Frequently Asked Questions about Volunteering at Food Finders Food Bank

I want to volunteer! How do I sign up to do that?

Excellent! The first step in volunteering is to register for an account on our Volunteer Hub site. Please give us a call if you need assistance registering – 765.471.0062.

Registering as a volunteer is crucial to our ability to plan for your workday and keep you safe in our buildings. Once registered, you can then sign up online for our volunteer opportunities.

I want to volunteer with family, friends or coworkers. How do I get us all signed up together to help?

We love volunteer groups large and small!

If you’re volunteering and want to bring along more than just yourself – please contact our Volunteer Coordinator at volunteer@food-finders.org.

It’s more important than ever that we know how many people will be arriving for shifts so we can have accurate numbers for safety and social distancing – if you’d like to volunteer with a friend or a family member, please register individually and take separate slots in the shifts.

My group wants to volunteer this fall or winter. How far out are you booking volunteer opportunities?

We love to see our regular volunteer groups returning! Right now, we are booking individual and group volunteer opportunities through August. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, Food Finders’ distribution model has changed significantly to meet the increased need for food assistance and to keep volunteers, staff and people we serve as safe as possible. Therefore, our volunteer needs can fluctuate on a weekly basis.

Where are you located?

We have two locations where volunteer opportunities take place.

Food Finders Food Bank warehouse: 1210 N. 10th Street, Lafayette, east of 9th Street. Please park on the surrounding streets: Roberts, Health or 10th Street.

Food Finders Food Bank Food Resource and Education Center (FREC): 1204 Greenbush Street, Lafayette, on the corner of 12th and Greenbush Street. Please park in the lot on the east side of the building.

How old do I have to be to volunteer?

Anyone over age 16 may volunteer independently.

Children ages 13-15 may volunteer with a parent or guardian.

Anyone under age 18 needs to have their volunteer waiver signed by a parent or guardian before volunteering – just print it out, have the adult sign and bring along on the day of volunteering. Our volunteer projects take place in an active warehouse environment, and we work hard to keep everyone safe

What precautions are you taking to protect everyone from COVID-19?

At Food Finders, there is no higher priority than the safety of our volunteers and the people we serve. We strive to maintain clean facilities and follow best practices for food safety.

Due to the recent global spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), we are taking extra precautions, including reduced numbers of people in our locations and on volunteer shifts, overnight sanitizing, increased cleaning of surfaces throughout the day and emphasizing frequent handwashing, use of hand sanitizer and changing of gloves. All volunteers must wear a face-covering or disposable mask. If you do not have one, we will provide you with one.

If you have experienced any symptoms of illness in the last 14 days, have been exposed to anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 or are in a high-risk category, please stay home at this time. We will be happy to help schedule a future volunteer opportunity.

If you need to cancel your shift due to illness or exposure, please call 765.471.0062 or email us at volunteer@food-finders.org.

Can I just show up? Why not?

In order to create a safe and enjoyable volunteer experience, every volunteer needs to register in advance and sign up for an opportunity that has available slots in a shift. This helps our staff to be better prepared for everyone and to ensure we don’t have too many people in our buildings at one time.

What is my time commitment?

The commitment is completely up to you! You may volunteer for one shift or as often as you wish. You may volunteer as a part of a group and then decide that you would like to continue volunteering as an individual. We are delighted to work with you to fit your needs and schedule.

Do you have weekend volunteer shifts?

Right now, our volunteer opportunities are weekdays but we have a variety of shifts for individuals and groups during the day.

What kind of work will volunteers be doing?

Tasks vary depending by location, volunteer schedule and the work that needs to be accomplished to end hunger across North Central Indiana. Work may include sorting perishable or non-perishable food, packing food into boxes for distribution, repackaging bulk food, labeling packaged food items , distributing food to people in need and/or stocking food pantry shelves.

What skills are required?

No specific skills are needed, just a willingness to work and a positive attitude. Food Finders has staff in our facilities who will provide a brief orientation to the work at hand. Safety is important to us and we value your time as a volunteer!

What do I need to bring and wear?

Closed-toe/closed-heel shoes are required – no sandals, flip-flops or slides! We keep our warehouses at a cooler temperature for food safety, so wearing comfortable clothes in layers is a good idea. You’ll likely be moving around a lot. Some volunteer opportunities such as community food distributions take place outside during summer weather, so be prepared for heat and sun if the volunteer opportunity states that you may be outdoors.

During the current COVID-19 situation, we are following CDC guidelines and recommend everyone wear their own cloth or disposable face covering. We will provide gloves for you to wear, and if you’re helping direct traffic for a community food distribution, we’ll provide you with safety gear.

What forms do I need to complete?

All volunteers will complete a Volunteer Waiver as well as a COVID-19 Volunteer Waiver form. If you are volunteering as an individual, you will complete these forms on Volunteer Hub when registering for a shift. If you are volunteering as part of a group, the Volunteer Coordinator will send these forms to the person organizing the volunteering event to be completed before arrival.

What will happen when I arrive at the Food Finders building?

When you arrive, you will sanitize your hands and put on a face mask (if you do not already have one). Then take your temperature – if it is higher than 100.4 degrees F, retake it 5 minutes later. If it still registers as a fever, we will ask that you cancel your volunteer date, return home and monitor your health.

If your temperature is normal, you’ll initial the self-declaration of health sign-in sheet. When everyone is ready, a Food Finders staff member will introduce the project, and give a brief orientation to the work and you’ll get started.

All projects in our buildings are designed to promote social distancing between volunteers, and we encourage volunteers to be mindful of their own personal distance between other volunteers for safety as well. We will ensure regular volunteer breaks throughout the shift for water and restroom and to clean and sanitize work areas.

How do I cancel my volunteer date?

Log in to your Volunteer Hub account to cancel your volunteer date. You may also use the link provided in your confirmation email, or give us a call at 765.471.0062.

Volunteer teams that wish to cancel or reschedule their volunteer day should contact our Volunteer Coordinator at volunteer@food-finders.org or 765.471.0062 x110.

We know it’s not always possible, but we request that groups please provide at least one week’s notice when canceling or rescheduling to allow us to make contingency plans.

How do I track my hours?

You can see how many volunteer hours you have accrued by going to Volunteer Hub, clicking on your name in the right-hand corner, and selecting “View Hours.”

Can you sign my form showing that I completed volunteer hours?

Yes! Please bring your form with you to your volunteer shift and present it to a staff member after your shift is complete. Any Food Finders staff member can sign it to verify you completed the hours.

Do you provide water?

Water in plastic disposable bottles are available for volunteers and you can also bring your own water bottle if you wish.

What type of restroom facilities are on-site?

We have restrooms available for volunteers to use at any time during their shift.

What if someone is not comfortable during their volunteer shift? What if I get sick during my shift?

Please inform a Food Finders staff member if you are not comfortable with the task that you have been assigned or any other reason. If you feel ill while volunteering, please let a staff member know immediately so we can help you.

Do you accept court-ordered community service volunteers?

Yes! Court-ordered community service volunteers should contact our Volunteer Coordinator at 765.471.0062 x110 or volunteer@food-finders.org before signing up for a shift. After speaking with our Volunteer Coordinator, you will schedule a meeting and you should be sure to bring along any documentation that needs to be signed. We are unable to accept court-ordered community service volunteers with theft or violent charges.

How can I donate funds to help Food Finders' mission of ending hunger?

That would be awesome! You can donate online here or call 765.471.0062 to speak with a member of our Development staff.

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