What to Expect When Volunteering

How to Get Started

To begin your journey as a volunteer, you will need to fill out an application on the Northeast Iowa Food Bank’s website. From there, we will send a confirmation e-mail with information about the next step. Once you’ve completed orientation, you may schedule yourself to volunteer by clicking the “Volunteer Login” at the top of the NEIFB homepage.

Orientation and Training

Each week we hold a mandatory orientation session. You only need to attend this session once. During this time, we will discuss rules as well as opportunities you will find during your time volunteering with the Food Bank. We will also go on a tour of the facility, so you get to see firsthand all the ways we work to close the Meal Gap. Orientation times are every Tuesday from 4pm-5pm, and the 2nd Saturday of every month from 11:15am-12:15pm.


Once you have successfully completed orientation, you may begin signing up for volunteer opportunities. After signing into your volunteer log-in, you can click “My Schedule” and begin filling openings that fit your schedule and interests. We recommend trying out different volunteer experiences to find your niche within our organization. If you don’t have access to a computer, please write down your name, hours, and volunteer location and the Individual Volunteer Coordinator will schedule you. You may not show up without being scheduled, unless you have prior permission from the Volunteer Department. Please do not schedule yourself less than 24 hours in advance.

​​Signing In and Out

There is a clock-in station located in the Food Bank office. You may type in your volunteer code to sign-in and select your assignment for that day. You must sign in on the iPads at all times unless they are out of order. If the iPad happens to not be working, you may sign-in on the clipboard forms, however, please let someone in the office know that the iPad is not working so we can fix it. If you happen to forget to clock in or out, please let the Individual Volunteer Coordinator know and they will adjust the schedule accordingly.

Parking and Building Entry

When volunteering, you may park in the front parking lot on Lafayette Street. During building hours, please enter the Food Pantry and Offices door to sign in. There are some programs in which a Program Coordinator may let you know you can park in the back employee parking lot. For after hour groups, you will enter the door that says Volunteer Entrance unless the Group Coordinator says differently.


If you are unable to make your shift, please let us know by 3:00pm the day before your shift. However, we understand that there are emergencies. If you are feeling sick, please stay home! We have contact with a lot of clients and food, and so we don’t want to spread germs everywhere. Continuous no-shows or cancellations may require the Volunteer Coordinators to reevaluate your work with the organization.

Hour Documentation

If you need documentation of the hours you are completing with the NEIFB, please let the Individual Volunteer Coordinator know as soon as you begin volunteering. If there are documents that a staff member needs to track hours on, please present those up front. We are willing to print off completed hours, however please let the Volunteer Coordinator know 24 hours prior to your final shift to ensure they have time to complete this. We are willing to work with you to complete hours, but we would appreciate plenty of notice to ensure you get the most out of your experience.

Scheduling Options

We have volunteer opportunities available during the building hours from 7:30am-4:30pm. Shifts may vary in different locations on site, so please look at our online schedule to find something that works for you. We understand that the day schedule does not work for everyone, so please keep an eye out for our special events in the evenings or on the weekends that we need help with!

Means for Dismissal

The dismissal of a volunteer is a serious consideration. Before a volunteer may be dismissed, every attempt will be taken with the parties involved to resolve the action. Dismissal of a volunteer may take place if the volunteer is unreliable, demonstrates inappropriate behavior, or fails to adhere to policies of the NEIFB Volunteer Handbook.