“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much,” Helen Keller.
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 59 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. If you would like to register a group of 20 or more please call us directly at (630) 443-6910. If your group is less than 20, use the links below to register online at the Center of your choosing.
Professionals with expertise in areas such as finance, human resources, information technology, operations and logistics can help the food bank with specialized projects that allow us to grow and improve our ability to feed our hungry neighbors. Interested individuals over the age of 18 are asked to complete the Skills Based Volunteer Interest Form online. Find out more and see available projects here.
Are you a high school student between the ages 16 and 18? We have a great program for you! Our Skills-Based VolunTeen program is designed to give you more leadership skills and opportunities that will allow you give back to your community. In this program you will develop leadership skills by serving as a Volunteer Supervisor in our warehouse, leading volunteer orientations, and working on volunteer projects. You will learn from skilled staff members about public speaking and interview and resume skills, all to help you improve your leadership abilities! This is also a great way to meet other teens in the area. It will begin on Monday, October 12 (Columbus Day) from 1:00 pm -4:00 pm and will continue until our final celebration on December 8th. The first shift will include a brief program overview and an opportunity to volunteer in our warehouse. Interested? Please fill out the VolunTeen Interest Form. If you have any questions, contact Mel Ekins at 630-443-6910 ext. 173.
Listed below are offsite 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 event volunteers assist in planning fundraising events, soliciting sponsorship or auction items, or providing day of logistic support.
Volunteers are trained by the Food Bank’s Communications department and represent the Food Bank at community speaking opportunities.
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.
Volunteers will assist with food recovery at the end of local food industry conventions to help pack the food that exhibitors have donated into boxes and load it into a Food Bank truck.
The Mobile Pantry is a “traveling food pantry” that 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.
On occasion farmers will donate crops to the Food Bank and we need to supply volunteers to harvest the produce so it can be brought to the Food Bank for distribution.