At BFN we believe in creating a community around food, and that starts with our team of compassionate volunteers!

From supporting and checking in neighbors at our pantries to driving delivery vans to sorting recovered food, our hundreds of volunteers are essential to our mission to provide healthy food with dignity to our communities in need.

Join Us!

There are many ways to join us in the fight against hunger in your community. Continue scrolling to view our current volunteer opportunities.

To get started, please follow the button below to fill out the inquiry form. You will receive a link to the Volunteer Orientation video and instructions for how to get started.

I’m Interested in volunteering!

Pantry Volunteers

During this 3-hour shift, you will stock and organize our pantries and assist members with check-in and grocery selection. We are in need of volunteers at our 9th Street Pantry located at our warehouse and our Neighborhood Pantries located at partner sites in the community. If you like interacting with your community, this shift is for you! To volunteer at our pantries, you will need to take the in-person Pantry Volunteer Training linked at the end of the Volunteer Orientation video.

Warehouse Support: Food Recovery

Help us get delicious food to our community and prevent it from going to waste! In this weekday morning shift, volunteers sort through pallets of recovered produce and pantry items and prepare them for distribution to our community members and partners. This shift is great for people who are passionate about reducing food waste and providing safe food for our community.

Warehouse Support: Home Delivery

Our Home Delivery Warehouse Volunteers pack custom grocery boxes for some of the most vulnerable households in our community: seniors, the chronically ill, and those who experience barriers to accessing our pantry sites. Help ensure your neighbors have healthy food by lending your support for this Monday morning and biweekly Wednesday morning shift.

Warehouse Support: Wrap-Up

Our Warehouse Wrap-Up Volunteers are the hidden heroes of BFN and are vital to our mission to end hunger! Each weekday afternoon they ensure our warehouse is safe and sanitary for the next day’s activities by sweeping, mopping, cleaning out bins, and taking out the trash. Get a workout while supporting BFN! This shift involves light and heavy lifting.

Warehouse Support:
9th Street Pantry Restock

Our 9th Street Pantry located onsite at our warehouse is our largest distribution, accounting for 34% of our outgoing food and serving 800 households a week. This shift helps us replenish shelf-stable and refrigerated items in our pantry room and spruce up the space for our community members. Volunteers must be able to lift 50 lbs.

Drivers:

We are looking for individuals to deliver food to the community and pick up recovered food donations. A valid driver’s license is required.

BFN Cargo Van Driving:

  • Neighborhood Pantry Pick-up & Delivery: Various days and times.
  • Food Recovery Pick-Up: Monday-Thursday mornings.

Personal Vehicle Driving:

  • Home Delivery Drop-off: Wednesday afternoons.

Volunteer FAQ

How do I sign up for regular shifts?

If you’d like to sign up to be a regular on a specific shift, please email volunteer@berkeleyfoodnetwork.org.

Do you have any group volunteer opportunities?

Unfortunately, we currently do not have the capacity to accommodate volunteer groups at this time. Please check back soon.

How old do I have to be to volunteer?

Minors ages 16-17 may volunteer on their own once we obtain an adult or guardian signature on the waiver AND one of the following requirements is met…

  1. The minor volunteers for a shift M-F between 8:00 am and 4:30 pm OR
  2. The minor volunteers with a parent/guardian for your first evening shift.

Minors aged 12-15: may volunteer with an adult present on the same shift.
Children age 12 & under: BFN cannot accommodate volunteers under age 12.

Please note that volunteering at BFN is contingent upon the ability to follow instructions & safety protocols to ensure tasks are completed in a correct, efficient, and safe manner.

Do you have weekend or evening opportunities available?

Evening opportunities to volunteer at our 9th Street Pantry are available Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4:30PM-7:30PM. We occasionally have other evening and weekend opportunities for events.

Do you accept volunteer hours requests?

BFN welcomes folks who need to complete hours for school, work, and/or traffic court. At this time, we are not accepting hours for individuals filling requirements for criminal court. If you need hours for any of the approved purposes, please reach out to volunteer@berkeleyfoodnetwork.org before your first shift with the number of hours you need and the purpose so we can track them for you.

I still have questions. Who can I contact?

If you have additional questions about volunteering, please contact volunteer@berkeleyfoodnetwork.org.

Volunteer Testimonials

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"What we do at BFN is so important: giving people food! With the new 9th Street Pantry format inside the Warehouse, I volunteered to be the Greeter where the members line up to enter the pantry. I didn’t expect to like it as much as I do! I’m a social worker and a teacher, so interacting with people is what I do and what I enjoy doing."

– Ann
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"Working for people in need was my area of interest when I lived in Iran. When I came to Berkeley, I wanted to continue that work. After a couple of months of volunteering at BFN, I witnessed how they help people and that it is so well-organized. I feel very satisfied when I see the pleased faces of the clients who receive food in such a respectful way. "

– Mostafa