Plan your volunteer experience today

You can volunteer in many different ways, from supporting an event to helping us distribute food to clients each week or serving lunch on a Wednesday.

Like many food pantries, we rely heavily on volunteers to keep our pantry open and ready to serve the people who need our services most.

We use Sign-Up to help you register easily for volunteer opportunities. They fill up fast so plan ahead! Before accessing Sign-Up, please see the information below on regular weekly or monthly assignments, along with special seasonal events and food drives.

All new volunteers must fill out our simple volunteer application form. Please email volunteer@commonpantry.org with any questions.

VOLUNTEER

DECEMBER

weekly food distribution and produce day

JANUARY

weekly food distribution and produce day

FEBRUARY

weekly food distribution and produce day

Weekly Food Distribution

Every Wednesday we distribute food to clients from 1 to 4 p.m. and from  6 to 8 p.m. On Thursdays our distribution hours are 1 to 4 p.m.  Volunteers help stock shelves, bag groceries, and assist clients as they shop for their favorite items.

Monthly Produce Distribution

Produce Day volunteers help us provide thousands of pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables to hundreds of neighbors in need. Join us for distribution on the third Monday of each month from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Volunteers help unload the produce, bag it and distribute to clients. Groups of up to 30 people are welcome. This is a great corporate volunteer activity!

Food Drives

Host a food at your school, club or place of work of worship. We can provide containers, signage and our wish list. You can also connect with one of our grocery store partners to host a food drive right at the store. Contact us at (773) 327-0553 in advance to coordinate your drive.

Greater Chicago Food Depository

We receive food credits from the depository to buy food for our clients. You can volunteer directly with the depository at its headquarters on the southwest side. Check out the website at www.chicagosfoodbank.org or contact the depository at (773) 247-3663 to speak with a group volunteer coordinator. Please reference our agency code (A00003) when signing up.

Festivals and Events

Our volunteers staff  gates, serve beverages, sell tickets and perform other duties, earning grant dollars for Common Pantry at local street festivals and events. We pair volunteers in groups of two or three for shifts, with up to 40 volunteers per festival. For some assignments, volunteers must be at least 18 or at least 21 years old. Check the upcoming event opportunities.

Administrative Help

Occasionally we need administrative or technology assistance at the Pantry. Stay tuned for posted volunteer opportunities or email the director at director@commonpantry.org to inquire.

How Families Can Volunteer

Sign up online for our family-friendly volunteer opportunities such as Common Kids. Check the website regularly for scheduled events.

Hold a Food Drive: Do you have a birthday party, block party of other activity coming up this summer? Invite people to bring non-perishables to donate (Pantry clients particularly need coffee, cooking oil, diapers in sizes 4-6, full size shampoos, deodorants, toothpastes, etc.) View our Wishlist for ideas on what to donate.

Bagging Groceries for homebound distribution – Once a month, volunteers deliver groceries to elderly clients; we bag groceries in advance for 30 households. Ideal for 1-2 adults with 1-3 kids. Flexible time. (Ages 8+ with a parent/care-giver).

Thursday Shelf Re-stocking – A great “school’s out” activity! Help us prepare the pantry for Thursday afternoon distribution by stocking food from 12-1pm. (Age 10+ with a parent/care-giver).

Back to School Supplies Drive – Yes, we are already thinking ahead to August, when we will collect school supplies outside neighborhood Staples stores, organize them into age-appropriate kits, and provide brand-new backpack to all registered Pantry kids. Parents- would you like to help plan this exciting project? Email amy.e.pagliarella@comcast.net

Join a Committee

Our volunteer board has a number of committees devoted to accomplishing the diverse work of the pantry. Current committees include Events, Communications, Development/fundraising and Community Relations. We are always interested in hearing from community members who have special skills to offer!  You need not be a board member to serve on a committee. Contact President@commonpantry.org for more information about committees.