The Impact of Volunteers
Every hour donated to The Food Depot by a volunteer means more dollars to spend providing meals to people in need. Last year our volunteers gave 15,477 hours—the equivalent of eight full-time employees.
The Food Depot has 70 regular weekly volunteers, over a dozen court-appointed community service volunteers and over twenty groups providing an average of nearly 1,300 work hours. Our average regular volunteer logs around 10 hours per month. Our youngest volunteer is only three years old, and our oldest is nearly 90.
Stretching Donation Dollars
The Food Depot purchases food in bulk when a cost-effective opportunity arises. Often, this means that volunteers must repackage large quantities of an item, such as pinto beans, into smaller, family-sized portions. Volunteer power makes it possible to get TWICE as many beans for the same dollar spent because volunteers are doing the work to package them. Volunteers make every donation dollar stretch to provide four meals to people in need.
Maximizing Product Donations
The Food Depot receives produce donations every day from local grocery stores and other donors. To maximize donations, product donors are encouraged to donate everything, and The Food Depot offers to sort donations to relieve the donor of that burden. Volunteers at The Food Depot take the time to separate the good from the bad, increasing the likelihood that valuable produce will end up in the hands of a person in need.
Join Our Volunteers Today
If you’re ready to sign up, complete and submit our Volunteer Application Form. If you have questions about volunteering, read all about it below:
What do volunteers do?
Volunteers at The Food Depot primarily sort and evaluate the quality of donated food and repack food purchased in bulk into smaller packages. Both of these activities prepare food acquired by The Food Depot for distribution to people in need. Volunteers are also frequently needed to work on the weekends at food drives or other special events such as the Souper Bowl and Canstruction.
Typical tasks include:
Sorting donated food and produce gleaning
Repackaging bread and bulk dry goods
Light maintenance and organization of the warehouse
Reception/light office duties and filing
Packing Mobile Food Pantry bags
Repacking pet food for the Food 4 Pets program
Meal delivery for Lunch Box Express
Helping at special events
I have some physical limitations. Can I still volunteer?
Yes! We have a receptionist volunteer position shifts available. This volunteer sits at the front desk and welcomes people to our facility, answers the phone occasionally and handles light office/administrative work as needed. To learn more, email the Volunteer Coordinator or call 505-471-1633 Ex. 115.
What are the days and times volunteers can work?
Volunteers are needed during the following times:
Morning Shift: 9:00 am–12:00 pm Monday through Friday
Afternoon Shift 1:00 pm–3:00 pm Monday through Thursday
Additional volunteer opportunities, such as food drives and special events, arise throughout the year and usually require volunteer help on weekend dates.
Do you offer volunteer training?
Yes! If you plan to be a regular volunteer, you will attend a volunteer orientation before or soon after you begin volunteering.
If you are helping with a special event, such as the Souper Bowl, you will receive event-specific training prior to the event. If you are volunteering for only a short time, you will receive a tour and overview of what The Food Depot does before your volunteer shift starts.
What if I can't volunteer regularly but still want to help?
Just fill out a volunteer application and email the Volunteer Coordinator or call 505-471-1633 Ex. 115 to be added to our volunteer opportunities email list. You will be notified as specific volunteer opportunities arise, and you can choose when you would like to help.
Can I bring in a group to volunteer?
Yes! The Food Depot can accommodate volunteer groups of four to 15 people. We can set up a special project as a team-building opportunity for your social group, business team or organization.
To get started, email the Volunteer Coordinator or call 505-471-1633 Ex. 115.
Can children volunteer?
Yes! You can introduce your little ones to giving back to others with the Little Ones Volunteer Experience (LOVE) program. Parents of children, four to 10 years of age, can schedule to attend a volunteer session with their child.
The LOVE sessions take place on Fridays when the warehouse is quieter. To schedule a session, please email the Volunteer Coordinator or call 505-471-1633 Ex. 115.
I have high-level professional experience. How can I help?
The Food Depot has a number of committees where volunteers who bring specific professional skills can put those skills to use for a good cause. Currently, The Food Depot has an Operations Committee, Marketing Committee and an Events Committee that meet regularly. New committees are being formed all the time, and we can use your expertise!
Many of the programs operated by The Food Depot can benefit from people of different professional backgrounds as well. New programs such as the Lunchbox Express offer opportunities for volunteer support.
Email the Volunteer Coordinator or call 505-471-1633 Ex. 115 to discuss how you can put your talents to work to help people experiencing hunger in Northern New Mexico.
Can I volunteer to complete my court-ordered community service?
Yes! We can work with most people on their community service requirement. Please plan ahead and leave plenty of time to complete your hours based on The Food Depot’s volunteer hours.
To get started, email the Volunteer Coordinator or call 505-471-1633 Ex. 115.
What's it really like to volunteer?
If you’re wondering how it feels to volunteer at The Food Depot, read what some of our volunteers say about donating their time:
What a great cause and a great place to volunteer! I am the receptionist on Friday mornings, and I always look forward to my Fridays. The staff is so wonderful, everything is run so well, and Im just so impressed by the entire organization!
Claudia Adams, Reception Volunteer
I was more than happy to participate in the inaugural Lunch Box Express program sponsored by The Food Depot last summer. This program reached many at-risk children, bringing smiles and joy to the kids who would join us for lunch on a daily basis. After a while we established a rapport with the kids and their families and the whole experience proved to be mutually beneficial to both the participants and the volunteers involved. As we continue to expand this program, the sky is the limit for its success. Im looking forward to be involved with Lunch Box Express this coming summer.
Mark Sowers, Warehouse and Lunch Box Express Volunteer
I was just trying to fill my boring days when I decided to volunteer at The Food Depot where I became aware I was doing three cool things. First, I was helping get food to the poor. Second, I was meeting new friends and sharing new experiences. Last, I was getting much needed exercise by lifting, bending and carrying boxes here and there. The most gratifying part, though, was helping those who needed it the most. The expression ”There but for the grace of God go I” certainly applies here.
Alfonzo Gonzales, Warehouse Volunteer
How do I become a volunteer?
Becoming a volunteer is easy. If you’re ready to sign up, complete and submit the Volunteer Application Form. Just download it to your computer, fill it out and email, fax or mail it to us:
1222 A Siler Road
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87507
If you have questions, email the Volunteer Coordinator or call 505-471-1633 Ex. 115.
Once you have completed the volunteer application and connected with the volunteer coordinator, you’ll attend a volunteer orientation at The Food Depot and then be eligible to begin volunteering.