Volunteer Opportunities

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

Want to see what volunteering at the Food Bank is all about? Hear it straight from our volunteers!


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 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.

Register Now!

West Suburban Center

273 Dearborn Ct
Geneva, IL 60134
Volunteer Shifts
Mon – Thur: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM & 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Tues: 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Thur: 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Sat: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Northwest Center

765 Research Parkway
Rockford, IL 61109

Volunteer Shifts
Tues and Thur: 9:00 AM – 11:30 AM and 1:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Sat: 9:00 AM – 11:30 AM

North Suburban Center

440 Keller Drive
Park City, IL 60085
north-suburb-centerVolunteer Shifts
Tues: 1:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Thur: 9:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Wed: 1:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Wed: 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Sat: 9:00 AM – 11:30 AM


Skills Based Volunteer Opportunities

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.

VolunTeen Program

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. Interested? Please fill out the VolunTeen Interest Form. If you have any questions, contact Mel Ekins at 630-443-6910 ext. 173.

Special Opportunity – Full on Faith

Northern Illinois Food Bank is excited to announce Full on Faith, a week long initiative dedicated to helping faith-based organizations serve in mission with their community by volunteering, hosting food and fund drives, discussing hunger and helping the Food Bank meet the Meal Gap in the local community.

We are inviting congregations and schools of all faiths to participate February 22-27 to help us spread awareness, educate each other on the need and ways to get involved and help us pack 150,000 meals!

Offsite Opportunities


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 Events 

Special event volunteers assist in planning fundraising events, soliciting sponsorship or auction items, or providing day of logistic support.

Speakers 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.

Food Shows

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.

Mobile Pantry

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.

Produce Harvesting

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.