Volunteer Resources and FAQ

Volunteering at Nourishing Hope 

We continue to need the help of healthy volunteers to help us pack groceries, sort food, and other important tasks at all of our locations in response to the ongoing heightened need in the community. For the safety of all, volunteer orientation sessions are being held virtually.

Please fill out this form to become a Nourishing Hope volunteer

What You’ll Need

Our priority, as always, is the health and wellness of all.

  • Masks: In accordance with the federal government’s end of COVID-19 emergency declarations, Nourishing Hope no longer requires masks for staff, volunteers and visitors. Masks will certainly continue to be welcome, but they won’t be required. We ask that everyone respect the choices of others, even if they differ from your own.   
  • Screening Questions: You will need to complete a brief self-assessment regarding your health.

Keeping You Safe

We are working hard to take extra precautions, including but not limited to:

  • Increased cleaning and sanitizing of frequently touched surfaces
  • Providing gloves and hand sanitizer to our volunteers and staff
  • Encouraging clients to wait in line 6 feet apart
  • Offering only virtual volunteer orientation and social services sessions

Please put your health and safety first. Nourishing Hope truly appreciates the continued dedication of our volunteers.

Video Tours

Headquarters Tour

Explore our new headquarters, located at 1716 W. Hubbard, with our virtual tour!

Learn More about Headquarters

Sheridan Market Tour

Explore our Sheridan Market, located at 3945 N. Sheridan Rd, with our virtual tour!

Learn More about the Sheridan Market

The Hub Tour

Tour our warehouse, The Hub, located at 5151 N. Ravenswood Ave!

Learn More about the Hub

El Mercadito Tour

Explore El Mercadito, a partnership between Nourishing Hope and La Casa Norte, located at 3533 W. North Ave, with our virtual tour!

Learn More about El Mercadito

Monthly Volunteer Bulletins

Every month, we send a volunteer bulletin with the latest news, announcements, shifts we need help with and fun volunteer stories from all of our locations! Fill out the form to sign up. Want to know what you’re getting? Check out a few of our past bulletins linked below!


Navigating Your Personal Site

Learn more about how to navigate your personal volunteer site with our video.

Virtual Volunteer Orientation

Thank you for joining our volunteer community! Please review this video orientation to learn more volunteering with Nourishing Hope.

Youth Volunteer Orientation

We’re thrilled that you and your family are interested in volunteering at Nourishing Hope! Please review this video orientation to learn more about registering all family members as volunteers.

Learn more about youth volunteer opportunities

Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI) Training

This virtual nonviolent crisis intervention volunteer training will equip Nourishing Hope volunteers with the necessary skills to de-escalate difficult situations and help you learn proven techniques for communicating effectively.

We encourage all volunteers to watch this video. This training is especially helpful for those who are in client-facing volunteer roles.

Click here to review the slide deck

Social media graphic for volunteers

Help Spread the Word

Social Media Toolkit

It’s easy! We put together a social media toolkit with graphics and messages ready for you to share. You’re also welcome to use photos from your own volunteer experience—feel free to get creative as you share all your hard work toward fighting food insecurity in Chicago with us.

Open the Social Media Toolkit

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to schedule in advance or can I just show up to volunteer?

All volunteering must be scheduled in advance.

Can students and children volunteer?

We have a few different opportunities for children (under the age of 18) to volunteer at Nourishing Hope. Please click here to view specific details for each age group. We do schedule students for community service hours. Student groups may be scheduled on a case-by-case basis depending on availability and need. Please fill out our Youth Volunteer Form or contact volunteers@nourishinghopechi.org to get scheduled.

Can large groups volunteer?

We would be happy to host your organization at Nourishing Hope. We have group volunteer opportunities Monday through Saturday for small to large size groups. Please email volunteers@nourishinghopechi.org and our volunteer team will follow up with you.

What should we wear?

All volunteers should wear clothing that is comfortable and can potentially get messy. We also require all volunteers to wear closed-toed shoes for safety and to refrain from any offensive writing on shirts, hats, etc. Also, all volunteers are welcome to a free Nourishing Hope t-shirt, so please feel free to ask a staff member about them.

Do we need to bring anything?

Volunteers are not required to bring any materials with them, but we do provide lockers to secure any personal belongings. Also, if volunteers would like to bring a snack, there is a refrigerator at each location.

Is there parking available?

Only street parking is available at of our sites but all are easily accessible via public transportation.

I have mandated community service hours. Can I fulfill them at Nourishing Hope?

Nourishing Hope welcomes volunteers that need to perform volunteer service hours for church, school, or court. Nourishing Hope’s Community Service Policy will be addressed at every new volunteer training session. You should also come prepared at this initial training with any paperwork requiring a signature or date. We cannot guarantee availability for community service hours. Please be sure to track your own hours and the Manager of Volunteers will provide a verification once completed. Minors seeking mandated service hours are welcome to participate, with parent or guardian supervision. For volunteers seeking court-ordered service hours, please note that we do not schedule volunteers that have committed a violent crime, harassment, or theft of any kind. Before your first day, we will need documentation of your charge to put on file. Each case is subject to the discretion of the Manager of Volunteers as to whether you will be scheduled. We encourage all volunteers to continue their service to Nourishing Hope beyond their mandated hours. We appreciate your service in any capacity as we fulfill the mission of providing emergency food relief and other services to the Lakeview community. Please click here if you are interested in fulfilling your community service hours with us.

I’m a client. Can I volunteer, too?

If you are a client, please know that we do not expect anything in return – but you are more than welcome to volunteer if you’d like. We ask that you do not schedule a volunteer shift at the same time you come for services.

I’m a volunteer and need food or services, what should I do?

If you need food assistance, anyone who meets our criteria is more than welcome – but please come during a time that you’re not on a volunteer shift. If you’d rather go to another agency for help, just ask staff for a confidential referral, or contact the Greater Chicago Food Depository at 773.247.3663 or click here.

Nourishing Hope Exists Because of the Support of Our Neighbors.

With multiple food distribution programs that deliver more than 2.8 million pounds of food to our neighbors each year and social services that help clients achieve independence, Nourishing Hope aims to end hunger for good. Make your impact today!

Donate     Volunteer