Volunteer FAQs

What do volunteers do at The Greater Boston Food Bank?
A: We are currently focusing on critical, high need projects like our Family Meal Boxes. Volunteers will help pack these boxes and assist with food sorting projects like fresh bread, produce, and retail meat.

Can I come as an individual?
A: Absolutely! We welcome individual volunteers. All volunteers must register online at least 24 hours in advance of your desired shift. We are not able to accommodate walk-in volunteers. Please click here for our online application.

What is the maximum group size?
A: At this time we are limiting volunteer shifts to 15 individuals.

What safety protocols are currently in place?
A: Face masks are optional inside GBFB facilities and on the property, and social distancing still needs to be observed. GBFB will continue to monitor the situation and adjust policies and practices accordingly. Other protocols in place include:

  • Handwashing is required before and after the volunteer shift. Hand sanitizer is available onsite.
  • We will provide volunteers with disposable gloves to wear during their shift.
  • We’ve rearranged our project set up to allow for 6 ft. physical distancing.
Can I complete my required community service at GBFB?
A: We accept a limited number of volunteers completing community service hours. Please apply on our Individual Volunteer page. Due to limited capacity within our volunteer program, we are unable to accept court-mandated volunteers.

What should I wear to volunteer?
A: All volunteers are required to wear closed-toed shoes.  We recommend wearing comfortable clothing you do not mind getting dirty. The warehouse tends to be chilly in the winter and hot in the summer, so layered clothing is suggested. If working at the conveyor belt, loose-hanging items (long necklaces, scarves, etc.) should be avoided and long hair pulled back.

Is there an age restriction?
A: Volunteers must be 16 years of age or older. Anyone under age 18 must be accompanied by a chaperone.

Can GBFB accommodate volunteers with special needs?
A: Due to safety regulations we must evaluate all situations individually, but we are happy to discuss special accommodations. To discuss your needs, please contact the Community Engagement Department at

Is there a minimum time requirement to volunteer?
A: Volunteer shifts are 3-3.5 hours in duration. A long-term commitment is not required.

Volunteer shift schedule:

Shipping Dock Volunteers: Monday – Friday | 8:30 am – 12:00 pm

Food Sorting Volunteers: Monday – Saturday | 9 am -12 pm and 1 pm – 4 pm

Can I volunteer on a regular basis?
A: Yes! Individuals are welcome to volunteer on a regular basis but must schedule their visits with the Community Engagement Department in advance. You can contact us by email or through our Individual Volunteer form.

How can I view my upcoming shifts?
A: If you’re having troubling using our new volunteer portal, check out our how-to videos.

Does GBFB have a parking lot?
A: Parking is available for staff, visitors, and volunteers in GBFB’s lot. The entrance is on South Bay Ave., located diagonally across the street from our building. The gate will automatically lift when entering. Tokens are available at our Reception desk to exit.

Are there other locations where I can volunteer?
A: Many of our partner hunger-relief agencies may also need volunteers at this time. Please use our Agency Locator to find the partner in your community and contact them directly for available opportunities.

Boston Cares is partnering with The Greater Boston Food Bank to provide centralized volunteer recruitment and coordination to meet the emerging needs of our network of partner hunger-relief agencies, including food pantries, community meal programs and other food assistance providers throughout the nine counties and 190 towns and cities across Eastern Massachusetts.  To sign up, go to


Volunteer Questions

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