GET INVOLVED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
YOU CAN HELP END HUNGER.
We simply couldn’t do what we do without our volunteers. Each year, more than 8,000 volunteers step through our front doors and become a part of the solution to hunger in our community. They bring their passion, energy and skills to the table so they can put food onto the tables of their neighbors in need. No matter your age or ability, you can play a role in solving hunger. Sign up to volunteer now at the hunger solution center nearest you.
IN THE VOLUNTEER CENTER
Almost every day, volunteers give their time in our volunteer center sorting and repacking donated food to be redistributed to people facing hunger in our community. Individuals and groups welcome. Specific family nights available.
In the Kitchen
Want to help build a healthier community through nutrition education and cooking classes? Become a Nutrition Ambassador with The Kitchen at Second Harvest. Nutrition ambassadors help facilitate and support nutrition education interventions through cooking classes for kids and adults, recipe sampling and more!
In the COMMUNITY
Volunteers support various community events throughout the year, such as food drives and fundraisers. Contact our Volunteer Coordinator to be added to our e-mail list to find out about these opportunities.
Volunteer drivers deliver food drive boxes and pick up full donation boxes from local schools and businesses utilizing our company vans and small trucks. Must have current WA driver’s license. Please email our Volunteer Coordinator for more information.
Your gift of time or money could be matched by your employer! Many employers sponsor matching gift programs and will match any charitable contributions or volunteer hours made by their employees, retirees, and/or employee spouses. Check with your human resource department to confirm if a matching program exists and multiply your impact today!
MEET YOUR VOLUNTEERS
“It’s been really enriching. I’ve interacted with people who normally wouldn’t even be visible to me—people who have a lot of need and really need the help that Second Harvest provides. In my day-to-day life, I don’t usually meet people in those situations. It’s really enlightening and kind of humbling to meet all of them, and that’s a big part of what keeps me coming back—seeing that the few hours a week I put in can really help people out a lot.”
-Carl Ebinger, Nutrition Ambassador, Spokane
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do I sign up?
Please visit our volunteer calendar of events. You will be able to sign up online for various volunteer opportunities by clicking on an event that shows slots available. Once you find an event that works for you, click on it to sign up. Please sign up for events well in advance, as our events do fill up quickly!
What if I need help with the volunteer website?
Please visit the user guide. If you still need assistance, please contact Conor Ellert at firstname.lastname@example.org or 509-252-6267.
What kinds of activities will I be doing?
We have a variety of products that we sort at our facility. During food sorts, you will sort food and/or repackage bulk food into smaller portions for distribution to food banks and meal sites. At our special events, you will be help facilitate donation collection, provide information about Second Harvest and perform other tasks as needed. Please see the event descriptions on our volunteer website learn more about what is needed at each event.
What should I wear when volunteering?
All our volunteers must wear closed-toed shoes during food sorts. Layers are also suggested at food sorting events. To be safe, please also remove your jewelry to prevent loss or damage. 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 Conor Ellert at email@example.com or 509-252-6267.
Can children volunteer?
Anyone 14 and older may volunteer for any of our food sorting events. Volunteers under 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.
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 contact Conor Ellert at firstname.lastname@example.org or 509-252-6267 for more information.
Does Second Harvest accept court-related community service volunteers?
At this time, Second Harvest is NOT able to provide court-related community service.
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 I just volunteer for an hour?
Volunteer shifts are typically at least two hours, and we ask that volunteers commit to the entire shift. 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 Conor Ellert at email@example.com or 509-252-6267.
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.
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.
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.
How do I get there, and is there parking?
We are located at 1234 E. Front Ave. Click here for directions. Second Harvest has its own parking lot directly in front of the building.
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 what type of food product volunteers will be packing until the day of the activity. Please call the day of your scheduled event for more information about what our volunteers will be doing.
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 work or school purposes. At this time Second Harvest is not able to provide court-related community service.
Can I track my volunteer hours?
Yes! To check your service hours, log into your account on our volunteer website. Click on “Your Name” in the top right corner of the site. Then, click on the “View Hours” tab. You can view your volunteer history through this tab as well.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 509-252-6257 for more information.
SCHEDULING AND SHIFTS
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.
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 as well as a reminder email a few days prior to the 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. If you are unable to attend an event, please cancel as soon as possible so that our staff knows how many volunteers to expect at each event and can open up the opportunity to others.
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 Conor Ellert at email@example.com or 509-252-6267. It is helpful if you have dates and times in mind ahead of time. Please see our events calendar on our volunteer website to see the available dates and times for volunteers. When you 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 our events do full up quickly!
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 Conor Ellert at firstname.lastname@example.org or 509-252-6267 if you are interested in booking a group.
How early do I need to schedule my group?
What if our group has fewer or more people than we initially signed up for?
Please contact Conor Ellert at email@example.com or 509-252-6267 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 accommodate you.
Are there volunteer opportunities for groups of children under nine years old?
Unfortunately, there are no volunteer opportunities for groups of children under nine years old at this time. However, we may be able to host your group in a different capacity.
OTHER WAYS TO GET INVOLVED
Feeding Eastern Washington and North Idaho
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