Volunteer Opportunities

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much,” Helen Keller.

Volunteers are vital to Northern Illinois Food Bank’s mission. Whether you are interested in helping sort and pack food at one of our centers, offering administrative or professional support, or assisting with special events, your help in feeding our hungry neighbors is greatly appreciated!

Food Sorting and Packing

Much of the donated food Northern Illinois Food Bank distributes needs to be inspected, sorted and packaged before it’s distributed to our hungry neighbors. We simply could not do this without the help of volunteers. Last year, volunteers donated more than 123,000 hours of their time, the equivalent of 60 full-time employees.

Whether you can volunteer once a week, once a month or once a year; individually or with a group of friends, family or colleagues, whatever your commitment, every hour of assistance helps us ensure our hungry neighbors will have access to food in their time of need.

Individuals, families, corporate and social groups are welcome! Children ages 8 and older can volunteer with families or in groups with adult chaperones.

West Suburban Center

273 Dearborn Ct
Geneva IL, 60134
Volunteer Shifts
Mon – Thur: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Tues: 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Thur: 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Sat: 9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
2nd Sat: 1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Register Now!
North Suburban Center
(Park City)
440 Keller Drive
Park City, IL 60085
Volunteer Shifts
Tues: 1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Thur: 9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Wed: 1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Wed: 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Sat: 9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Register now!
Northwest Center

765 Research Parkway
Rockford, IL 61109

Volunteer Shifts
Tues and Thur: 9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Sat: 9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Register Now!

Additional Volunteer Opportunities

For more information on any of the below opportunities or to sign up, please contact volunteer@northernilfoodbank.org or 630.443.6910.


Volunteers are needed to help with mailings, filing, sorting, data entry, special projects and other administrative duties. Front desk volunteers greet food bank guests, answer and direct phone calls, and assist with administrative projects. The time commitment and duration varies by project. Some projects are one time projects and others require a volunteer able to help on a regular basis.

Professional Services Volunteers

Professionals with expertise in areas such as fundraising, finance, accounting, human resources, information technology, operations and logistics help the food bank with specialized projects that allow us to grow and improve our ability to feed our hungry neighbors. Interested individuals are asked to complete the Professional Service Volunteer Application.

Engagement Volunteers

Would you like to help Northern Illinois Food Bank feed more hungry neighbors while also gaining experience at a large non-profit? The Food Bank is looking for energetic Engagement Volunteers to help conduct orientations, lead volunteer groups, and help provide a fun and meaningful experience Food Bank volunteers. Engagement Volunteers would gain skills in any or all of the following areas: public speaking, management, customer service, warehouse and networking. Individuals must be 16 years of age or older to apply.

Interested candidates should complete the Engagement Volunteer Application

Special Opportunities

Listed below are Special Volunteer opportunities that become available periodically and are not ongoing. If interested please create or update your online volunteer profile  to indicate you are interested in these areas. When an opportunity in your interest area becomes available, you will receive an email.

Special Events

Throughout the year the Food Bank hosts events to fundraise as well as spread awareness about our mission and programs. In addition, many organizations and groups in the community will host events on our behalf. Special events volunteers assist in planning events and providing day-of event support.

Speakers Bureau

If you are interested in public speaking and have a passion for the work the food bank is doing to solve hunger in our community, you may be interested in joining our Speaker’s Bureau. Volunteers are trained by the Food Bank’s Communications department and represent the Food Bank at community speaking opportunities.

Poverty Simulation

A poverty simulation is designed to help participants understand the realities faced by our hungry neighbors. In the simulation, participants assume the roles of different families facing poverty and experience the difficult daily choices being made. The exercise utilizes volunteers who staff various resource tables and play different roles throughout the simulation to provide a realistic environment. Examples of these roles would be: a police officer, utility collector, mortgage/rent collector, social service caseworkers, and employer. The full experience lasts three hours and includes an introduction, the simulation exercise, and a debriefing period.

Food Shows

Volunteers will assist with food recovery at the end of local food industry conventions. Once these conventions close, we gather volunteers to help pack the food that exhibitors have donated into boxes and load it into a Food Bank truck.

Mobile Pantry

The Mobile Pantry is a “traveling food pantry” that delivers nutritious food directly to people in need. Scheduled with the Food Bank’s partner feeding programs or local community groups, this specially designed Food Bank truck delivers meat, produce, non-perishable food and other products to communities where the need for food surpasses the capacity of existing food pantry resources. Volunteers at the Mobile Pantry assist in distributing food to our hungry neighbors.