Are there lockers?

If you are participating in a food sorting event, our Volunteer Center has lockers that are free to use for our volunteers, but we recommend leaving valuables at home and never in your vehicle. Second Harvest is not responsible for lost or stolen items. 

Are there volunteer opportunities that don’t involve working directly with food?

Please take a look at any special events that may be coming up on our events calendar for other opportunities. Click here to check them out.

Are you able to accommodate the special needs of a handicapped or disabled person as a volunteer?

We do everything possible to allow volunteers with special needs to volunteer with us. Please call our Volunteer Center Manager at (509) 252-6267 for more information.

Can children volunteer?

Anyone 14 and older may volunteer for any of our food sorting events. Volunteers younger than 14 must be accompanied by a parent or adult chaperone. Adults must stay with their groups in the assigned work area(s). We do have at least two family nights a month that allow children 9 and up to participate in food sorting events.

For our special events, a minimum age requirement may apply. Please see the details in the event descriptions on our events calendar for more information.

Can I just volunteer for an hour?

Volunteer shifts are typically a minimum of 2 hours and we ask that volunteers commit to the entire shift they have signed up for. Our staff plans each event based on the number of volunteers signed up. If you do need to make special arrangements, please notify us in advance by contacting the Volunteer Center Manager at (509) 252-6267.

Can I track my volunteer hours?

Yes! To check your service hours, log into your account on our volunteer website. Click on “Your Account” in the top right corner of the site, click on the “Registered Events” tab. The total number of hours and events will be listed on the bottom of the page.

Can I volunteer just once?

Volunteers are welcome for a one-time event or on a more regular basis. We hope you enjoy your first volunteer experience and will join us again!

Can you tag me in photos?

Second Harvest is a business page, so we can’t tag you. We try to take lots of photos of volunteer groups, and if you’re part of a business, we’ll tag your business or group. But check out our Facebook and tag yourselves – we’ll do our best to post all pictures that turn out within 72 hours. And if you want a picture on your phone, just ask – one of our staff will be happy to take it for you.

Do I need to attend a training or orientation before volunteering?

We do not require volunteers to attend any training or orientation sessions. At the beginning of your shift, you will receive all of the necessary information to complete the project(s) or task(s) assigned to you for the event. 

Do I need to schedule in advance or can I just show up?

All volunteers must be scheduled in advance through our volunteer website. Once you are signed up for an event, you will receive a confirmation email. You will receive instructions from our staff upon arrival the day of your event. Click here to sign up now!

Do you need administrative and office volunteers?

Second Harvest relies on volunteers to assist with various administrative projects that generally include mailings, data entry, etc. Volunteers are scheduled for administrative projects on an as-needed basis. Please contact Jill Wilson at or (509) 252-6257 for more information.

Do you provide documented proof of volunteer hours?

We can provide documented proof of volunteer hours upon request. At the end of the shift, please let the Volunteer Center Supervisor know if you need this for your work, or school purposes. At this time Second Harvest is not able to provide court-related community service. 

Does Second Harvest accept court-related community service volunteers?

At this time, Second Harvest is not able to provide court-related community service.

How can I volunteer if I have food allergies?

Because the food we receive and sort is donated from many different places, we cannot guarantee that our food hasn’t come into contact with certain food items, such as peanuts. Also, because we work with donated food, we may not know the food product volunteers will be packing (apples vs. potatoes vs. rice, etc.) until the day of the activity. 

How do I get there, and is there free parking?

Map to Second Harvest

Second Harvest has its own parking lot directly in front of the building. 

How do I sign up?

Please visit our volunteer calendar of events online at: . You will be able to sign up online for various volunteer opportunities by clicking on an event that shows slots available and then clicking the “Sign Up” button. Please sign up for events well in advance, as our events do fill up quickly!

Should I arrive early?

We recommend arriving to any event 10-15 minutes before the beginning of the shift. This allows time for volunteers to sign in, put your belongings away, use the restroom, etc. 

What else can we do to enhance our volunteer experience?

Ensuring that everyone coming to volunteer is aware of the duties they’ll be performing is important. Please make sure that everyone in your party is aware of the dress code and start time for your event. 

What if I need help with the volunteer website?

Click here to visit the user guide. If you are still needing assistance please contact or at (509) 252-6257.

What kinds of activities will I be doing?

We have a variety of products that we sort at our facility. You will most likely be sorting food and/or repackaging bulk food into family- or agency-sized portions for distribution to food banks and food programs. At our special events, you will be collecting donations, holding sings, and spreading awareness. Please see the event descriptions on our volunteer website to gain a better idea of what you will be doing at the event(s) you are interested in volunteering for.

What should I wear when volunteering?

All of our volunteers must wear closed toed shoes to any of our events. If you are participating in any of our food sorting events, layers are suggested. We suggest the removal of jewelry during food sorting events so you do not lose or damage your items. The Volunteer Center will provide aprons if needed so you do not get your clothes dirty. 

If you are volunteering at a special event, please come dressed appropriate for the weather, as most of our food drives do occur outdoors. If you have any questions regarding dress for special events, please contact or at 509-252-6257.

Scheduling and Shifts

Do I need to schedule in advance or can I just show up?

All volunteers must be scheduled in advance through our volunteer website. Once you are signed up for an event, you will receive a confirmation email. You will receive instructions from our staff upon arrival the day of your event.

What if I need to cancel?

If you  need to cancel your registration for an event, you can do so by logging into your volunteer account on our website ( and clicking the "cancel" button next to the event you are no longer able to attend. There will also be a link to cancel in the confirmation email received at time of sign up. We ask that if you are unable to attend an event, you cancel as soon as possible so that our staff knows how many volunteers to expect at each event and to open up the opportunity to other volunteers.

What is the length of my volunteer visit?

Food sorting shifts are typically 2 or 3 hours in our Volunteer Center. The length of shifts at special events may vary depending on the type of event. Our events calendar on our volunteer website will indicate the duration of each event.


How early do I need to schedule my group?

Our events tend to fill up fairly quickly. Please check our events calendar for our volunteer website ( for available date and times. If you want to book further out than our calendar is currently showing, please contact at or (509) 252-6257.

What if I want to book a group or reserve spots for multiple people?

If you are interested in booking a group to volunteer at Second Harvest, please contact or (509) 252-6257. It is helpful if you have dates and times in mind ahead of time. Please see our events calendar at to see available dates and times for volunteers. Hover your mouse over an event, it will tell you how many spaces are still available for that particular event. Please try to book groups well in advance, as we do fill up our events quickly!

What if our group has less or more than we initially signed up for?

Please contact or (509) 252-6257 as soon as possible if there is a change in your group size. If your group is larger than anticipated, we will do our best to accomodate you.

What is the minimum and maximum group size?

Your group can  be a minimum of two people and a maximum of 25, depending on the event. Please contact or (509) 252-6257 if you are interested in booking a group.