Volunteer FAQ

How do I sign up to volunteer? Fill out the volunteer application. Then, make an appointment to meet Lee Stein, Volunteer Manager, for a brief interview. At your interview, you’ll get a short tour of the pantry, go over any available opportunities, get answers to your questions, and decide on a schedule. Our operating hours are Wednesdays from 9 am. to 12:30 p.m. and the 2nd Tuesday of every month from 6 to 8 p.m. so any interviewing will occur outside our distribution hours. If our schedule conflicts with yours, please check out our “Unique Volunteering Opportunities.”

May I schedule a group? Yes! We invite groups to work for a day at the pantry, or other pantry-related events. If a group wishes to work here on the pantry floor, we require groups to be limited to 10 individuals. For school our scouting groups, we ask that minors be at least 10 years of age, and accompanied by 1 adult for every 5 children.

What should we wear? Regularly-scheduled volunteers are given a complimentary IPCFP t-shirt! Otherwise, all volunteers should wear comfortable, safe clothing (closed-toed shoes) that may get messy. Please refrain from any offensive writing on shirts, hats, etc.

Do we need to bring anything? No. Bring as little as possible. Snacks and coffee/drinks are provided through our kitchen.

Is there parking available? Free parking is available on Grace Street. Keeler Avenue is zoned, however the alderman allows regular parking during pantry distribution hours–only! Do not park in the alley behind the church as those spaces are reserved for our drivers and regular church and pantry paid staff members.

I have mandated community service hours. Can I fulfill them at Irving Park Community Food Pantry? Yes. We welcome volunteers that need to perform volunteer service hours for church, school, or court. For each of these instances, Irving Park Community Food Pantry offers a maximum of 10 hours per person. The process to apply is the same for all volunteers. Please note that the volunteer is solely responsible for tracking all hours acquired at Irving Park Community Food Pantry. If you have any paperwork requiring a signature or date, you must bring it with you.

Court-Ordered Hours: We do not schedule volunteers that have committed a violent crime/theft of any kind. Those who have committed other offenses are eligible to volunteer. However, each case is subject to the discretion of the Volunteer Manager.

School-Hours: If our schedule conflicts with yours, please check out our “Unique Volunteering Opportunities.” In addition, we have special “food-sorting” events throughout the year, which is a great way to earn some hours.

We encourage all volunteers to continue their service to the pantry, beyond their mandated hours. We appreciate your service in any capacity as we fulfill the mission of providing emergency food relief and other services to the community.

Do I have to schedule in advance or can I just show up to volunteer? Do not just show up. All volunteers are scheduled in advance.

Can clients volunteer at the pantry, too?  Clients are welcome to volunteer. Again, the process to apply is the same for all volunteers. Contact Lee to fill out paperwork and schedule an interview.