What Can I Expect as a Volunteer?

What Can I Expect as a Volunteer?

Volunteering at Good Shepherd Food Bank is one of the best ways to give back to your neighbors struggling with food insecurity, especially during the current pandemic. By donating a few hours of your time, you’ll provide meals to families, children, seniors and those in need across Maine.

Whether volunteering as an individual or in a small group (maximum of 5), you’ll soon notice that being aware of and adhering to COVID-19 guidelines is part of your volunteer responsibility. At the start of the pandemic, we implemented procedures based on CDC recommendations and updated them as needed. We intend to keep our staff, volunteers, and guests safe while they are in our facilities.

COVID-19 Safety Guidelines Before Volunteering

We cannot allow volunteers in the facilities if the following are true within the last 14 days:

  • Traveled out of the Maine CDC recommended travel guidelines;
  • Attended a large gathering of people (more than 50 people);
  • Have not practiced social distancing guidelines, including choosing not to wear a face mask;
  • Experienced symptoms of respiratory illness including runny nose, sneezing, cough, fever or chest tightness;
  • Contact with anyone who is suspected of having COVID-19 or has tested positive for the virus.
  • The CDC has identified higher risks associated with COVID-19 for individuals over the age of 60, and have underlying medical conditions. Due to this, we encourage people over 60 or with other serious health conditions and more susceptible to complications from the virus to stay home.

COVID-19 Safety Guidelines While Volunteering

Each time you volunteer, you will be asked to complete an online health screening, including a no-touch temp check. If you do not pass the screening, you need to tell a staff member and leave the facility. The volunteer department will follow up and contact you with further information. Please go home to monitor your symptoms and contact a medical provider if necessary.

While in our facilities:

  • We limit volunteer group sizes.
  • Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from others during check-in, orientation, and during the hours in the warehouse.
  • Wash hands at the start and end of each shift, break, and change of task.
  • Wear a face mask at all times, and masks are available upon request.
  • Gloves are recommended.
  • Hand sanitizer is available throughout the facility.

What should I wear?

Please dress in comfortable clothing, such as jeans, t-shirts and sneakers. All volunteers must wear closed-toe shoes.

Common Volunteer tasks

  • Food inspection – ensuring that the food we provide to our partner network is safe and will support the wellbeing of the people we assist.
  • Food sorting – sorting through food donations from individuals, farms and our retail partners to ensure quality and food safety and assembling boxes of food distributed through our partner network.
  • Packing Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) Boxes – building and filling CSFP boxes with nutritious, USDA-purchased foods to provide to low-income seniors.
  • Packing Community Health & Hunger Program (CHHP) – building and filling CHHP boxes supplied to healthcare providers across the state to connect food-insecure patients with resources in their community.

Volunteering at Good Shepherd Food Bank is one way to give back to local Maine communities. Your generous donation of time and talent makes an impact in the fight against hunger and allows us to fulfill our mission of providing food to food-insecure Maine families.

For more information on how to start volunteering at Good Shepherd Food Bank, please visit our website or call us at 207-782-3554.

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