To keep our volunteers, clients and staff as safe as possible during the COVID-19 crisis, we can no longer hold open volunteer shifts at Second Harvest for the foreseeable future. For more information, please visit our COVID-19 Updates.
How do I become a volunteer?
The first step is to watch our Volunteer Welcome Video. Once you have watched the Volunteer Welcome Video, you can view our Volunteer Calendar if you are registering as an individual. Find a volunteer shift that interest you and create a log-in in order to register for the event. If you are a returning volunteer and have been to the food bank within the past year and a half, an account should have been created for you. Enter the require information to access your account and schedule for volunteer shifts. If you are registering a group of 8 or more, please fill out our Volunteer Group Request Form. If you’re having trouble registering to volunteer, you can view our Volunteer Registration Instructions here or email our volunteer coordinator for assistance.
I want to volunteer, but I never know my schedule in advance. Can I just show up?
Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate walk-in volunteers. All volunteer shifts have a maximum capacity due to space and resource limitations. It is our goal to provide the best possible experience for each of our volunteers. It is important for us to know in advance when you are coming in order to provide the proper supplies and supervision to get the job done.
Do I have to volunteer for the entire shift?
The success of our projects depends on our volunteers. For that reason we ask that our volunteers arrive on time for the beginning of their shift and commit to a minimum of 1½ hours of service.
What do I need to wear when I volunteer?
All volunteers MUST wear closed-toed shoes at Second Harvest. You should wear comfortable clothing that you don’t mind getting dirty. The warehouse tends to be hot in the summer and chilly in the winter, so layered clothing is suggested.
Can I schedule a group?
Yes! Our volunteer projects can accommodate groups of various sizes and can provide team building opportunities. To schedule a group, please take a look at our volunteer shift availability. If you are looking to schedule a group of 8 or more, please fill out our Volunteer Group Request Form. If you do not see an available date and time that works for your group, contact the volunteer coordinator to see if we can make accommodations.
Can I bring more people in my group than what I originally signed up for?
Unfortunately, we cannot accept walk-in volunteers. It is important that you let the volunteer representative know if your group has changed in size. If your group has significantly increased or decreased, we may need to reschedule your group to another date or make the shift available for additional volunteers.
Can children volunteer at the food bank?
Yes! We would love for your family, school or youth group to join us. Volunteering is a great way to teach children that giving back to the community is a rewarding experience. Children must be at least 6 years of age to volunteer. All children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult over the age of 18. If the adult is not a parent or legal guardian, we will require a copy of ACT 153 Clearances– these include criminal and child abuse clearances. You may be required to have FBI fingerprinting done if you have not lived in the state of Pennsylvania for the past 10 consecutive years.
The chaperone requirements for groups of children are as follows:
1 adult chaperone for every 5 children ages 6-12
1 adult chaperone for every 10 children ages 13-17 (2 adults must accompany groups with 11-25 children)
*Each adult chaperone must present Second Harvest with a copy of their ACT 153 Clearances and must be willing to take responsibility for each child in their group.
What kind of things will I be doing when I volunteer at Second Harvest?
Please click here for more information regarding our volunteer projects.
What if I am no longer able to attend my scheduled volunteer opportunity?
At the time you register for a volunteer shift, you will be sent a confirmation email. In this email there will be a link to unregister for the volunteer shift. If you are unable to locate this email, you are able to sign-in to your account through our website and unregister yourself from an event.
If you are a group coordinator and need to cancel or reschedule your group, please contact the volunteer coordinator. You can call 814-459-3663 x 106, or email email@example.com.
Is Second Harvest able to accommodate the special needs of a handicapped or disabled volunteer?
We are able to accommodate special needs, but we evaluate our ability to accommodate on a situation-by-situation basis. Please contact the volunteer coordinator at 814-459-3663 x 106, to discuss your specific needs.
Can I use your conference room for meeting space before or after our project?
Second Harvest Food Bank has two rooms available for meetings or luncheons. To check availability, please contact the volunteer coordinator at 814-459-3663 x 106.
Can I volunteer at the food bank to complete my required service hours?
Students – We welcome student volunteers! Please see our policy on child volunteers above. We recommend that students schedule their service hours in advance. Our evening and weekend volunteer opportunities are popular and tend to fill up very quickly.
Court Ordered – We accept most court-related service hours. Contact the volunteer coordinator at 814-459-3663 x 106 to discuss requirements for court-related community service.
Where is Second Harvest located?
Click here for directions to Second Harvest. Please enter through the first door on the side of the building. This door has a red awning labeled “Volunteer Entrance.”
If you have any additional questions, please contact the volunteer coordinator directly at 814-459-3663 x 106.