Volunteer FAQ

Please take a look at the Volunteer Information Sessions above and sign up for the one that best suits your availability. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact our Volunteer Coordinator.

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.

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.

Yes, group bookings are welcomed at the Ottawa Food Bank. Due to space limitations and safety in our food sorting area, the recommended maximum number of participants is 15. Groups larger than this may be required to book multiple sessions.

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

Groups, up to a maximum of 30, may also want to consider volunteering as Community Harvest helpers, assisting with planting and gleaning fresh fruits and vegetables for distribution on our farm. Learn more about Community Harvest.

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

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
  • Farmer field helpers
  • Special events assistants
  • Work place ambassadors

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.

  • The recommended minimum age of children volunteering with family in our warehouse is 10 years
  • Minimum recommended age on our farm is 8 years old, and youth under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Youth volunteers under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult
  • Delivery assistants must be a minimum of 18 years of age

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 PD Days and school breaks (dependent on availability of volunteer opportunities) and as volunteers at our special events throughout the year. 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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

The Ottawa Food Bank works with established community partners to place individuals with court appointed hours. For more information on our Community Service Order (CSO) Program please contact us at 613-745-7001 ext 120.

Register For Current Volunteer Opportunities

We’d love to keep in touch.

Sign up for the occasional update on the

Ottawa Food Bank!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Need food?

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