Learn more about volunteering with Second Harvest, and how you can play a critical role in ending hunger in our community.

What do volunteers do at Second Harvest?

• Second Harvest has two ongoing volunteer programs that run throughout the year. Volunteers assist regularly in our warehouse shifts to sort and pack food AND in our Community Kitchen shifts to assist with meal preparation.
• All volunteers are familiarized with SHFB – what we do and who we serve – and are trained at the beginning of their volunteer shift. For volunteers who wish to work regularly in our Community Kitchen, you are invited to attend an orientation to learn more about working in the kitchen.
• All volunteers work together as a team, possibly alongside other groups and supervised by SHFB staff.
• Volunteers who work in our Warehouse help to inspect, sort, and pack food and grocery products. Some volunteers load food product onto conveyor belts, some inspect and sort products into itemized categories, and others repack food items into Second Harvest boxes.
• Volunteers who work in our Community Kitchen assist with food preparation, meal packaging, cleaning and washing dishes.

When are the volunteer shifts?

• Warehouse shift times:
o SHIFT TIMES (August – May): Tuesday – Friday, 9AM – noon and 1PM – 4PM; Saturdays, 8AM – 11AM and 11:30AM – 2:30PM. Evening shifts are held on the second Wednesday and Thursday of the month from 5:30PM – 7:30PM.
o SHIFT TIMES (June and July): Monday – Friday, 9AM – noon and 1PM – 4PM
o Friday afternoon shifts end at 3PM
• Community Kitchen shift times:
o SHIFT TIMES (September – May): Monday – Friday, 9AM – NOON and 12:30PM – 2:30PM
o SHIFT TIMES (June – August): 5:30AM or 6:30AM – 9AM and 9:30AM – 12:30PM
*The summer shift schedule is subject to change

Can I come as an individual?

Absolutely! We welcome individuals to come in during our regular volunteer shifts to work with us. The majority of our volunteers in the Community Kitchen are individuals. All volunteers must complete the application form and schedule themselves using our online volunteer calendar. CLICK HERE for our online volunteer application for individuals.

Do you need administrative and office volunteers?

Second Harvest relies on volunteers to assist with various administrative projects that generally include mailings, filing, and data entry, etc. Volunteers are scheduled for administrative projects on an as needed basis. Be sure to let us know if this is something you are interested in.
Volunteers are also needed to help answer phones in our CALL CENTER! The Public Assistance Call Center is a new resource for low-income households across south Louisiana. Our staff and volunteers will answer client calls, provide information on public benefit programs, pre-screen clients for eligibility, and conduct application assistance for a variety of programs including SNAP, Medicaid, Child Care and Kinship Care. All volunteers will attend a comprehensive training and orientation. Spanish speaking volunteers are needed in the Call Center.

What is the minimum and maximum group size?

Volunteer groups who work in our WAREHOUSE: We can accommodate up to 30 volunteers per shift
Volunteer groups who work in our KITCHEN: We can accommodate up to 10 volunteers per shift
All group volunteer shifts must be scheduled in advance.

How early do I need to schedule my group?

Saturday and holiday shifts are very popular and fill up several months in advance. For the majority of the year and weekday shifts we ask for a month or two months of notice. We can schedule up to a year in advance – so feel free to contact us early by filling out a group volunteer application or emailing LaShondra Glover at lglover@no-hunger.org.

Can I do my court appointed community service hours at SHFB?

Yes, we accept court appointed community service hours. However, individual approval is required. Mandatory orientations and registration is held every MONDAY at 9:00 AM. For more information, please contact LaShondra Glover at lglover@no-hunger.org or 504-729-2850 if you are located in New Orleans. If you are located in Lafayette or Lake Charles, please contact Preslie Addeo at paddeo@no-hunger.org or 337-224-3401.

What should I wear to volunteer?

Volunteers who work in our WAREHOUSE:
Please wear CLOSED toe shoes and comfortable clothing that you don’t mind getting dirty. The warehouse is not climate controlled so it is chilly in the winter and hot in the summer. On occasion, volunteers will assist in our cooler which is set at 55 degrees. All volunteers will be notified in advance if their shift is scheduled to work in the cooler.
Volunteers who work in our KITCHEN:
Please wear CLOSED toe shoes and socks, long pants and shirts with sleeves. Shorts, tank tops or sandals are NOT allowed and is strictly enforced. The kitchen is climate controlled.

Is there an age restriction? Are chaperones required?

Volunteers who work in our WAREHOUSE must be at least 9 years or older to work a shift in our warehouse. Volunteers age 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Volunteers age 13 and up can sign up independently.
Chaperone requirements for youth groups:
1 chaperone per 5 students between the ages of 9 – 13 (4th – 8th grades)
1 chaperone per 10 students between the ages of 14 – 18 (9th – 12th grades)
Volunteers who work in our KITCHEN must be at least 15 years or older.
All youth volunteers must complete and return the youth Permission Slip and Liability Waiver (link)
*All age requirements are strictly enforced to ensure the safety and productivity of our volunteers.*

My child or youth group is too young to volunteer, are there other opportunities?

Yes! We encourage youth individuals or groups to do a Food and Fund Drive. Groups are welcome to schedule a time for a visit to Second Harvest to deliver their donations. A member of our Volunteer Services team is happy to give your group a tour of the warehouse to help you learn more about hunger and Second Harvest Food Bank.

Can I volunteer on a regular basis?

Individuals and groups are welcome and encouraged to volunteer on a regular basis! All shifts must be scheduled in advance with the Volunteer Services Department or online using the online calendar.

Where do I park when I come to volunteer?

Second Harvest has volunteer and visitor parking directly in front of the main entrance and kitchen entrance facing Edwards Ave. If all of the front spots are filled, please park on G St. Click here for a map.

Can I volunteer in Lafayette?

Yes! Second Harvest has a warehouse facility in Lafayette and schedules volunteer groups of 5 or more Monday – Friday. The Lafayette warehouse is located at 215 E. Pinhook Rd. Lafayette, LA 70501. Volunteers will help to sort, pack and process donated food and grocery items.

How do I become a SHFB volunteer?

Learn how to become a SHFB volunteer, and find the right volunteer application for you or your group on the following pages:
Individual Volunteer Application
Group Volunteer Application
Once your volunteer application is received, a member of our Volunteer Services department will be in touch with you. Groups are scheduled with a member of our Volunteer Services team. Individuals can access the online calendar to sign up for shifts.

I am already a registered volunteer. How do I sign up for shifts?

Once you have completed the application and your registration has been accepted, you can start signing up for volunteer opportunities! Click here to log in to the online calendar or Volunteer Information Center (link). By accessing the Volunteer Information Center, you can see our calendar of ALL volunteer opportunities and sign up for shifts right online! It’s easy to use and the best way for individual volunteers to manage their schedule.

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