Interested in volunteering with us? Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about volunteering at the Freestore Foodbank.
All volunteers, including adult chaperones, are required to register online before their visit to the Freestore Foodbank. After volunteers have created an on-line account they are able to select volunteer shifts and request reservations for group volunteer opportunities. To create your volunteer account, please click here. To schedule a group volunteer opportunity, please click here. If you have questions, contact [email protected] or call us at 513-482-7550.
The Freestore welcomes both individuals and groups to work on a variety of tasks that help eliminate hunger in our area. All of our volunteer activities are one of three types:
Basic: Basic volunteer assignments are usually one-time shifts that require little or no advanced preparation or training, but do require advanced registration. Most groups and individuals are in this category. Activities include:
- Sorting and packaging nonperishable food that is later distributed to local food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters our Mayerson Distribution Center
- Stocking shelves, sorting food and providing customer service to people as they shop at the Food Room in the Customer Connection Center.
- Planting, harvesting and providing general farm labor for our 10 acre farm, Giving Fields which provides fresh produce to our community partners in Northern Kentucky.
- Assisting at Special Events throughout the year including Holiday Operations, Rubber Duck Regatta, Hunger Walk and Hogs vs. Hunger.
Regular: Regular volunteer assignments are usually ongoing assignments which can be daily, weekly, or monthly. These assignments usually require specialized skills and/or training and require advanced registration, an interview and a background check if working with sensitive material or direct customer assistance. Possible activities include:
- Clerical and administrative assistants
- Receptionist and communication desk assignments
- Back On Track (clothing store) assistants
- Healthy Harvest Mobile Market assistants
- Cincinnati Cooks! assistants
- Nutrition Program Presenters
Professional Leadership: These volunteer assignments require experience and an on-going commitment to the Freestore Foodbanks mission, typically regular shift assignments, training and a long term commitment. Possible activities include:
- Special Projects
- Board and Committee appointments
Age requirements vary depending on the activities.
Mayerson Distribution Center – All volunteers must be at least 13 years of age.
Customer Connection Center – All volunteers must be at least 16 years of age.
Giving Fields – All volunteers must be at least 5 years of age.
Special Events – Ages vary depending on tasks
All volunteers under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Youth volunteers and adult chaperones are both required to complete the on-line registration in order to volunteer. The online system will prompt all minors to print and acquire a parental signature on a consent form before volunteering.
Hours and shifts vary per event. See each activity for more information.
Freestore Foodbank welcomes groups from corporate and civic organizations and school daily.
We are able to accommodate groups of varying sizes depending on the event:
- Mayerson Distribution Center: Up to 35 volunteers per shift
- Giving Fields: Individuals to up to 100 volunteers per shift with special arrangements
- Food Room: Up to 10 volunteers per shift
- Special Events: varies per event
To schedule as a group, please submit a request here.
Volunteers are required to wear closed-toed shoes with closed-heels (volunteers wearing flip-flops or clogs will not be allowed to participate in any volunteer activities). Comfortable shoes and comfortable work clothes are recommended.
Warmer Months: Shorts and short sleeve shirts are permitted at the warehouse, farm and in the Food Pantry. We ask that all shirts have sleeves and may not contain any inappropriate language or messaging.
Colder Months: Jeans and pants are recommended for the warehouse and Food Pantry.
The Freestore Foodbank is a great place to complete community service hours for social services agencies or court. Food Room volunteer opportunities have been designed just for you.
If you need community service hours to fulfill a requirement for a social service agency (JFS/Community Link, CMHA, ResCare or others) or you have been ordered to complete hours for a court diversion program, you must sign up for an Orientation Meeting prior to signing up for a volunteer shift. Click here.
Freestore Foodbank is unable to work with those who have charges/convictions related to violence, sexual assault, theft or drugs.
During the Orientation Meeting, you will meet with the Volunteer Coordinator to review your community service hours requirements, confirm the paperwork necessary to document your hours and be assigned dates to volunteer. Volunteers completing court-ordered service hours are required to bring verification of their charges to the orientation meeting.
Do Not Sign Up for a Volunteer Shift as you will not be eligible to receive any documentation that will fulfill your community service requirements.
High School and College Students needing community service hours for school may volunteer at a variety of activities including the Mayerson Distribution Center, Giving Fields, Food Room and at special events. Students should bring any service documentation forms required by their school to each volunteer shift. It is each student’s responsibility to register as a volunteer before their first visit to the Freestore and to sign-in upon their arrival. If a student does not sign-in, we will have no record of their volunteer hours and be unable to confirm the time they have logged.
During the school year, special student nights and days are held at the Mayerson Distribution Center. Click here for upcoming dates.
Paperwork: Adult volunteers who signed up online do not need to bring any paperwork unless they require their own community service documentation for school or court. If you are volunteering for court ordered or mandated community service hours you must attend the orientation first before being scheduled for an event and you will need to bring your documentation requirements.
All minor volunteers who signed up online will be prompted to print the Parent Consent during the online registration process. A parent or guardian must sign the form prior to arrival and the minor should bring it with him/her on the volunteer day. All registration and scheduling should be completed online before your first visit to the Freestore Foodbank.
Other items: If you are volunteering at the Giving Fields or at an outside event, you may want to bring water, sunscreen, bug spray or other items to make your volunteer time more enjoyable. Check online when you register for specific items for your event.
- Customer Connection Center
112 E. Liberty Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202
- Mayerson Distribution Center
1250 Tennessee Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45229
- Giving Fields
101 Anderson Lane, Melbourne, KY 41059
- Jeff & Darlene Anderson Family Building
1141 Central Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Join our efforts and get started:
Volunteer Phone Number: 513 482-7550
Volunteer Email Address: [email protected]
Volunteer Mailing Address: Volunteer Management Department, Freestore Foodbank, 112 East Liberty Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202