We simply could not do what we do without the help of volunteers! 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.
Thanks to our volunteers, Northern Illinois Food Bank serves more than half a million hungry neighbors each year across 13 counties. Last year, volunteers donated 130,000 hours of their time to help distribute 78 million meals to families, seniors, and kids facing hunger in our community. What you do matters!
COVID-19 Update (as of July 2022): Northern Illinois Food Bank continues to accept and rely on volunteers at our Centers and food distributions. The Food Bank will continue to operate as we have been during the pandemic with safety measures in place in terms of hand washing and providing masks to volunteers when requested. At this time masks are optional at indoor and outdoor Food Bank volunteer shifts. We continue to monitor CDC guidelines regularly and will update any internal Food Bank policies as needed. Please find more information on our current guidelines on our Coronavirus (COVID-19) landing page here.
Click on an image below to learn more about our volunteer opportunities.
Yes, we recommend dressing comfortably and in layers depending on the season of year. Additionally, volunteers working in our warehouse must WEAR CLOSED-TOE SHOES on the day of your shift. Individuals wearing open-toed shoes such as sandals, flip flops, soccer slides, Crocs, Keens, slippers etc. will not be allowed to work in the warehouse under any circumstances. Also, high heeled shoes are not appropriate in a warehouse setting. Long shorts or pants and t-shirts or sweatshirts are recommended.
Yes, groups are welcome (and encouraged) to volunteer with us. Our volunteer projects can accommodate groups of various sizes and are perfect team-building opportunities. Groups of 20 or more volunteers are asked to contact the Food Bank directly at 630.443.6910 or firstname.lastname@example.org to register. To ensure we are able to accommodate your group size, we recommend groups contact our volunteer team at least one month in advance of their proposed group outing.
Yes! We welcome children ages 8 and older.
Anyone under 16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult 21 years of age or older. Children ages 8 and older may volunteer with families or in groups with adult chaperones. Chaperone ratios are 1:4 for ages 8-13 and 1:10 for ages 14-17.
Volunteers must arrive on time in order to participate in pre-shift safety and orientation. We cannot accept volunteers later than 30 minutes. If you anticipate being late, please let us know and we will be happy to reschedule you.
Yes. Our projects are designed for specific time periods so we ask that volunteers commit to the entire shift. For that reason, it is also important you arrive on time. If you are going to be later than 30 minutes or something comes up and need to leave early, our Volunteer Coordinators would be happy to assist you in rescheduling your volunteer shift
The majority of our volunteer opportunities are sorting, inspecting and repacking food for our hungry neighbors. These tasks require some level of physical activity– from simply standing on concrete to actual lifting. If you require special accommodations please contact us at 630.443.6910 before registering.
If you have more questions, please read our Full Volunteer FAQ Here.
Don’t see what you’re looking for?
Contact the volunteer team with your questions about volunteering with Northern Illinois Food Bank.