permitted to work in the warehouse if you are wearing sandals or shorts/ short skirt. Depending on the project you are assigned to, you may be asked to remove jewelry above the waist (including piercings, but rings are acceptable).

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.

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.

Is there parking available?
Yes, there is non-metered, non-permit street parking surrounding the building.

Bulk pasta shoveling... now doesn't that look like fun?

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