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!
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.
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 at all of our locations. For the safety of all, volunteer orientation sessions are being held virtually.
What You’ll Need
Our priority, as always, is the health and wellness of all.
- Masks: We mandate the use of cloth or other non-surgical masks at all Lakeview Pantry sites in accordance with CDC recommendations. Please plan to wear your own mask. (If you do not have a mask, we will provide you with one.) Please review this link for instructions on how to wear masks properly.
- Screening Questions: You will also need to complete a brief self-assessment regarding your health.
- Travel Order: Out of an abundance of caution, we are requiring that volunteers who have traveled to one of the states that require quarantine upon arrival not volunteer for 14 days. This also includes volunteers who have received a negative test since their return to Illinois.
Keeping You Safe
We are working hard to take extra precautions, including but not limited to:
- 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
- Offering only virtual volunteer orientation and social services sessions
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 here.
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!
Becoming a Lakeview Pantry Volunteer
- The first step is to complete our registration form by clicking here
- After you register, we will send you our virtual orientation and COVID-19 screening questions within two business days. (Please note: If you registered on the weekend, we will follow up the next business day.)
- Our virtual orientation covers volunteer responsibilities, our policies and how to get signed up for your first volunteer shift!
- All volunteers 18 years and younger must have a parent or guardian contact volunteers@
lakeviewpantry.org to register their youth.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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:
- Minors age 9-12 can attend some shifts as long as they are accompanied by an adult. Please review our available shifts and note which are marked with the icon for 9 to 12-year-olds.
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 email@example.com.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.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.