Volunteer Resources and FAQ

Our COVID-19 Response

We continue to need the help of healthy volunteers to help us pack groceries, sort food, and other important tasks at all of our locations in response to COVID-19. For the safety of all, volunteer orientation sessions are being held virtually.

To help keep volunteers and staff safe, Nourishing Hope requires all volunteers to submit proof of COVID-19 vaccination.

Please fill out this form to become a Nourishing Hope volunteer

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 Nourishing Hope sites in accordance with CDC recommendations.
  • Screening Questions: You will also need to complete a brief self-assessment regarding your health.
  • Travel Order: We are requiring that volunteers follow the guidance of the Chicago Emergency Travel Order.
  • Vaccination: Please take a moment to upload your vaccination card to your personal volunteer site. On your home page, you will see a tab called “My Vaccine Information.” Click this tab and input your vaccine type, dose dates and upload a photo of your vaccination record.

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. Nourishing Hope 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.

Click a resource below to navigate to that section!

Video Tours

Sheridan Market Tour

Explore our Sheridan Market, located at 3945 N. Sheridan Rd, with our virtual tour!

Learn More about the Sheridan Market

The Hub Tour

Tour our warehouse, The Hub, located at 5151 N. Ravenswood Ave!

Learn More about the Hub

La Casa Norte’s Fresh Market Tour

Explore La Casa Norte’s Fresh Market, located at 3533 W. North Ave, with our virtual tour!

Learn More about the Fresh Market

New Location Tour

Explore our new location, located at 1716 W. Hubbard, with our virtual tour!

Monthly Volunteer Bulletins

Every month, we send a volunteer bulletin with the latest news, announcements, shifts we need help with and fun volunteer stories from all of our locations! Fill out the form to sign up. Want to know what you’re getting? Check out a few of our past bulletins linked below!


Social media graphic for volunteers

Help Spread the Word

Social Media Toolkit

It’s easy! We put together a social media toolkit with graphics and messages ready for you to share. You’re also welcome to use photos from your own volunteer experience—feel free to get creative as you share all your hard work toward fighting food insecurity in Chicago with us.

Open the Social Media Toolkit

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 Nourishing Hope. 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 Nourishing Hope. 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 Nourishing Hope 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 Nourishing Hope?

Nourishing Hope welcomes volunteers that need to perform volunteer service hours for church, school, or court. Nourishing Hope’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 Nourishing Hope 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.

Nourishing Hope Exists Because of the Support of Our Neighbors.

With multiple 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, Nourishing Hope aims to end hunger for good. Make your impact today!

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