Volunteer FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

General inquiries

Please visit our individuals and families page or groups’ page to learn about opportunities and to sign up.

If you’ve volunteered before, just login here.

All volunteers need to sign up in advance. We plan projects and assign staff based on the number of volunteers we’ve scheduled.

If you come to a shift and we don’t have you on our roster, you may be turned away.

Check here to view our volunteer calendar.  Then click on a specific shift for detailed information.

This varies with the type of shift you’ve signed up for and will be included in the job description.

Food repack shifts:
For safety reasons, you WILL BE TURNED AWAY for improper footwear and clothing. Shoes must have closed toes and heels (no sandals, clogs, mules or high heels). Shirts must have sleeves (NO TANK TOPS). Temperatures in the volunteer areas can vary. Layers are recommended.

No, all gear is provided. This includes gardening tools, gloves, etc. for gardening shifts.
Oregon Food Bank is a facility that processes common food allergens.  Unfortunately, we are unable to provide details about the type of product we are packing on a given day because this can change at the last minute due to food availability and the needs of our network.

To accommodate those with latex allergies, we use vinyl gloves, hairnets, and aprons for food handling.

We’re counting on your help to get food out to people who really need it! If you have to cancel, please login to your account to cancel your shift as soon as possible. Thank you.

Who can volunteer?

Yes. Age restrictions vary depending on the shift you select. Youth Release forms are required for first-time volunteers under 18. DOWNLOAD FORM.

Youth under 16 need to volunteer with an adult or chaperone. Minimum age for chaperones is 18. DOWNLOAD CHAPERONE GUIDELINES.

Age requirements:

Fresh Alliance (FA): Age 14+
Food Recovery Center (FRC): Age 16+
Volunteer Action Center (VAC): Age 6+
Perishables Repack Room (PRR):
– at Beaverton facility: Age 6+
– at Portland Headquarters: Age 16+
Learning Garden: All ages
Special Events: Age 16+

We DO NOT ACCEPT Court Mandated volunteers whose charges relate to an act of violence or sexual misconduct.

If you would like to apply to our Court Mandated Program, please review the information and application.

We do our best to make our volunteer opportunities accessible to everyone. Please email in advance to let us know of ways that we could assist you and ensure a successful and positive experience. Please email us: volunteer at oregonfoodbank.org

 

If you or a member of your group will be accompanied by a certified/registered service animal, we require advance notice so that we may provide you a volunteer experience that will ensure your enjoyment and meet our need to strictly adhere to all federal and state laws, including the FDA food and safety regulations put in place to avoid contamination. Please email volunteer@oregonfoodbank.org several days in advance.

When can I volunteer?

Yes. All volunteers need to sign up in advance, with the exception of garden* volunteers.

We plan projects and assign staff based on the number of volunteers we’ve scheduled. Please visit our individuals and families page or groups page to learn about opportunities and to sign up.

If you come to a shift and we don’t have you on our roster, you may be turned away.

*Guidelines for sign up are more flexible for our garden programs.

With large numbers of volunteers, it takes time to get everyone checked in, for volunteers to put their belongings in lockers, etc. Arriving in advance of the shift ensures we start on time and get food to those who need it most.
We schedule shifts 4 months in advance. Shifts that do not appear during a regularly scheduled time have either been canceled or are not available.

Unfortunately, because of the size of our operation, we cannot schedule shifts outside of the regular schedule.

No. You may sign up for just those shifts that work for you.

If you are able to make a regular commitment – that would be wonderful!  We recommend that you try out the different types of shifts, and when you find a time/shift you like, ask your volunteer coordinator to sign you up as a regular.

Groups

The minimum for a group is at least 5 members; otherwise please sign up as individuals.

Check here for information about signing up groups.

Yes.

All of our volunteer shifts are at a set day and time. Shifts not listed indicate they are full or not available.  Please sign up for the posted shift times.

We ask all volunteers to arrive 15 minutes before their shift start time and stay for the duration of the shift.

All children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
Grades K-5 – one adult for every five children
Grades 6-8 – one adult for every seven children
Grades 9-12 – one adult for every 10 students

Note: we do not have space available for students to have lunch.

Check here to volunteer in Portland or Beaverton.

For directions and options for transportation, click check here.

Our system allows you to manage all the groups you schedule. The “My Groups” section allows you to change the size of your group and add Group Members to the online roster, assuming there is still room in the shift.

Do not bring additional volunteers over the number of spaces you have reserved.

If you find you don’t need all the spaces you’ve reserved, decrease your group size.  This will open up spots for others to be able to sign up.

The minimum number of volunteers for a group is 5.  Otherwise please sign up as individuals.

The maximum for school groups is 75, including adult chaperones.

For other groups, depending on the shift, groups can bring up to 110.

Email volunteer@oregonfoodbank.org if you have a group larger than 85 in order to make special arrangements.

No, unfortunately we have very limited space to reserve meeting rooms outside of corporate group team building packages.  If your group is interested in finding out about special team building packages, contact James Dillard at jdillard@oregonfoodbank.org
If there are 5 or more of you, sign up as a group and get creative in figuring out a group name!  We’ve seen things from “Bob’s Friends and Family” to “Volunteer Vixens”, “Anyone Can Join, “We Love Portland”, etc. Have fun with it!
Our system allows you to manage all the groups you schedule.

The “My Groups” section allows you to cancel the group shift yourself.  Then, go back to the Calendar and sign up for a different date. Sign In to manage your shifts.

What if my questions still aren’t answered?

Please email us: volunteer@oregonfoodbank.org 

Donor FAQ
Food Drive FAQ
Find Food FAQ