Serve our hungry neighbors directly by volunteering at one of our programs below.
In order to better serve our neighbors in the Rockford area, the Food Bank started a pop-up food pantry at our Northwest Center in 2017. The program grew as word spread, and in 2019, we opened a permanent space configured like a small grocery store. We also expanded from one to four distributions every week, now serving an average of 1,200 families a week.
Each Market distribution needs approximately 25 volunteers to offer our neighbors the best possible experience. Volunteers help greet and register shoppers, are stationed throughout the Market to facilitate the shopping experience, and also help manage parking and cart collection. We also have several Market stocking shifts throughout the week to help replenish our shelves and coolers. Some roles require lifting up to 30 pounds and we are always looking for volunteers who are comfortable with computers to help with registration.
We recommend ages 10+ for stocking shifts, and ages 12+ for distributions. We also ask that an adult accompany volunteers ages 16 and younger.
Groups and individuals may register online through our volunteer calendar, email a Volunteer Coordinator, or call us at 630-443-6910.
Groups of 10 or more volunteers must call to register.
COVID-19 Update: Due to the current CDC recommendations, we are operating all Market distributions as a drive-through distribution. Volunteers will help load bags and boxes into neighbors’ cars outside. Read more about our current COVID-19 volunteer protocol.
Visiting a food pantry is not always an option- whether due to schedules, transportation, or other reasons. You can help us ease the burden by supporting our pilot program My Pantry Express – an online source for groceries when in need.
For more detailed information about our innovative program and the volunteer experience, watch the Volunteer Training Video (~15 mins). Please note that volunteers are required to be outside for all or most of the duration of the shift times listed.
Each pick-up site needs 5-10 volunteers that will greet neighbors, collect their order from truck and load into their car. A long-term commitment is not required – you can sign up for one shift, multiple shifts, or every week!
Current grocery distribution volunteer shifts:
COVID-19 Update: Due to the current CDC recommendations, we are operating My Pantry Express with pre-boxed orders and drive-through distributions. Volunteers will help load bags and boxes into neighbors cars outside. Read more about our current COVID-19 volunteer protocol.
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. Please note that volunteers are required to be outside for all or most of the duration of the shift times listed.
Pop-Up Markets are similar to a mobile pantry distribution but can serve 1,000 to 2,000 families. The Food Bank launched this distribution model to offer an additional distribution point in high need communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently we host 2-4 pop-ups weekly throughout our service area.
View our online calendar to sign up to volunteer for specific dates and locations. Choose “Mobile Pantry” in the dropdown menu next to Opportunity Type to see available distributions in which volunteers are needed. For Pop-Up Markets, look for the red “Pop-Up Markets” shifts which will specify each location.
COVID-19 Update: Due to the current CDC recommendations, we are operating Mobile Pantries and Pop-Up Markets as drive-through distributions. Volunteers will help load bags and boxes into neighbors cars outside. Read more about our current COVID-19 volunteer protocol.
Contact a Volunteer Coordinator to learn more – email or call 630-443-6910.
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