Volunteer | Maryland Food Bank

Volunteer

We Are Essential

Governor Hogan’s stay-at-home order that went into effect on March 30 does not prohibit the movement of any staff or volunteer traveling to, from, or in connection with their duties at any non-profit organization or facility providing essential services. Again, MFB and network partners’ staff and volunteers are considered essential and should not hesitate to travel to and from their facilities to distribute food to those in need.

Cancellations

These are uncertain times. Food deliveries are delayed, employees call out sick, and stringent social distancing rules mean that we must sometimes cancel a volunteer shift. Please know that we value your time and support. If your shift is canceled, it will only be after we have exhausted all available alternatives.

Volunteers age 13 to 60 are welcome. Volunteers under the age of 18 should be accompanied by a chaperone.

Can You Help?

Volunteer as an individual in Baltimore.

Sign up Individual

Organize a small group in Baltimore.

Organize a Group

Volunteer at our Salisbury facility.

Call (410) 742-0050

Please Note the Following

We have swiftly changed our set-up to protect the health and well-being of our volunteers:

  • Team Sizes Under 10 – All work will be performed in teams NO MORE THAN 10
  • Social Distancing – Volunteers will be stationed at a minimum of six feet from one another
  • Hygiene – We are regularly cleaning all high contact surfaces (door handles, handrails, sinks, bathrooms, tables, etc); all volunteers are required to wash their hands when they arrive, as necessary throughout their shifts, and again before they leave; and we are providing and requiring gloves.

That being said, please DO NOT volunteer if any of the following apply to you:

  • You feel sick
  • You have been in contact with someone who was sick in the last 14 days
  • You have traveled outside the state in the last 14 days
  • You are at higher risk of getting very sick.
    This includes:
    • People over the age of 60
    • People who have serious chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease
  • If any of items 1 – 4 apply to someone in your immediate household

Can You Help?

Volunteer as an individual in Baltimore.

Sign up Individual

Organize a small group in Baltimore.

Organize a Group

Volunteer at our Salisbury facility.

Call (410) 742-0050

Volunteer at Baltimore Branch
three volunteers sorting food on conveyor belt
 

Baltimore Warehouse

Sort and check the expiration dates of donated food on our conveyor belt, pack boxes, and create meal kits. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old (14-year-olds are welcome on nights and weekends), able to lift 25 pounds, and stand for three hours. You can volunteer as an individual or a group (5-20 volunteers).

Individual    Group

Charles T. Bauer Community Kitchen

Help prepare ingredients and package meals for distribution across the state. Volunteers must be at least 12 years old, able to lift 25 pounds, and able to stand for three hours. You can volunteer as an individual or a group (5-10 volunteers).

Individual    Group

Baltimore Office

Build your resume and use your office skills to help with filing, data entry, and special projects like donor mailings in Baltimore.

Contact Baltimore

Volunteer at Salisbury Branch
Maryland Food Bank truck
 

Salisbury Warehouse

Sort and check the expiration dates of donated food on our conveyor belt, pack boxes, and create meal kits. Volunteers under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a chaperone. All volunteers must be able to lift 25 pounds and stand for three hours. You can volunteer as an individual or a group (5-20 volunteers).

Contact Salisbury

Salisbury Office

Build your resume and use your office skills to help with filing, data entry, and special projects like donor mailings.

Contact Salisbury

Volunteer at Farms Across Maryland
volunteers on a farm
 

Farm to Food Bank

This Maryland Food Bank program helps get more local produce to more Marylanders. Pick fresh fruits & vegetables at partner farms across the state. There are no age or physical restrictions to participate. Volunteer as an individual or organize a group (5-20 volunteers). Learn more about the program, including locations.

Individual    Group

Volunteer at HEART Markets Across Maryland
H.E.A.R.T. Markets table
 

HEART Markets

Our Healthy Eats Are Really Tasty (HEART) Market program combines fresh produce and staple groceries with music, education, and demonstrations at schools across the state. Volunteers help set up the market, distribute food, and clean up after the event. You must be at least 14 years old, be able to lift 40 pounds. and stand for 3 hours. Volunteer as an individual or group (5-10 volunteers). Learn more about scheduled events and locations.

Individual    Group

Volunteer with Middle Mile
packing trays for Middle Mile
Packing trays for Middle Mile.
Middle Mile trays in a car trunk
Middle Mile trays out for delivery.

Middle Mile

The Middle Mile program is always welcoming more volunteers to drive between donors and agency partners to deliver food to those in need. Volunteers pick up donations of prepared food, produce and more from Baltimore-area businesses and take them directly to our partner shelters and kitchens. Must have a valid driver’s license and meet insurance requirements.

Volunteer Contact    Join as a Business

Volunteer Guidelines

  • All volunteers must wear closed-toed shoes and should bring a jacket or sweatshirt.
  • The minimum age to volunteer varies depending on the activity. Check the shift descriptions for specific requirements.
  • All volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a chaperone who is at least 21 years old. There must be at least one chaperone for every five youth volunteers.
  • Physical requirements vary by activity, so check the shift descriptions. However, at a minimum, volunteers must be able to stand for up to the three hours and lift up to 25 pounds.
  • Volunteers who arrive more than 30 minutes after the start of their shift will be asked to reschedule.

Have a Question?

We’re always happy to help get volunteers the info they need.

Frequently Asked Questions About Volunteer Groups

FAQs About Group Reservations

How can I see which of my group members have signed up?

As a group leader, you can see which group members have registered by following these steps:

  1. Log into your account.
  2. Click the “ADMIN” button located in the upper right corner of the screen. (If your screen is Blue, you are already in ADMIN view.)
  3. Click on the shift you wish to check.
  4. Click the “Registered Users” button.
  5. This will show you the name and group affiliation of everyone registered in that shift, including those not in your group. It will also show you how many spots you have reserved.

Why does the system say there are only X number of slots available in my shift when I reserved more than X?

This message refers to spots available to volunteers without a reservation. Your spots are reserved.

How do I reserve additional spots?

Email volunteer@mdfoodbank.org with any requests to change your reservation and we will make every effort to accommodate your request. Be sure to include your group name, the date/time/location of your visit, and details of the desired change.

How do I cancel my group’s reservation?

To cancel a group reservation, email volunteer@mdfoodbank.org. Be sure to include your group name and the date/time/location of your visit. Absent extenuating circumstances, canceling a group reservation with less than one-week notice will jeopardize your group’s ability to volunteer with us in the future.

How do I cancel my personal reservation?

Canceling your personal reservation will have no effect on your group’s reservation. Group reservations can only be canceled by contacting our offices. If you sign up to join your group and you need to cancel your personal reservation, follow these steps:

  1. Log into your account;
  2. Click the date of our visit; and
  3. Click the word “Cancel” located directly below the circled check-mark on the right side of the screen;
  4. You will receive an email confirming your personal cancellation.
FAQs About Volunteer Requirements

A member of our group is recovering from an injury. Can they still volunteer?

For their safety, we require that each volunteer be able to stand for three hours, lift 25 pounds, read labels, and take direction from staff. While we appreciate their desire to support our mission, we cannot accommodate volunteers who do not meet these requirements. Please email volunteer@mdfoodbank.org if any members of your group have special needs.

Can a group member’s child volunteer with us?

Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a chaperone who agrees to supervise the youth volunteers. Chaperones must be at least 21 years old. Each chaperone may supervise up to five youth volunteers. Youth that do not have enough chaperones will not be allowed to participate. In Baltimore, youth ages 12 and older may volunteer in our kitchen. Youth ages 14 and older may volunteer in our warehouse on Saturdays and evenings. Volunteers must be 18 years old to help in the warehouse during the day on weekdays. In Hagerstown, youth ages 16 and older may volunteer in the warehouse. Our Farm-to-Food Bank program does not have a minimum age to volunteer.

Youth Volunteer Waiver

A member of my group needs to arrive late. Can they still participate?

While we appreciate their desire to help, we cannot accommodate volunteers who arrive more than 30 minutes after the scheduled start time.

FAQs About the Day of Your Visit

Can my group have lunch at the Food Bank before/after our shift?

Groups volunteering at our Baltimore location can reserve our boardroom, subject to availability, from 12:00 to 1:00 pm. Please send a room request to volunteer@mdfoodbank.org. Past groups recommend Seasons Pizza or sandwiches from The Lunch Box Lady. We also offer a full catering menu through our FoodWorks program.

What happens if there is bad weather?

You will receive an email notification if there is a closing or delayed opening. You can also visit mdfoodbank.org or tune in to WBAL TV or check wbaltv.com for updates.

What should my volunteers wear?

For safety reasons, all volunteers must wear closed toes shoes. In addition, the temperature in our facility fluctuates so we suggest they bring a light jacket or sweatshirt.

When should we arrive?

Please allow plenty of time for traffic so you arrive at least 15 minutes before the start of your shift. Our staff and other volunteers will be waiting for you, so please be courteous and considerate of their time. We cannot accommodate volunteers who arrive more than 30 minutes after the scheduled start time.

Do you have free parking?

Yes, we have ample free parking.

A Day in the Life of a Maryland Food Bank Volunteer

Take a look at what it means to be a volunteer at the Maryland Food Bank. Ready to lend a hand?

Find FoodDonate