Volunteer

We need your help!

Sign ups are open! We need volunteers for all roles, especially heavy lifters for the Greater Chicago Food Depository receiving crew. New volunteers are always welcome, as well as volunteers who need to complete service hours.

Become a Volunteer and Make an Impact in Our Community!

Volunteering at the Westchester Food Pantry can be a very rewarding experience. You will make new friends, be part of a team, and improve your community by assisting your neighbors in need.

There is an assortment of volunteering positions at the Pantry, which can be explored further below. It is essential that volunteers possess the ability to work amiably with a diverse clientele in a non-judgmental and compassionate manner. Any personal information of the clients is kept confidential, and every individual at the Pantry is treated with the utmost respect and dignity.

Please contact the Westchester Food Pantry, if you have any questions. 

Volunteer at Westchester Food Pantry

Seasonal Volunteer Opportunity

Yard Sale 2024
Donation Drop-Off Day on March 2

Spring weather means yard sale season is upon us, and for the Westchester Food Pantry that means…YARD SALE EXTRAVAGANZA! Each year, people donate their unwanted but totally fabulous items to our sale. We sort, price and store, then pull everything out for a three-day sale!

There are three drop-off days leading up to the sale. Volunteers will help unload cars, sort and price items, and box them up for storage until the sale. Bonus: volunteers working at the Donation Drop-Off Days can buy items as they see them–no need to wait until the Yard Sale Extravaganza. See something you like while sorting items? Buy it right then and there!

Seasonal Volunteer Opportunity

Souper Bowl '24 Event Assistance- Feb 3

On Saturday, February 3, 2024, the Westchester Food Pantry will host its fourth annual “Souper Bowl” fundraiser. This delicious tasting event will feature 16 local chefs and their best soups, along with desserts, beverages, raffles and entertainment. This family-friendly event has become a signature fundraiser for the Westchester Food Pantry, and we need a bunch of volunteers!

Because many of these volunteer roles will include handling money and food, we need adults to fill them. Roles that can be filled by teenagers are noted- unfortunately, we can’t accommodate any volunteers under the age of 14 at this event. Thank you so much for understanding!

PLEASE NOTE:  Volunteers can buy half-price tickets if you’d like to stay for the event. Tickets can be purchased through the Westchester Food Pantry website or during the Pantry’s open hours. Please email with any questions.

Year-Round Volunteer Opportunities

For many of the below volunteering opportunities, the Pantry is using Sign Up Genius.

Receiving Crew

The 1st and 3rd Fridays of every month, typically between 8am – 10am. This crew receives our orders from the GCFD. It involves taking heavy boxes of cans, meat and produce from GCFD pallets into the pantry. These volunteers must have the ability to lift and move heavy items. Please provide your phone number if you are signing up for this slot, as sometimes the truck may be early or delayed. And, we will let you know when it arrives.

Food Sorting, Shelving & Setup

Every Wednesday afternoon from 1-3pm, and every Friday afternoon from Noon-2pm. This crew receives food reclamation, sorts, puts everything away, packs bags of food for client services, restocks shelves, and sets up and organizes client choice items. A few folks who can do heavy lifting are needed for this shift, but otherwise all ability levels are fine.

Client Services

Every Wednesday from 4-7pm and every Saturday from 8:30-11:30am. This crew helps the clients “shop” for a variety of items; this is called “client choice”. Some of their packaged & canned groceries have previously been bagged, and just need to be loaded into shopping carts. Once the client is ready, this crew brings their groceries outside in the shopping carts and loads them into client vehicles. A few folks who can do heavy lifting are needed for this shift. Otherwise, all ability levels are fine.

Registration

Every Wednesday from 4-7pm and every Saturday from 8:30-11:30am. This particular role is limited to volunteers who have been trained on our Link2Feed registration system. If you would like to learn this system in order to volunteer for this role, please reach out to the pantry’s Executive Director, Amanda Grant, to arrange for training.

Parking Lot Attendants

Every Wednesday from 3:00-6:00pm and every Saturday from 8:00-11:00am.  Our Pantry continues to get busier and busier each week and two adult volunteers are needed to help manage the parking lot and direct the flow of traffic.

Wet Nose Pantry

Every Wednesday from 4-7pm and every Saturday 8:30-11:30am.  This volunteer helps clients choose dog and cat food and restocks our Wet Nose Pantry throughout the shift. There are also opportunities to come in at other times to prepare the Wet Nose Pantry area with food and supplies. About every two months, you can also help pick up pet food (a couple pallets) at a Carol Stream distribution location.
 

Food Reclamation

During the week, primarily Fridays and Wednesdays from approximately 11:00 am – 1:00 pm, volunteers go to predetermined stores to pick up food that is no longer sell-able for a variety of reasons, but still perfectly fine to eat. We have a huge need for food reclamation volunteers. Our pantry gets a great deal of fresh food through these food reclamation efforts, and all the food is given out to clients during distribution. You will need a larger, reliable vehicle and be able to lift/load up to 20 pounds. We only ask our volunteers to commit to one reclamation day of the same week each month. Please provide the model of your vehicle when contacting the pantry.

Fundraisers

Throughout the year, the Pantry gets involved with fundraisers that raise much needed funds in order to serve our clients.  These events include the Souper Bowl (beginning of February),  Yard Sale Extravaganza (beginning of June), Fourth of July Parade, Westchester Fun Fest (August),  Greater Chicago Food Depository Hunger Walk (September), and Jewel Holiday Bucks (November).  In order for these fundraisers to be successful, we need lots of motivated volunteers.

Outreach

Everyone we meet is a potential client, volunteer or donor which is why outreach events are so important! We want to meet everyone, because everyone has a place at the Pantry.  We need volunteers who are confident talking about the Pantry – how to get food, how to volunteer and how everyone can get involved.  The Pantry participates in numerous outreach events throughout the year. 

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