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Volunteering FAQs

Learn more about volunteering with The Greater Boston Food Bank, and how you can play your critical role in ending hunger in our community.
What do volunteers do at The Greater Boston Food Bank?
A: All volunteers participate in an orientation at the beginning of their shift. They will learn what we do, who we serve, and receive food and warehouse safety training. Volunteers then work together as a team to complete their project(s). Tasks may include inspecting fresh produce, fresh bread, sorting nonperishable grocery items or packaging boxes of food for seniors.
While a few of these tasks require the ability to lift a 30-pound box, most tasks only require that a volunteer stand and inspect products for a few hours. Please email us if a member of your group requires special accommodations prior to the shift.

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. Please click for our online application.

What is the minimum and maximum group size?
A: We can accommodate groups between 5 and 50 people. Any groups of 4 or fewer are asked to register as individual volunteers.

How early do I need to book my group?
A: We highly recommend scheduling at least two months in advance of your desired date. We can book up to a year in advance, so please feel free to contact us early by completing a volunteer application form or emailing us at volunteer@gbfb.org.

Can I complete my required community service at GBFB?
A: We accept a limited amount 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. All volunteers under 18 require an adult chaperone. For groups with children as young as 10, we have a Kids Who Care volunteer opportunity.

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 volunteer@gbfb.org.

Is there a minimum time requirement to volunteer?
A: Each volunteer shift is 2.5 hours in duration for groups and 3 hours for individuals. There is no long-term commitment required. If your group is unable to commit to the entire shift time, please confirm with us in advance.

Our GROUP volunteer shifts:
Monday-Saturday @ 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM and 1:00 – 3:30 PM
Wednesday evenings @ 5:30 – 8:00 PM
June through August: Saturday shifts are only @ 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM. No afternoon shift.
July through August: No Wednesday evening shift

Our INDIVIDUAL volunteer shifts:
Monday-Saturday @ 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM and 1:00 – 4:00 PM
Wednesday evenings @ 5:30 – 8:00 PM
June through August: Saturday shifts are only @ 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM. No afternoon shift.
July through August: No Wednesday evening shift

Can I volunteer on a regular basis?
A: Yes! Individuals and groups 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, through our Group Volunteer form or Individual Volunteer form.
Does GBFB have a parking lot?
A: We have a small parking lot for staff and visitors available during regular business hours (8:00am-4:30pm). Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee parking as space is extremely limited. We strongly encourage using public transportation, ride-share services, and carpooling. We are located approximately one mile from Andrew Station on the Red Line.  It is not uncommon for volunteers to use ride-share services from Andrew or South Station. Large groups (20+ volunteers) may want to consider arranging a charter bus.

Are there other locations where I can volunteer?
A: The Greater Boston Food Bank currently manages volunteer opportunities at our warehouse (70 South Bay Avenue) and at Mobile Market sites.  If you are interested in volunteering at one of our partner agencies in your city or town, we suggest using our food assistance locator.  You can contact them directly with questions about volunteering at their location. Every agency operates independently of GBFB and has its own policies and volunteer requirements.

 

Volunteer QuestionsHOW DO I BECOME A GBFB VOLUNTEER?

Learn how to become a GBFB volunteer, and find the right volunteer application for you or your group on the following pages:

  • For corporate/community/college groups, click here
  • For elementary or high school groups, click here
  • For individuals, click here

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