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 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. It’s really enlightening and kind of humbling… 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?
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 Natiel Carpenter at email@example.com or at (509) 545-0787.
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 and must stay with their parent/chaperone in the assigned work area(s). Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate children under 5 years old. 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. If you have additional questions, please contact Natiel Carpenter at firstname.lastname@example.org or (509) 545-0787.
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 Natiel Carpenter at email@example.com or at (509) 545-0787 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 a minimum of 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 Natiel Carpenter at firstname.lastname@example.org or (509) 545-0787.
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?
We do not have lockers. If you are participating in a food sorting event, you will need to leave your belongings in the volunteer center before entering the sort room(s). 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?
Heading east from Pasco on 182, take Exit 14, then Exit 14B towards Spokane. Merge onto Highway 395. Drive just over 2 miles north on Highway 395. Turn left onto E Foster Wells Road, which is a crossroad. Take a left at the second intersection onto Burlington Loop. Second Harvest is on the corner of Burlington Loop and Foster Wells Road.
Second Harvest has its own parking lot directly in front of the building off of Burlington Loop.
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 which food product volunteers will be packing the day of the activity.
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?
Yes! Volunteer drivers are needed to help deliver to and pick-up food drive orders from area businesses, schools and organizations. No commercial driver license is needed. Drivers must be able to pass a Washington State criminal background check and have proof of insurance. Flexible scheduling is available. Vehicle and gas are provided.
Please take a look at any special events that may be coming up on our events calendar for other opportunities.
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.
How do I get involved in the Kitchen at Second Harvest?
The Second Harvest Kitchen is in our Spokane, WA location. If you are interested in the Second Harvest Kitchen, visit secondharvestkitchen.org or contact the Spokane location at (509) 534-6678 for more information.
SCHEDULING AND SHIFTS
What is the length of my volunteer visit?
Food sorting shifts are typically two or three 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. 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 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 Natiel Carpenter at email@example.com or at (509) 545-0787. 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 available dates and times for volunteers. Hover your mouse over an event to see how many spaces are still available. Please try to book groups well in advance, as our events do fill up quickly!
What is the minimum and maximum group size?
We request your group be a minimum of 15 people. Please contact Natiel Carpenter at firstname.lastname@example.org or (509) 545-0787 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 Natiel Carpenter at email@example.com or (509) 545-0787 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.