Volunteer FAQ


If you are looking for individual shifts, you do not need to apply. Simply sign up on the online calendar. For longer commitments such as skilled volunteer opportunities, or interships, please apply.

Closed-toe shoes are required at all volunteer locations. We suggest you dress in layers to remain comfortable while working.

At the Golden Valley location, we have a no jewelry policy. When you are in the packing areas you will be asked to remove all jewelry. Clothes must be clean prior to handling food. All clothing should be appropriate for handling food and not have loose, dangling beads or other articles which can be a physical contaminant. Shirts should cover the shoulders for volunteers directly handling exposed food.

We have one location in Golden Valley and one in Maplewood. View our locations and hours.

Yes! Parking is available at both Golden Valley (in front of the entrance and behind the building by the truck docks) and Maplewood (at the northwest and west sides of the building). Volunteer parking spaces are marked with flags. To ensure sufficient parking, we do recommend that you carpool when possible.

No, we ask that you do not volunteer if you are feeling ill, or have been ill within the last 24 hours. Rather, contact us to reschedule your shift.

Due to food safety regulations, all jewelry needs to be removed during food packaging. In rare instances where jewelry can’t be removed, please contact us for guidance.

Unfortunately, no food or drink (including water) can be brought into the warehouse.

As a result of the donated food coming from different places, we cannot guarantee that the food hasn’t come in contact with certain food allergens. Unfortunately, we also can’t communicate what food products volunteers will pack until the start of the volunteer shift. For those with food allergies, we ask you exercise caution before signing up for a volunteer shift.

We do have privacy rooms available at Golden Valley and Maplewood. Simply ask a staff member, and they will be happy to direct you to them.

Please note that for off-site events or activities, we cannot guarantee there will be privacy rooms available.

Yes, we are happy to provide stools at our warehouses for volunteers who need to sit or take frequent breaks. Please notify a staff member upon arrival regarding these needs.

Please contact us for a confirmation of verified volunteer hours.

Yes, we accept community service volunteers on a case-by-case basis.

Yes! In addition to volunteering with Second Harvest Heartland, we have several ways for you to participate and make a difference.

To learn about volunteering at your local food shelf, please contact the food shelf directly. To find your nearest food shelf, visit Hunger Solutions. For additional volunteer opportunities, Second Harvest Heartland has open shifts and events at our Golden Valley and Maplewood locations.

Scheduling and shifts

To ensure that you can reserve your first choice for date and time, we recommend registering for Golden Valley shifts one month in advance. For Maplewood shifts, we recommend you register three to four months in advance.

Please contact us as soon as possible if there are any changes from your original registration.

Please notify us at least one week prior to the shift as cancellations can have a significant negative impact on our operations. To cancel a shift, please contact us.

Group Volunteers

Yes. Please email all group members' names to volunteer@2harvest.org using this spreadsheet. Please ensure to include e-mail addresses and phone numbers as providing this information helps us distinguish volunteers from one antoher in our database.

Group photos are uploaded two business days after your volunteer shift and can be found in the Photo Gallery.

The pounds your group packed can be found on your group photo in the Photo Gallery.

Volunteer groups can reserve available meeting spaces at both Golden Valley and Maplewood. The Golden Valley location can comfortably fit 15 in the Celebration Room or 50 in the Cargill Community Room. To reserve a space at Golden Valley, please fill and return this form. The Maplewood location has rooms to fit either 10 or 50 individuals. To reserve a space at Maplewood, please contact us.

We prefer that volunteers stay for the duration of the warehouse shifts, but we understand schedules sometimes don’t allow this. Please contact us if a member of your group needs to leave early/arrive late.

Expectations for group leaders can be found under the Group Leader Checklist.

Tips for successful volunteer events can be found under Resources for Groups.

Yes! Remind your volunteers to take advantage of matching-grants or gifts their organization offers.

Youth Volunteers

Yes! Second Harvest Heartland welcomes and encourages youth volunteers. See our Youth Volunteering page.

Due to the fact the majority of our volunteer jobs are completed in a working warehouse, children's safety is crucial. Review our Age Requirements for Youth Volunteers.

All youth are required to present a signed parental waiver upon arrival for their volunteer shift.

Expectations for youth chaperones can be found under the Chaperone Expectations. The Youth Volunteer Page is also a great resource to view.

We have specific adult-to-child ratios that vary by volunteer location and group size. Please view these adult-to-child ratios.

Yes! These materials can be found on our Educational Resources and Tools page.

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