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 post our volunteer shifts three months at time and spots fill up fast so please plan ahead! Before looking at the available shifts, please see the information below to learn more about the weekly and monthly opportunities, along with special seasonal events and food drives.

Volunteer opportunities exist for groups of all sizes! If you are looking to bring a team to volunteer please reach out to to discuss the available volunteer options.

Click here to view our Volunteer FAQ

If you have any volunteer questions, please reach out to


We distribute food to clients on Tuesdays from 4 to 6 p.m., Wednesdays from 1 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. and on Thursdays from 1 to 4 p.m. Volunteers help stock shelves, bag items and assist clients as they shop for their favorite items. This is a great opportunity for anyone over the age of 14!


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!


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. Access our Food Drive Toolkit HERE or contact us at (773) 327-0553 in advance to coordinate your drive


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 or contact the depository at (773) 247-3663 to speak with a group volunteer coordinator. Please reference our agency code (A00003) when signing up.


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.


Students completing school service hours are more than welcome to volunteer with us. Please, keep a record of your hours and provide a week’s notice if a written confirmation is needed. 

Individuals with court-ordered hours are approved on a case-by-case basis. Please reach out to to inquire about completing your hours here before signing up for any volunteer shifts.


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. Contact us at

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 if schedules allow. Ages 9-13 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 11 am – 12 pm. (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


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 for more information about committees.