Become a Volunteer
We have a dedicated volunteer corps of more than 950 volunteers. We are so grateful to have such a committed group of capable individuals.
In order to volunteer with Lakeview Pantry, you must a Volunteer Training Session.
Attend a Volunteer Training SessionTraining sessions are OPEN to everyone. There is no need to RSVP. Sessions last roughly one hour, and you only need to attend one in order to volunteer. All sessions are held at our Lakeview Pantry Sheridan site at 3945 N. Sheridan Road. Sessions cover:
- Initial paperwork, including liability and confidentially forms **All new volunteers under the age of 18 will need a parent or guardian present at the training session. A parent or guardian must accompany anyone under the age of 18 to the training session.
- Volunteer positions and responsibilities
- Community service policy and process for both school-assigned and court-ordered hours
- Lakeview Pantry policies regarding clients and volunteers
- Getting signed up for your first day!
Frequently Asked QuestionsDo I have to schedule in advance or can I just show up to volunteer?
All volunteering must be scheduled in advance.
Can students and children volunteer?
We have a few different opportunities for children (under the age of 18) to volunteer at Lakeview Pantry. They are welcome to participate, with parent or guardian supervision, on Saturday mornings with our Home Delivery program or on Tuesday and Thursday as part of the set-up crew at our 1414 W. Oakdale location. We do schedule students for community service hours. Student groups may be scheduled on a case-by-case basis depending on availability and need. Please contact Manager of Volunteers, Drew Moran, to get scheduled.
Can large groups volunteer?
We would be happy to host your organization at Lakeview Pantry. There is no need for group members to attend an orientation session and large groups are scheduled directly with the Manager of Volunteers. Smaller groups (8 or less) are able to assist us at our distribution shifts at our Sheridan Location (3945 N Sheridan Rd). These shifts are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10am-2pm or 1pm-5pm. We utilize larger groups to help unload deliveries, stock shelves and take care of cleaning and housekeeping duties at other times throughout the week.To get scheduled, email email@example.com with your groups size and your general availability (weekdays, weekends, evenings). Groups of 15 or fewer are the easiest to place, but larger groups can sometimes be accommodated.
What should we wear?
All volunteers should wear clothing that is comfortable and can potentially get messy. We also require all volunteers to wear closed-toed shoes for safety and to refrain from any offensive writing on shirts, hats, etc. Also, all volunteers are welcome to a free Lakeview Pantry t-shirt, so please feel free to ask a staff member about them.
Do we need to bring anything?
Volunteers are not required to bring any materials with them, but we do provide lockers to secure any personal belongings. Also, if volunteers would like to bring a snack, there is a refrigerator at each location.
Is there parking available?
At our Sheridan site, only street parking is available. The Oakdale site has two options: you can pay to park in the St. Alphonsus lot or you can park for free on the street.
I have mandated community service hours. Can I fulfill them at Lakeview Pantry?
Lakeview Pantry welcomes volunteers that need to perform volunteer service hours for church, school, or court. Lakeview Pantry’s Community Service Policy will be addressed at every new volunteer training session. You should also come prepared at this initial training with any paperwork requiring a signature or date. We cannot guarantee availability for community service hours. Please be sure to track your own hours and the Manager of Volunteers will provide a verification once completed.
Minors seeking mandated service hours are welcome to participate, with parent or guardian supervision.
For volunteers seeking court-ordered service hours, please note that we do not schedule volunteers that have committed a violent crime or theft of any kind. Those who have committed other offenses are eligible to volunteer. However, each case is subject to the discretion of the Manager of Volunteers, as to whether you will be scheduled.
We encourage all volunteers to continue their service to Lakeview Pantry, beyond their mandated hours. We appreciate your service in any capacity as we fulfill the mission of providing emergency food relief and other services to the Lakeview community.
I’m a client. Can I volunteer, too?
If you are a client, please know that we do not expect anything in return – but you are more than welcome to volunteer if you’d like. We ask that you do not schedule a volunteer shift at the same time you come for services.
I’m a volunteer and need food or services, what should I do?
If you need food assistance, anyone who meets our criteria is more than welcome – but please come during a time that you’re not on a volunteer shift. If you’d rather go to another agency for help, just ask staff for a confidential referral, or contact the Greater Chicago Food Depository at 773.247.3663 or click here.