Volunteers are the heart of Ballard Food Bank. 

We have volunteer opportunities available four days a week, and we’re always in need of more volunteers. Every month over 135 volunteers donate more than 2,000 hours of service. We have a wide variety of opportunities available, and we are happy to work with you to find the right opportunity along with the right time commitment. 

Volunteer Opportunities

Sorting & Stocking Shelves: Over 1.45 million pounds of food are donated, recovered, or purchased by us each year. Our volunteers help us sort food and stock our shelves four days a week. 

Food Recovery: Four days a week we recover food from our local grocery store partners. As a driver or a rider you will be out in the community helping pick up food and bringing it back to the food bank. 

Grocery Helper: As a grocery helper you will be stationed around the food bank to answer questions and help clients as they shop. You may also help clients bag their groceries. 

There are many more ways to volunteer. When you complete your volunteer application, please share your interests and skills with us. We will work with you to find the best fit. 

We are looking to fill some specific volunteer needs. Our current opportunities are below:

Food Recovery Driver & Ride-Along: We are needing a Thursday driver and ride along to come in the morning and use our trucks to go around to our local grocery partners and recover food and bring it back to the food bank. We need folks who can lift 30+ lbs and drivers who are comfortable driving our trucks. These shifts go from 8am-12pm every week and drivers and ride alongs need to be ready to leave the food bank in the trucks at 8am.

Warehouse Volunteer: We are seeking a new Warehouse Volunteer who can commit to once a week to help in the warehouse and assist the team with properly sorting incoming non-perishable donations. They would also work with the food bank team to assess inventory and what needs there are and what the menu for the coming week could be. Folks who are comfortable lifting 30 lbs. are encouraged.

Front Desk Volunteer: We are seeking two new Front Desk Volunteers to help with our Thursday shifts from 1:30-4:30pm and 4:30-7:30pm. We are looking for folks who can commit each week to help record client visits in the computer database. You will be welcoming new clients to the food bank and assist them in filling out the intake sheet. Folks who are consistent, friendly, and able to engage with a diverse clientele are encouraged.

Evening Volunteers: We are seeking evening volunteers on Thursdays from 4:00-7:30pm. Evening volunteers help with tasks such as; assisting clients in the shop, bagging groceries, sorting, stocking, and cleaning up at the end of the night.

Home Delivery Driver: We’re looking for a volunteer to be a back-up driver for home delivery on Wednesdays when our regular drivers are unavailable. This volunteer will finish up the packing for Home Delivery bags. Hours would be about 8 AM-12 PM.

Mail Desk Volunteer: We are currently seeking a new Tuesday Mail Desk volunteer. We are seeking folks who can regularly commit to Tuesdays from 10:30am-1pm, 1pm-4pm. or both shifts (10:30-4pm) to run the mail desk by organizing and filing new mail, answering the mail desk phone, giving clients their mail, and coordinating with staff. We encourage those who are consistent and organized, with strong social skills, to assist our clients in receiving their mail.

As these are very specific positions with need for detail, our Volunteer Coordinator Sarah will be working to make sure the best fit is made. Please contact Sarah if you are interested in any of our current volunteer needs.

How to Volunteer

Individual Volunteers: If you are an individual who would like to volunteer, please fill out our application at the bottom of this page or download our volunteer application and email your application to volunteer@ballardfoodbank.org. If you are seeking School Community Service/ Service Learning volunteering, also submit an application and make sure to note on your form that you are a high school student seeking service hours. Volunteer applications may take up to two week to process. Once we complete the background check, we will email you with next steps on coming in for an Orientation and then we can get you on the schedule officially for your volunteer shifts. Please read our Operating Policies before you fill out your application. 

Group Volunteers: Our maximum group size is 7. Please contact Sarah at volunteer@ballardfoodbank.org to schedule a time for your group. In the email please share: your contact name, phone, email, who your group is with, size of group and potential dates you can volunteer. We work to schedule one group at a time so that all of the volunteers have a great experience. We may not be able to accommodate all dates, so we appreciate your flexibility in scheduling.

Volunteering with School-Aged Children: We love to hear from families who would like to volunteer together. High school students are able to volunteer on their own, with a friend, or with a parent/guardian. If your child is in middle school, they must volunteer with a parent/guardian. For elementary aged children, we suggest other activities to learn about the issue of hunger in their community: collecting donations from friends and family and bringing them to the food bank, taking a tour of the food bank, or putting together hygiene gift bags. Contact Sarah, our Volunteer Coordinator, at volunteer@ballardfoodbank.org if you have questions or would like a tour.

Volunteer Orientation: All volunteers will attend an orientation after their application is approved. Orientations are offered at the following times: Monday at 10am at 5pm, Tuesday at 10am, Thursday at 5pm. After you have submitted your application, please wait for a staff member to contact you about scheduling an orientation.

Please note: We are unable to accept court ordered community service.

Volunteer Hours

Monday 8:00 am - 7:00 pm
Tuesday 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Wednesday 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Thursday 8:00 am - 7:00 pm
Friday Closed
Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed