Have any questions about volunteering with the Ottawa Food Bank? Take a look through questions that others have asked and contact us if you can’t find what you’re looking for.

How do I become a volunteer with the Ottawa Food Bank?

Please contact our Volunteer Coordinator by email or phone 613-745-7001 to arrange a tour of the Ottawa Food Bank and to learn more about volunteer opportunities that may interest you.

When can I volunteer?

The Ottawa Food Bank is open Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Volunteers are scheduled, as needed, between 9 am and 3:30 pm. The length of each shift varies on an as-needed basis.

Do you have evening and weekend volunteering opportunities?

We currently do not have regular evening and weekend volunteer opportunities available in our food warehouse.

We do have special events that are frequently held on evenings and weekends. Please identify your interest in volunteering at an event by contacting our Volunteer Coordinator by email. You will be sent email notifications when volunteers are required for upcoming events.

Can I book a group/family volunteering opportunity?

Yes, group bookings are welcomed at the Ottawa Food Bank.  Due to space limitations and safety, the recommended maximum number of participants is 12.  Groups with more than 12 can book multiple sessions to accommodate their total group size.

Families with small children should note that the recommended minimum age is 10 years.

Groups may also want to consider volunteering as Community Harvest helpers, assisting with planting and gleaning fresh fruits and vegetables for distribution to our Member Agencies. Learn more about Community Harvest.

Please identify your interest in volunteering at an event by contacting our Volunteer Coordinator by email.

What types of volunteer opportunities are available?

What is your way to volunteer?  We are open to suggestions if you have particular skill or ability you think would benefit the Ottawa Food Bank, please let us know!

Our regular volunteer opportunities include but are not limited to:

  • office support
  • warehouse help
  • food sorting
  • delivery driver’s assistants
  • community harvest helpers
  • special events assistants
  • work place ambassadors

What should I wear to volunteer?

Comfortable clothing and footwear is always encouraged. When volunteering in our warehouse, closed toes shoes are required (no sandals). If you are volunteering on our delivery trucks – steel-toed foot wear is recommended.

When volunteering at special events, recommended dress will be indicated.

How old do I need to be to volunteer for the Food Bank?

  • The recommended minimum age of children volunteering with family in our warehouse is 10 years
  • Youth volunteers under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult
  • Delivery assistants and Community Harvest volunteers must be a minimum of 18 years of age to volunteer on their own

Do you take student volunteers?

We are please to assist high school students in the completion of the 40 hours of community volunteer hours.

Please note that our regular hours of operation often preclude students from volunteering on-site but we welcome their participation during March Break (dependent on availability of volunteer opportunities) and as volunteers at our special events.  Contact our Volunteer Coordinator by email to express your interest.

Please note that all students are responsible for recording their hours and having their record sheet signed/authorized by supervising Ottawa Food Bank staff.

Do I require a police records check?

We generally do not require a police records check to volunteer with the Ottawa Food Bank.

Will I be photographed during my volunteer activity?

With frequent media events taking place on-site at the Ottawa Food Bank, photos and/or video footage may be taken throughout the duration of your volunteer activity and released through various media outlets. You will be asked to sign a waiver as part of your volunteer application and confidentiality agreement with the Ottawa Food Bank.

Can I just drop in to volunteer?

Individual volunteers and groups are required to book in advance of volunteering with the Ottawa Food Bank.

What is the time commitment?

We have a very flexible approach to volunteering at the Ottawa Food Bank.  There is no minimum time commitment to participate in the volunteer program.

Can I do court appointed community service hours at the Ottawa Food Bank?

We do accept individuals with court appointed hours however, we are unable to accept anyone who has a violent offense. Hours, dates, and times must be pre-approved and arranged through the CSO supervisor in advance.For more information about Court Ordered Community Service, contact our CSO supervisor at 613-745-7001 ext. 120 or by email.