Volunteer

"I'm grateful to the volunteers who come and smile and distribute, as well as all the donors who make this possible during a difficult economic time in my life."

Volunteers helping people select food

Volunteer Update

AFAC depends on the help of hundreds of volunteers. Volunteers bag, distribute, drive, glean, grow, help in the office and warehouse and organize and assist at special events. Last year, volunteers donated over 50,000 hours to AFAC – that’s $1,500,000 saved in staffing costs that we can use to feed our Arlington neighbors.

Click here for a list of current volunteer opportunities →

Below are many of the ways individuals can help AFAC. Please complete a Volunteer Profile Form to access our Volunteer Calendar and sign up for particular volunteer shifts.

Volunteer Information

Please contact us at volunteer4afac@afac.org or 703-845-8486 for more information or if you have questions.

Individual volunteers can use the online volunteer calendar to sign up for many volunteering activities. If you don't have an active account, please fill out a volunteer profile form.

On the online calendar, you'll find one-time volunteer opportunities such as:

  • Bagging
  • Food Distribution
  • Sorting
  • Restocking
  • Helping at Food Drives

Gardening and gleaning activities through our Plot Against Hunger program may be posted on the calendar as well.

If you have specialized interests, such as driving your large vehicle or one of AFAC's vans, you can indicate that on the Volunteer Profile Form and we'll contact those interested when those needs arise.

AFAC hosts group volunteers to help bag and sort food in our warehouse! Most group activities can be scheduled on weekdays for a 2-hour afternoon shift. Limited opportunities are available at other times. We also send groups to glean fresh produce at local farms.

For a one-time group event, contact Jocalyn Lombardi at 571-384-1447 or send an email to volunteer4afac@afac.org.

To volunteer in AFAC's warehouse, groups can bring no more than 10 people, and we require group members to be at least 12 years old.

If your organization or company would like to make a bigger impact, think about participating in our Sponsor Purchased Food (SPF) program! For more information, contact Jolie.Smith@afac.org or visit our SPF webpage.

Teenagers younger than 14 must volunteer with a parent or guardian. Teenagers under 18 must have a Minor Hold Harmless form filled out by their parents before volunteering.

Individual volunteers can use the online volunteer calendar to sign up for many volunteering activities. If you don't have an active account, please fill out a volunteer profile form.

On the online calendar, you'll find one-time volunteer opportunities such as:

  • Bagging
  • Food Distribution
  • Sorting
  • Restocking
  • Helping at Food Drives

AFAC also has a summer teen program for rising 9th – 12th graders between the ages of 14-17. Visit our summer teen program page for more information.

Projects for Scouts

Scouts can help fulfill merit badge and silver and gold award requirements by designing and implementing special projects for AFAC. In past years, scouts have helped organize and recruited gleaning teams to pick vegetables for clients; helped build raised beds for an Arlington school beginning a garden that benefits AFAC’s Plot Against Hunger, and conducted a series of individual food drives. The possibilities are endless! Send an email to volunteer4afac@afac.org if you are interested in undertaking a project for AFAC.

To volunteer inside AFAC's warehouse, volunteers must be 12 and older. Children younger than 14 must volunteer with a parent or guardian. Everyone under 18 must have a Minor Hold Harmless form filled out by their parents before volunteering.

See the list below of many ways children under 12 can help. Please contact us at volunteer4afac@afac.org with questions about any activity.

AFAC Organized Activities

At Your Convenience

Arlington Food Assistance Center Young Professionals group (YPs) consist of 21-40 year olds in Arlington who raise awareness of hunger in our community and support AFAC's mission through volunteering, social, and networking events.

Follow this link to an online volunteer profile form. We will send a welcome email and then add you to the Young Professionals mailing list to receive updates on upcoming events and opportunities.

AFAC YP Monthly Bagging Night

3rd Monday of each month
Bagging Nights always start at 7:00 p.m. Meet us in the AFAC Warehouse, 2708 S. Nelson Street. Bagging will last 1 hour. Please sign up using the online calendar. If you need assistance using the calendar, please email volunteer4afac@afac.org.

AFAC YP Distribution Night (currently on hold)

2nd Thursday of each month
Distribution hours are 6:30-9pm. If you are registered in the AFAC volunteer system, please sign up to help using the online calendar. If you need assistance using the calendar, please email volunteer4afac@afac.org.

AFAC accepts a limited number of court-ordered or lawyer recommended volunteers. We do not accept charges that involve larceny/theft, assault/violence or sexual misconduct. Volunteers can earn up to 40 hours of service at AFAC.  We will request to see documentation stating your offense so please keep that in mind.

All court-ordered volunteers must fill out a Volunteer Profile Form, in advance of service noting the hours of service needed and completion date. Email Danielle Rampton at danielle.rampton@afac.org after you filled out the profile form to discuss your charge and set a schedule. Community service volunteers must work under the supervision of a staff member and may only schedule shifts through a staff member in the volunteer department.

If you do not complete a profile form and set a schedule through a staff member in the Volunteer Department, we will not be able to credit you for your time. Please bring your court documentation or a letter from your lawyer and a photo ID to your first volunteer shift or you can scan the documents/ take a photo of them and send to danielle.rampton@afac.org.

If you are under 18, please have a parent or guardian fill out a minor hold harmless form before you start your hours at AFAC.

Scheduling

A schedule will be set for you to complete your hours at AFAC. Our warehouse has limited space, so a schedule is created based on the number of volunteers we are already expecting. Based on availability, hours can be earned between 7:30am – 4:30pm Monday through Friday and 7:00am – 1:00pm Saturday. These are the times when staff will be present. Please stick to the schedule that you are assigned. If you need to cancel or reschedule, please send an email or call our office during normal business hours.

Volunteers have access to sign up for volunteering opportunities using our online calendar. Please do not use this calendar to sign up for volunteer slots. These opportunities do not have staff members present and you will not be able to count these hours towards your community service totals.

Volunteering at AFAC

Dress code – You must wear closed-toe shoes to volunteer in AFAC’s warehouse and distribution area. The temperature in the warehouse is unpredictable and often chilly. Please be prepared by dressing comfortably in layers.

Entering the building – Our double doors in front are usually locked, so use the single door on the side and knock. Let a volunteer or staff member know you are here to volunteer. Your PIN is probably your home phone number without the area code. We have a PIN book by the computer in case you don’t know your PIN.

Logging in hours – Make sure to sign in and sign out using the computer in the office. This logs the hours you are completing for your community service. If you do not sign in, we will not be able to verify the hours.

Duties – While at AFAC, you may be asked to do several things in our warehouse: help out with our distribution, restock shelves, sweep/mop the floors, assist with loading and unloading from vehicles, etc. You may also be asked to go offsite with one of our staff drivers to help with food pickups or drop offs. If you are unsure of what to do, please ask a warehouse staff member what needs to be done. If you are unable to stand or lift, please let us know. We have a few jobs that can be done while seated.

Lunch Break – If you are volunteering for an entire day, you are allowed to leave the premises to take a lunch break. You can also bring a bagged lunch to eat here. Before you go on break, make sure you sign out on the computer and sign back in when you return.

Food at AFAC - AFAC strives to be a good steward of our food donations, getting as much food to our client families as possible. We ask volunteers to check with staff before opening AFAC's food to eat or taking food from AFAC home.

Client privacy – We respect the privacy of our clients. Stories about clients for promotional purposes are acceptable but please exclude any names to ensure anonymity. Suggestions about our services should be brought to the attention of staff and considered in-house.

Respect – Many of our clients are living in high-stress situations. Respect and empathy are important while volunteering here. If an uncomfortable situation arises, please alert an AFAC staff member.

Safety – Please be careful when you volunteer here at AFAC. There are many potential hazards in our warehouse. Pay attention to your surroundings at all times to avoid injuries. To ensure the safety of fellow volunteers, employees and clients, weapons of any kind are prohibited at AFAC. Community service volunteers who show up under the influence will be asked to leave and complete their hours elsewhere.

Completion of Community Service

You will receive a letter on AFAC letterhead and a time sheet stating your completion of community service hours. If you are completing your hours during normal business hours, a staff member in the volunteer office can hand this to you once you sign out. If you are completing hours on the weekend or evenings, please send an email stating your requirements.