The D300 Food Pantry is 100% volunteer led. From our Executive Director to our Pantry Manager, Facilities Manager and Team Leaders all the way to our Wednesday night helpers, sorters, and drivers – we’re all volunteers. We estimate it takes 300 volunteers and 4,000 hours to to operate the pantry for a year. That means we need you, whether it’s once a week, once a month or just once.
Individuals or groups, are all welcome
Ways to Volunteer
Volunteers come in all sizes, ages and fitness levels. We need help with sorting and checking expiration dates on donations, picking up donations from donors or area businesses, working open pantry nights, packing food boxes, stamping envelopes, manning booths at area events, stocking shelves and so much more! We can accommodate anyone’s physical fitness level – just ask!
Just a few ways to help
How to Sign Up
We use the volunteer program InItLive. You will be asked to answer a few general questions and sign our liability waiver before you can sign up. Once you’re in, you will see a list of opportunities that you might like to participate in. Join each opportunity you’d like and then choose your shifts from there! And if you don’t find something that works for you, email our volunteer coordinator Anna Jones.
How Old Do Volunteers Need to Be?
All volunteers much be 13 years old or older. Please do not signup if you are under 13 or signup anyone else who is under 13. We’re sorry, but no exceptions can be made.
What Kind of Clothes Should I wear to volunteer?
Appropriate clothing should be worn for your volunteer shift. Closed-toed shoes (sneakers preferred), limited jewelry, NO perfume/cologne and applicable outerwear for the weather as you might be working outside.
What COVID Precautions are there?
Social distancing will be adhered to as much as possible, but please know that the pantry is small and often this will be difficult. Feel free to wear a mask if you would like!
Please don’t come if you or anyone in your home is sick.
What should i bring to my shift?
Please only bring your keys and your phone into the pantry. Keep them on your person and put away during your shift. There are lockers with locks on them, but they are limited in number. We will supply water, so need to bring a water bottle.
What If I have physical limitations? Can I still volunteer?
You bet you can! Just let us know when you get there, and we will find a job that works for you!
Can I only sign up if I need hours for a club or organization?
No. We would love to have you join us anytime you want and are available.
What do i do when i get to the pantry?
Upon arrival for your shift, please head into the Volunteer Area to sign-in. Then, wash your hands. Next, you will locate a Team Leader who will assign you a job. Finally, have fun!
i know someone who is coming to the pantry. what do i do?
We, as an organization, have the utmost respect for our client’s privacy. It may be an embarrassing and uncomfortable situation for them. This is why it is very important that you remember who you see visiting the food pantry during your shift is CONFIDENTIAL and should not be shared with anyone.
How Do I get one of those cool pantry shirts?
If you plan to volunteer regularly, speak with a Team Leader and let them know. After you have come several times, we are more than happy to supply you with a D300 Food Pantry t-shirt!
I can't make my shift. what do i do?
We depend heavily on each and every volunteer for each shift. Please be on time! IF YOU CANNOT MAKE THE SHIFT YOU SIGNED UP FOR, PLEASE REMOVE YOUR NAME FROM THE SIGN-UP. If you are canceling less than 72 hours before your shift, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Anna Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org .
The shift I want to volunteer for is full. Can I still sign up?
Yes! Our new Volunteer Management System allows us to have a waitlist of people interested in a shift. If you have signed up for the waitlist, we will reach out to you if anyone cancels.
I have some great ideas that I think could help your organization. Who should I tell them to?
That’s fantastic! We are always open to hearing your ideas. Please contact our Pantry Manager to share those ideas: email@example.com.
We Need Food Rescue Drivers
We are in need of multiple drivers to support our routes to various retail locations. Drivers will utilize our vehicle to pick-up food donations and deliver them back to the pantry. Drivers must be 21 years of age or older and possess a valid IL Driver’s License. This role can be quite physical, so requires the ability to lift 50 pounds. Our community partners have a set schedule, so our drivers can too! Learn more about our Driver volunteers.
Other Volunteer Opportunities:
Help with special projects
Once my son started high school I had some free time in the evenings. I had been wanting to volunteer for a while, to give back to the community and wanted something close by. I saw D300 pantry’s ad on FB and thought why not. It was close to home and the community I live in and seemed like a perfect opportunity. I started volunteering back in September 2021 and have volunteered on a somewhat regular schedule since then. I love working with the team and all the volunteers. It is so fulfilling to be a part of this amazing team and now I love volunteering whenever I can.
How everyone always leaves with a smile, whether you are the volunteer or the one in need… everyone is always so helpful and appreciative.
I started volunteering during COVID. I was at home 24/7, homeschooling my 4 year old and virtual schooling my 6 year old. My husband also worked from home. I had been looking into volunteering when my youngest went off to Kindergarten, but being stuck at home pushed me to move my timeline up! I started Packing boxes on Thursday nights, did some Saturday Distribution shifts, and now I mostly stick to Tuesday mornings. I enjoy helping to make a difference in these families' lives.
I was looking to do another half day volunteering in addition to the half day I do at a church in St Charles. Additionally, I knew through a neighbor who’s on the D300 board that they were looking for more volunteers. Sounded like a good fit.
My favorite part about volunteering at the D300 Food Pantry is seeing the smiles on people’s faces. We never know people's daily struggles, but by helping people meet basic needs such as food. I hope I can help alleviate some of these obstacles. No one should ever have to question where their next meal comes from. Thank you D300 Food Pantry for your contribution to the community.
I started a few years back simply to fill some available time on a weekday while my daughter was in school. The Tuesday morning (receiving) time slots worked out well for me and this was a chance to get involved with our community a few hours a week. The work can be physical with sorting and lifting of heavy boxes from large donation pallets. Then there's lighter work of re-stocking and re-arranging shelves and storage areas. It's a rewarding experience to work with a great group of friendly volunteers and hard-working leads who have a positive, get-it-done energy.
I was looking for a way to give back to the greater community and needed an opportunity that had weekday evening volunteering vs daytime or weekend. Food insecurity is a real issue and when I learned about D300 Food Pantry I thought it was a good fit. Plus being 100% volunteer lead/run is an huge undertaking. It has been a fun experience so far.
After retiring as a D300 teacher, I continued to substitute teach and fill my days with various activities. I started once or twice a month and then began to add another Tuesday and to explore an occasional Wednesday shift. The D300 Food Pantry became a part of my weekly plan as much as possible. The volunteers and team leaders were welcoming from the start and guided me and any new volunteers to complete whatever task was needed ~ unloading boxes, stocking shelves, processing produce. Wonderful bonds are formed, and with great spirit and common cause “to keep the kids (and families) fed”, we joyfully fill the shelves with generous donations from our community. I am very blessed to be a volunteer with the D300 Food Pantry.
I had originally came to the panty because I needed hours to get into NHS, but then I liked it and kept coming back. I continued because it is amazing to know that mouths are not going hungry and you are helping those around you who are less fortunate than you are. Keepin the kids fed!