Volunteer with us!

Did you know that we need more than 350+ volunteers each week to keep our community well fed?

You will make an important difference in the lives of our neighbors.

**Bumbershoot tickets are available to fully oriented volunteers who serve 27 hours this summer (subject to availability). Please apply to get started! 

For individuals wanting to volunteer:

Here’s how: 

  1. For all individuals and families (non-groups), Apply to volunteer. You can complete the volunteer application here
  2. You will receive an automatic welcome email when we are ready to start the process! Follow the instructions in the welcome email to get onboarded to volunteer.
  3. Watch all designated training videos and attend the in person orientation. Set up your volunteer portal and self schedule your first shifts!
  4. Welcome to the team! Have fun, make friends and make a difference in your community

Drop in hours:

Drop in hours are designed for members of our community who struggle with access to computers and internet.

For those who do not struggle with this access,  we strongly encourage applying and getting onboarded into an account to choose your own schedule. This will provide a much better experience.

If you do not wish to apply, we have an option of drop in hours. In order to attend these please read this entire section and complete required onboarding tasks. Keep in mind that if we have too many people on the day, you may be turned away. 

Rules for attending drop in hours:

You do not need permission to come to these sessions.

You must come at the start of shift and stay the entire time.

We limit the number you bring to 3 people in your party. Drop in hours are designed for individual service. If you have a group of friends, or want to volunteer as a group larger than 3 please sign up as a group in the group volunteering section. 

You must complete all of the following before attending drop in hours: (Not completing these before you arrive, will result in you being turned away)

1.) Please review and agree to our code of conduct and volunteer policies here.

2.) Watch these three training videos to prepare you for roles you may work on:

https://youtu.be/nqYEu4-J2G8 Drop in volunteer orientation

https://youtu.be/LARw2yhptoM  Check out volunteer training

https://youtu.be/_70KskWtJcM Back of House volunteer training

3.) Please e-sign our liability waiver: 

You can e-sign our liability waiver here, and a copy will be emailed to the volunteer coordinator prior to your shift.

Drop in hours are:

Tuesday 3:30-6:30pm 

Wednesdays 9:00am-11am

Friday’s 2:00-5pm.

*Please be sure to check our website for any closures we may have on drop in days to be sure we are open! 

The tasks you will be doing will vary on the day based on what we need at the food bank, sometimes it is cleaning task, sometimes roles within the food bank.

Applying to volunteer will give you more access to our full volunteer schedule and roles, this will give you a greater way to assure you can volunteer when you choose. Drop in times are limited to these hours only. Please do not come during other times. If we have too many volunteers on the day, or you have not completed the trainings, you may be turned away.

For more information please email volunteer@udistrictfoodbank.org

Community Service Workers:

Need volunteer hours for community service? We host those needing to serve hours for non-violent offenses only.

Important! Please allow enough time to serve the hours you need. Please do not contact us with emergency timelines to get hours or letters of verifications. It is your responsibility to plan accordingly.

We have a specific application for court hours. All those looking to serve community service hours must submit an application here.

Please bring any documentation you need signed with you. For a letter of verification of your service, please send an email to volunteer@udistrictfoodbank.org when you have completed the hours needed. Please allow at least 3 business days for us to get this letter to you. Unfortunately we are unable to mail copies of your service letter and it must be emailed or picked up in person. Apply to volunteer for community service hours above for more info.

High School Service Learners:

Are you a middle or high school student wanting to volunteer?

We have many youths that volunteer with us, and we accept volunteers under the age of 18. Children 12 and under must be accompanied by a parent or guardian during thier shifts. Children 13-18 may attend on thier own but parents, please assess with your child whether they have the maturity to interact with the public and can stay on task. 

To start volunteering submit an individual application or attend drop in hours. Please read carefully and finish ALL required trainings before coming into the food bank.

For more information on drop-in hours, please see more on requirements for that on this page.

High school hours are tracked through your high school. You will need to contact your school to determine what they need for proof of hours. We will not have paperwork you need for your school onsite. In many cases you will submit your volunteer hours with your school and they will ask for a contact at the food bank to verify. Please use the email volunteer@udistrictfoodbank.org to verify.

Group Volunteering

Do you have a group that you would like volunteer with at the food bank?

Whether a church, workplace, university or school group, we would love to have you!

Please note we have limited times available for groups, because of the small size of our food bank. We are unable to accommodate group sizes of more than 16 people at one time.

We currently offer these times to host groups at our food bank:

Thursday 3:30pm-6:30pm (for groups of up to 8 people) Working within the food bank distribution. This group shift works to bag groceries for customers, sort donations, and general tasks to help support the store when the 

Saturdays 1-3pm (for groups 5 minimum – 16 maximum people) Working within the food bank, on a day we are closed for distribution. Cleaning tasks and help getting the store ready for next distribution day.

To sign your group up and manage your spot click the link below!


Volunteer Roles at the Food Bank

Front of House (Food Bank Shopping Area)

Good skills for these roles: Customer service skills, someone who loves interacting with people!

Greeter: Manages the line of customers that are waiting to come into the food bank. Welcomes them, answers any questions, and allows a certain number of customers in to shop to allow for capacity, gives sheets to those who want someone to shop for them, hand out sandwiches and to-go bags.

Check in volunteer: Checks in customers into our intake database, gives them a shopping card, and answers any questions customers have. This role is sitting and working with a computer.

Check-out volunteer: Helps bag up customer groceries and check limits that are allowed based on their shopping cards, double bagging bags, and sanitizing. This role is standing.

Stocker: Goes back and forth between the warehouse area and the shopping store and stocks items that are low.

Back of House  (Warehouse Area) 

Includes: Sorting pallets of donations including produce, deli, dairy and other items. Repackaging bulk items; Receiving donations; Breaking down and recycling cardboard; Bagging up produce like apples, potatoes and onions; Clean-up of warehouse; Sanitizing work spaces; Double bagging paper bags.

Home Delivery Program Drivers:

Home Delivery Drivers support no-contact deliveries of bags and boxes of food to our neighbors who are disabled or otherwise homebound. Routes are usually about 7-8 stops and take about anywhere from 1 1/2- 2 hours. The routes are grouped in certain geographic areas in our service area in North Seattle (Green lake, U district, Sandpoint, Cap Hill etc.). This is a great way to get to know the neighborhood you live in better. You may have neighbors in need you might not even know about! We deliver Wednesdays and Saturdays and often need substitute home delivery drivers.

Requirements: Have your own vehicle. Being able to lift 40 pounds is good for this role. Must be able to pass a background check.

We are in need of sub drivers for the home delivery program! 

Being a sub requires no commitment and is super helpful, please sign up by checking the box in your application. Emails go out each week, and you take a shift when you are available.

Grocery Rescue Help:

Grocery Rescue is what we call going out to our neighborhood grocery stores to pick up (or rescue!) donations that have been set aside for us. This one major way we stock our shelves at the food bank! We have volunteers that go out in their own vehicles to collect from stores, or volunteers that do shifts riding along with a staff member in a UDFB vehicle to pick up donations. There is lifting of about 40 pound at times in these roles.

Grocery Rescue volunteers in their own vehicles:  This job involves going out to a designated store once (or more if you like!) a week and picking up the donations they have set aside for us and bring them back to the food bank. This super important and helpful role helps us pick up all the donations that are available to us and keeps our shelves stocked. We have limited staff and time so we need helpers to collect everything! This is a fun one to see one system of support for the food bank, and how stores support the work we do, as well as reducing food waste!

This role requires at least a 3 month commitment, and an in person walk through of the store you choose with staff the first time.

Grocery Rescue Ride Along Volunteer:

This volunteer will ride along with a staff grocery rescue driver in our food bank vehicle and assist with picking up from local grocery stores donations.  This is a fun way to see how we stock our shelves and how our community partners support us. There is some heavy lifting required of about 40 lbs with this role.

Rooftop Roots Farm Volunteers:   Update: Opening soon! We are getting beautiful new beds built, and will start volunteering in May 2024. 🙂 Shifts will be posted on the volunteer portal, please apply to volunteer to sign up.

Volunteers support operations up on our Rooftop Farm. Includes: harvesting, planting, weeding, other farm projects.