403.253.2059 info@calgaryfoodbank.com


Give your time as a volunteer

Our volunteers are the heart of the Calgary Food Bank. We could not do what we do without the 100+ caring Calgarians that come every day. Volunteers are the lifeblood of our organization.

To volunteer or for more information, call (403) 253-2059 Ext. 2, or complete this online volunteer application form.

Check out Special Event Volunteering for more opportunities!

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90% of our critical tasks are done by over 111 volunteers per day.

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Volunteer Positions:

Phone Room

Phone RoomThere’s constant hustle and bustle at the food bank in every department, but the phone room is a place of calmness and composure. From as early as 10: 30 a.m. until as late as 7:15 p.m., Calgarians are calling us to request a food hamper and our volunteers are on the other line waiting to help.

Volunteers in the Phone Room are very close, most having been there for more than 10 years. The room has been decorated to keep the mood light and friendly; stuffed animals line the top of the desks and candy bowls are peppered all around.

These volunteers are asking clients difficult questions and we make sure that everyone keeps compassion and confidentiality at the fore front of every call. Although each call is different, volunteers ask the same questions to determine if callers qualify for a hamper. They ask personal questions about income, basic expenses, including rent, mortgage, utilities, child care and medical expenses.

This is the first point of contact between the food bank and clients, so volunteers need to be great communicators, empathetic and try their best to assist clients with their needs. All volunteers go through extensive training because this can be such a delicate position when dealing with all kinds of special and unique situations.

Sorting & Assembly Line

Sorting LineThe Calgary Food Bank receives donated food every day, and once it reaches our warehouse, it’s packed up, stored and used to create hampers for our clients. The process from donation boxes to hampers is crucial and a whole host of volunteers help our warehouse run smoothly.


Every Monday through Friday, sorting line volunteers sort donations from donation boxes, grouping them into their categories like canned tomatoes, soup and peanut butter.

After sorting, the groups are stored in our warehouse and taken down when needed.


The assembly is similar, but with a different job. Assembly line volunteers breaking down the groups made by the sorting line to create hampers that follow Canada’s Food Guide.

Sorting line and assembly line volunteers work during the day with different shifts that range from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Because it is a warehouse environment with moving forklifts, volunteers go through safety training before heading out to their position on the line.

Volunteers on each line are usually very charismatic and come from all different backgrounds. One day, you may be standing beside a sergeant lieutenant and the next, you’re beside a new Canadian who’s working on their English.

Whether volunteers are humming along to the music playing throughout the warehouse or chatting up their neighbour, the assembly and sorting line are great places to meet new people while helping out a great cause.

Distribution Line

DistributionIt’s 10:30 a.m. and volunteers are getting into position on the distribution line — a long conveyor surrounded by fridges of fresh food and stack after stack of prepacked hampers.

The distributing of hampers is the final stage of contact we have with clients and it is crucial.

On one side of the conveyor, lines of volunteers pack clients’ pre-packed hampers and the fresh extras like bread, meats, eggs, milk, and fresh produce. Along with these come extra treats that we all crave in times of struggle, like chocolate or ice cream.

On the other side, clients watch and converse with volunteers, letting them know what extras they need and what they cannot have.

There are many stations volunteers can be at, some are in charge of fruit while others load up with milk.

Volunteers must be compassionate and courteous with all clients and be able to lend a helping hand once they receive all their food.

This position has lighter training that some of our other positions. Volunteers check in and go through a quick safety brief and then head to the distribution line.

There are many laughs and smiles shared between volunteers and clients, but be prepared, the food bank never sees a “slow” day!

Baby Room

Calgary Food Bank’s Baby Room, located in a small room adjacent to the intake area, is a distribution hub for diapers, formula and jarred baby food. The room has a large window that’s open to food bank clients who need baby items in addition to their emergency food.

As part of their shifts, Baby Room volunteers organize donations, manage hampers and bag diapers. It can be a pretty social position, with volunteers sometimes interacting with clients, employees and other volunteers throughout the food bank.

Some volunteers have been working in the Baby Room since the ‘80s, but a lot has changed since then. The Baby Room has grown from a four-person team thirty years ago, to a 32 person team working various shifts during the week to provide all the baby necessities to families in need.

But the increase in volunteers is a direct reflection of the increased demand for Baby Room items. In 2014, the Calgary Food Bank included diapers for children under three years old in more than 10,000 hampers.

“The bottom line is helping,” says Fran Wong, a long-time Baby Room volunteer. “Even if it’s on a temporary basis, it’s a good feeling to know that you’ve helped.”

Walk-In Interviewer

Client WindowIt’s 10:30 a.m. and the first shift of Walk-In Interviewer volunteers are taking their posts at the front of the client intake area. These social and friendly volunteers are waiting for Calgary’s hungry to line up in front of their intake windows.

These particular volunteers have worked these positions for years, and pass the slow times by catching up on each other’s kids, grandchildren, or just life in general. It’s a close knit group, which is why they volunteer their time here week after week.

As the doors open, clients form line and are waved over by these friendly volunteers who are eager and ready to sign in and check IDs for clients with appointments to pick up their Emergency Food Hamper.

But these volunteers don’t just rubber stamp a form, they support clients through the intake process by answering clients’ questions, distributing birthday bags to children with soon or recent birthdays and — most importantly — they give referrals to other community agencies that could provide more support for their food.

Volunteers who deal directly with clients, especially interviewers, go through training with a veteran volunteer or staff to ensure they are the right person for this sensitive position. These particular volunteers need to be sensitive, tactful and respectful.

Driver Assistant

It’s 6 a.m. The Calgary Food Bank is quiet from the outside, but inside volunteers and staff are gearing up to take on another day. While most Calgarians are still greeting the day, drivers are navigating Calgary communities picking up and dropping off food donations, both large and small.

Though Driver Assistants don’t drive the trucks themselves, they sit shotgun with staff drivers and play a huge part in helping give directions as well as load and unload trucks. Staff always make sure to show the proper way to lift and carry heavy items, as well as the proper way to use a pallet jack.

Driver Assistants may need to skip a day at the gym because volunteering with drivers is a workout in itself. Bob Taverner, a long-time driver with the Calgary Food Bank, says collecting donations isn’t a walk in the park. It’s hard, but very rewarding work.

While collecting donations, volunteer drivers see firsthand the sheer number of stores, businesses schools that contribute to the food bank’s immense warehouse of food. While dropping off donations, drivers get to see the sheer number of people we help.

Many laughs are shared and lots of fun is had on the road, but most importantly, volunteers and staff see how helpful, engaged and just plain awesome the Calgary community is.

Special Events

Special events are a fun way to volunteer for the Calgary Food Bank outside of the main warehouse, and possibly in your own community! The positions are flexible enough to fit in with the rest of the activities in your life and allow for younger family members and groups to participate.

Opportunities range from collecting food and funds at the CP Holiday Train, flipping flapjacks at one of the many pancake breakfasts at Stampede, and many more. Learn about more Special Event Volunteer Opportunities.


  • Receiving and recording donations
  • General light warehouse duties
  • Welcoming people who have come to the Calgary Food Bank
  • Administrative duties
  • Assembling Birthday Bags for children

Volunteer Newsletter

Meet the Mayor of the Calgary Food Bank

Video courtesy of Calgary ShawTV.

Terry Deets is one of our most dedicated and longest-standing volunteers. He volunteers with us five days per week, every week, and has been with us for three decades. Not surprisingly, he and has become a fixture at the Calgary Food Bank.