For food,  call: 831-662-0991or email: [email protected] 

Volunteer Requirements and Guidelines

Volunteer Requirements and Guidelines

The Food Bank aims to create a fun and safe environment for our volunteers. Please familiarize yourself with the rules and recommendations for working at the warehouse, off-site food distributions, and other volunteer activities.

Age Guidelines

  • The minimum age to volunteer is 13 years old.
  • Volunteers need to have parental permission to volunteer and have a signed waiver on file.
  • Due to safety regulations, volunteers must be 14 years of age or older to volunteer at off-site food distributions.

Dress Guidelines

  • All volunteers must sign in at front desk and wear a nametag with first and last name printed clearly and worn on outer article of clothing.
  • If you are given a reflective safety vest as part of your orientation, we ask that you continue to wear it throughout the day.
  • Closed-toe shoes are required in our warehouse. Volunteers (including chaperones) who do not wear closed toed shoes will not be permitted in the warehouse.
  • We are a Fragrance-Free work area: please do not wear strong scented perfumes/cologne, creams or lotions.

Conduct Guidelines

  • Anyone under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol will not be permitted to volunteer.
  • Sexual harassment, violence, harassing behavior or offensive speech will not be tolerated by staff or volunteers.
  • Report incidents immediately to staff members.

Safety Guidelines

  • Volunteers may not use any motorized equipment (forklifts or electric pallet jacks) and may only use manual equipment (manual pallet jacks) with proper instruction.
  • Food, gum or drinks (other than water) are not allowed in the warehouse.
  • Please do not use cell phones (even for texting) while working in the warehouse.
  • If you need to use your phone, please let your supervisor know and step away from the area.
  • The use of headphones/earbuds is not permitted while volunteering.
  • Lifting limits: do not lift more than 50 pounds, or any amount of weight you do not feel comfortable lifting.
  • You should wear any protective gear necessary for the task you are preforming. (Ex: weed whacking requires protective eyewear and earplugs.) Your supervisor will provide you with everything you need.
  • Use of personal tools is not permitted (pocket knives, other tools, etc.). Your supervisor will distribute whatever tools are needed as part of your orientation.
  • If you feel unsafe or if you believe someone else may be in danger, please report your concern to the Sort Room Coordinator.
  • Youth volunteers may not operate or work around the following equipment:
    • Vehicles: may not operate, load and/or unload fleet trucks and/or forklifts;
    • May not transport other SHFB volunteers in any vehicle or any other equipment, not listed here, but prohibited by law, statute or local
  • Accidents: If an accident does occur, report it to your supervisor IMMEDIATELY!

Food Safety Guidelines

  • Wash hands before and after shifts, as well as before and after restroom breaks.
  • Wear and change gloves if they are ripped or torn.
  • After break and using the restroom, please make sure to wash your hands.
  • Food quality: inspect produce and nonperishable food as you are packing. If you have a question about the quality; ask the Sort Room.
  • Dropped food: any produce that comes into contact with the floor must be disposed of, without exceptions. Any nonperishable food that comes in contact with floor can be salvaged as long as the original packaging is not compromised.
  • Food, gum or liquids other than water are NOT allowed in the warehouse.
  • All doors and windows are to remain closed at all times to ensure pests do not enter the facility.

Injury/illness Guidelines

  • If you are injured and begin bleeding, notify the Sort Room Coordinator immediately. The Sort Line should be stopped and the area where the injury occurred should be inspected for any contamination and cleaned properly.
  • If you have an accident that causes injury to yourself or someone else, report the accident to the Sort Room Coordinator.

Plant Guidelines

  • Emergency evacuation routes will be shown to you by the Sort Room Coordinator during the daily orientation.
  • First Aid kits are located throughout the facility and will be shown to you by the Sort Room Coordinator during the daily orientation.
  • Taking food from the line is never permitted.
  • Volunteers are welcomed and encouraged to utilize our Emergency Food Pantry, available at Reception, if they are in need of food assistance.
  • If you have broken blades (box cutters): please use the “sharps” container to dispose of these items. If you come across broken glass; please alert staff at once so it can be dealt with promptly.

Schedule Guidelines

  • Depending on the length and schedule of your volunteer shift:
  • There is typically a 15-minute break around 10:00 AM (warehouse shift)
  • Volunteers usually work until approximately 12:00 PM without a lunch break (warehouse shift)
  • If your shift is 2 hours or less, there will be no breaks.
  • If, for ANY reason you leave the Food Bank before your shift is complete, please let your supervisor know.

Volunteer Hygiene

Volunteers must wash their hands after the following:

  • Before, during and after handling food
  • Changing food groups
  • Going to the bathroom
  • Touching their face, hair or body
  • Sneezing or coughing
  • Smoking, eating or drinking
  • Picking up or taking out garbage or trash
  • Handling dirty dishes or cleaning tables
  • Before putting on or taking off gloves
  • Touching or coming into contact with anything that may contaminate hands

Volunteers who handle food must:

  • Wear clean clothes
  • Wear hair restraints when necessary
  • Cover all cuts and sores with bandages and disposable gloves

Volunteers who are sick or show symptoms of illness must be excluded from working with food.

Do not show up to volunteer if you:

  • Have had a fever of 100.1 or higher in the last 3 days.
  • Have a cough and or runny nose for more than 3 days.
  • Have had diarrhea or vomiting in the last 24 hours.