UPDATE: On a temporary basis, all volunteer orientations will be virtual. Individuals must email volunteers@lakeviewpantry.org and our staff will respond back with a video orientation link and steps to become an active Lakeview Pantry volunteer within 24 hours. | Email us

Volunteer

Volunteer to Help our COVID-19 Response

As the need for food has drastically increased in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, we will need the help of healthy volunteers to help us pack groceries, sort food, and other important tasks for our most vulnerable communities at all of our locations. Lakeview Pantry’s work is considered an essential service during the Illinois stay at home order. For the safety of all, volunteer orientation sessions are being held virtually. New volunteers should email volunteers@lakeviewpantry.org to receive a video orientation link and steps to become an active Lakeview Pantry volunteer. Existing volunteers should continue to follow standard procedures to sign up for shifts.

Our priority, as always, is the health and wellness of all. As such, we are now mandating the use of cloth or other non-surgical masks at all Lakeview Pantry sites in accordance with the latest CDC recommendations. Please plan to bring in your own mask. If you do not have a mask, we will provide you with one. It’s also imperative that we are wearing the masks properly. Please review this link for instructions.

We are working hard to take extra precautions, including increased cleaning and sanitizing of frequently touched surfaces, providing gloves and hand sanitizer to our volunteers and staff, encouraging clients to wait in line 6 feet apart from one another, offering only virtual volunteer orientation and social services sessions, and more. Click here to learn more about the steps we’re taking to protect our clients, volunteers, and staff.

As we continue to monitor the COVID-19 outbreak and adjust our model, please put your health and safety first, especially if you are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness. Per the CDC, this includes older adults and people with serious chronic medical conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease.

Lakeview Pantry truly appreciates the continued dedication of our volunteers during this difficult time. We are always exploring new process improvements to support social distancing. Learn more about our efforts at lakeviewpantry.org/coronavirus-response.

For New Volunteers

We have a dedicated volunteer corps of 5,000 volunteers. We are so grateful to have such a committed group of capable individuals. We have many volunteer opportunities in Chicago for adults, children, and families!

Register to be a volunteer

For Existing Volunteers

Existing volunteers who have gone through orientation can enter their information below to access their Personal Volunteer site. Existing volunteers can view their volunteer history and sign up for future shifts.

Sign In

Volunteer Opportunities

Youth

We welcome youth volunteers from 13 on up with roles at all of our sites. (Families with younger kids may volunteer together.) Guardians needed for youth <16. Click here for more information.

Adults

From drivers to loaders to personal shopping assistants and more, we’re looking for adults who want to help folks live their best lives. Attend a volunteer orientation session to get started!

Faith-based and Community Groups

If your group has a calling, we have a mission! We accept faith-based, alumni, university and many other types of community groups to volunteer at all of our sites.

Corporate Groups

Bring together your team by being part of something bigger than yourselves. Corporate volunteer opportunities exist for groups of all sizes! Email us to get your group scheduled today!

Attend a Virtual Volunteer Orientation Session

IMPORTANT UPDATE: All orientations will be held virtually on a temporary basis. Individuals must email volunteers@lakeviewpantry.org and our staff will respond back with a video orientation link and steps to become an active Lakeview Pantry volunteer within 24 hours.

Training sessions are OPEN to everyone. Sessions last roughly one hour, and you only need to attend one in order to volunteer at all of our locations. Sessions cover:

  • Initial paperwork, including liability and confidentiality 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!

Download our Volunteer Welcome Packet

View Available Volunteer Shifts

Review Volunteer Policies

Upcoming Volunteer Orientations

IMPORTANT UPDATE: All orientations will be held virtually on a temporary basis. Individuals must email volunteers@lakeviewpantry.org and our staff will respond back with a video orientation link and steps to become an active Lakeview Pantry volunteer within 24 hours.

Anyone under 18 years old must complete a youth waiver, have a parent/guardian present during the orientation and both must be registered on our website.

After completing orientation, you are welcome to volunteer at any of our locations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do 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. Please see specific details for each age group below. 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 fill out our Youth Volunteer Form or contact Kandis Howard, Volunteer Program Coordinator, to get scheduled.

Teen Volunteer Opportunities

16 & 17 years old:

  • Minors age 16 & 17 are eligible for all shifts without a parent or guardian (with the exception of Home Deliveries which must be completed with an adult 18 or older).
  • Anyone 16 or older can sign up online using their personal site after attending an orientation with a guardian and completing a youth waiver.
Family Volunteer Opportunities

All youth 15 years and younger must contact the Volunteer Team to sign up for a shift. Please email volunteers@lakeviewpantry.org to get on the schedule.

13-15 years old:

  • Minors age 13-15 are able to volunteer at any shift as long as they are accompanied by an adult.
  • A parent or guardian must attend orientation with a 13 to 15-year-old.

9-12 years old:

8 years and younger:

Due to the nature of the work involved, many of our shifts are not appropriate for children.

  • Our Kid’s Advisory Council is a group of kids ages 5-13 who want to make a difference in their community. We meet quarterly to work on volunteer projects and learn about how to help fight hunger in our neighborhoods! Parents are encouraged to attend with their children. For more information, contact Grace Radzik at grace@lakeviewpantry.org.
  • Our Saturday Home Delivery Set-Up from 9 – 11:30am shift is appropriate for children. This shift is very popular and fills up fast!
  • A parent or guardian must attend orientation for youth under 8 years old to volunteer.
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 Market (3945 N Sheridan Rd). We utilize larger groups to help unload deliveries, stock shelves and take care of cleaning and housekeeping duties at other times throughout the week.

For information on all of our Volunteer Sponsorship Opportunities, click here.

To get scheduled, email volunteers@lakeviewpantry.org with your group size and your general availability (weekdays, weekends, evenings). Groups of 15 or fewer are the easiest to place, but larger groups can usually be accommodated at The Hub.

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?

Only street parking is available at of our sites but all are easily accessible via public transportation. 

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. Before your first day, we will need documentation of your charge to put on file. 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. Please click here if you are interested in fulfilling your community service hours with us.

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.

Lakeview Pantry Exists Because of the Support of Our Neighbors.

With five food distribution programs that deliver more than 2.8 million pounds of food to our neighbors each year and social services that help clients achieve independence, Lakeview Pantry aims to end hunger for good. Join us to be part of the solution. Get involved today!

Volunteer

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