Please note: During our response to the COVID-19 public health crisis, we have changed our volunteer procedures. You’ll need to start here and review our policies first.

Thank you for your patience and understanding in providing the safest environment for staff and volunteers.

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 more than 27,000 hours.

The Food Depot has 150 regular weekly volunteers who work on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. A repeat volunteer logs around 10 hours per month. Our youngest volunteer is only 3-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 feed four 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
  • Community advocacy
  • 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 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday
Afternoon Shift 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. 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, 4 to 10 years of age, can schedule to attend a volunteer session with their child. 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:

“This is where you put your philosophy into action.”

—Patrick J., volunteer, July 3, 2019

“I LOVE volunteering with Food Depot. You folks are so good at this. I feel privileged to add my tiny contribution.”

—Terra P., Zona del Sol Mobile Food Pantry, volunteer 2019

“The kids were so much fun to hang out with. Also, I absolutely enjoyed working with the other volunteers. I made friends with people I would never have met otherwise. A totally enriching experience all the way around. Sign me up for next year! “

—Lunch Box Express volunteer, 2018

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:

Email: volunteer@thefooddepot.org
Fax: 505-471-2025
Mailing Address:
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.