Join the team of #OttawasBestVolunteers
and support the work of the Ottawa Food Bank

The Ottawa Food Bank operates a warehouse and food distribution centre which supports over 100 food bank and food programs in our community. We also operate our Community Harvest Farm in Stittsville that grows over 20 different crops. Volunteers support both major activities as well as special events and more.

In addition to Ottawa Food Bank volunteer opportunities, we encourage you to find and contact your local food program by entering your postal code here.  Please note that these food programs operate their own volunteer programs, independent from the Ottawa Food Bank.

Individual Volunteers

Individuals, students, and families looking to volunteer can expect to assist with activities such as food sorting, working at our farm, or with special events like food drives.

The minimum age to register to volunteer is 14 years old with a signed waiver from a parent/guardian. The Ottawa Food Bank is pleased to verify Community Involvement volunteer hours as part of your Ontario Secondary School Diploma requirements.

Where to start?  Please create a volunteer profile through our Volunteer Hub. With this profile you will receive information and updates as volunteer opportunities arise!  Questions? Please reach out to our Coordinator of Volunteer Resources, Adam Janes, at adam@ottawafoodbank.ca or by calling 613-745-7001 ex 138.

Corporate and Community Group Volunteers

Corporate and community groups interested in booking a group food sorting shift at the Ottawa Food Bank or helping at our Community Harvest Farm should email our Manager of Volunteer Resources, Jo-Anne Turple, at joanne@ottawafoodbank.ca.

Summer Student Volunteer Program

Each summer, we accept a limited number of high school student volunteers for July and August to assist with food sorting in our warehouse.

Space is limited to a maximum of 30 participating students, who are scheduled for one food sorting shift per week, with the chance to sign up for additional shifts in the case of cancellations, vacations, etc.  

For an overview of the Ottawa Food Bank’s food sorting role, please click here.  Please note we do account for students taking vacation time during the summer, after being trained in this work. Placements are confirmed on a first-come basis for individuals who meet the eligibility requirements below. 

Eligibility Criteria 

To participate in the summer student volunteer program, youth are required to:

  • be a minimum of 14 years of age and under 19 years of age. This age segmentation is to support high school students aiming for the completion of mandatory community volunteer hours.
  • have a registered volunteer profile with the Ottawa Food Bank. If you haven’t already, you can create your volunteer profile via our Volunteer Hub.
  • provide a waiver signed by a parent/guardian.

If you’re planning on volunteering with the Ottawa Food Bank, please take a moment to read our VOLUNTEER HANDBOOK.

Volunteer Job Descriptions

Sorting Food

We purchase, collect, and distribute food to over 100 food banks and food programs across the city. This food must be inspected and then organized so it can be distributed to our network and the community.

Ottawa Food Bank Special Events

The Ottawa Food Bank is often invited to participate in special events across the city. Our volunteers, supported by staff, play a crucial role in collecting food and funds at these events and our own signature events.

Community Harvest Volunteers

Our Community Harvest Farm is always in need of volunteers during the growing and harvesting seasons as we plant, grow, and distribute fresh, healthy produce.

If you’d like to volunteer for any of our member agencies, please contact them directly. Click below to find the member agency closest to you.

How you help

Take a look at how our amazing volunteers help change the lives of people in Ottawa by reading our Volunteer Impact Report. We would not be able to accomplish our mission if it weren’t for the amazing people who donate their time.

All in a Day with Alan Neal

Meet the Tuesday volunteers who sort food at the Ottawa Food Bank warehouse each week

For the fifteen volunteers that show up at the warehouse each Tuesday, it’s about more than just filling boxes with food products. We found out about the friendships that keep them coming back week after week, year after year.

Need food?

Use our look up tool to find the community food program in your neighbourhood.