Volunteer Opportunities at the Food Depository

We have several volunteer opportunities available for kids and adults right at our facility in Chicago. Meet new people, have fun and make a real impact to the community.

Food Repack

  • Repack bulk products into individual and family-sized portions
  • Prepare boxes with an assortment of food
  • Check expiration dates on donated food items
  • Sort fresh produce items
  • Label and gather donations

We work with individual volunteers and large groups during repack sessions, Tuesdays through Saturdays. Participants must be at least 14 years old. Youth ages 14 and 15 may volunteer when accompanied by an adult over age 18.

High school youth groups can volunteer with 1 adult for every 10 youth.

Kids Days are offered monthly. Families and groups of 20 or fewer are welcome with one child per adult so kids ages 5-13 may volunteer. Check the calendar for special repack sessions during summer and winter breaks.

Questions about volunteering?

We’re here to help with your volunteer experience. Read our FAQ, or contact our Volunteer Services team at 773-247-3663 with any other questions.

Frequently Asked Questions


Loading Dock

We ship more than 150,000 pounds of food every day. Volunteers are needed for at least three hours on weekday mornings to help load our trucks. Volunteers must be at least 16 years old and able to lift up to 50 pounds.

Sign Up Here

Volunteer Drivers

Every weekday morning, two-person volunteer teams deliver fresh produce to member agencies and pick up food drive donations from local organizations.

Our volunteer drivers must:

  • Be at least 25 years old
  • Have a valid drivers license
  • Be able to lift at least 50 pounds
  • Be willing to undergo a background check and drug screening

Court-Ordered Community Service

Anyone volunteering to complete court-ordered community service must fill out an application and return it by mail, fax or email to the Volunteer Services department for processing before scheduling a session.

Volunteer Opportunities in the Community

Venture out into the community and help make an impact across Cook County. Choose an offsite location and help spread awareness.


Special Events

The Food Depository hosts events throughout the year at offsite locations. Volunteer support is needed with several tasks:

  • Hosting an information table and answering questions
  • Registering attendees
  • Collecting food donations
  • Fundraising
  • Speaking to groups
Food Shows

Food industry trade shows prevent waste by donating excess food after they close. Volunteers are needed to assist with these food rescues. Food show season begins in April and continues through June. Most of these “food rescues” take place at McCormick Place and the Rosemont Convention center, and volunteers must be 18 years old.