How do I register to become a volunteer?
To volunteer at the GVFB please click here to register as a volunteer with My Impact page, our volunteer database.
After creating an account we will review your application. Once reviewed, we will send you a confirmation email stating that your application was approved. As an accepted volunteer you will be able to start signing up for upcoming volunteer activities.
How old do you have to be to volunteer?
We require all volunteers to be at least 15 years of age to volunteer at our warehouse and at least 18 years old to volunteer at our distribution sites.
If you are 15-17 years old you will need to have written consent from a parent or guardian prior to arriving for your shift. If you are under 15 years of age, we will not be able to have you volunteer with us at this time.
If you are below 18 years of age and do not bring a completed consent form with you for your first shift, you will not be able to work the shift.
What is the time commitment?
Most of our volunteer positions require 1 shift a week for a minimum of 2 months. This helps our volunteers to become familiar with the work they are doing and saves our staff time from needing to conduct new training each shift. We appreciate all of your time, effort and commitment!
Can I come in late or leave my volunteer shift early?
All of our volunteers are expected to stay for the duration of the entire shift. When volunteers arrive late, they miss our mandatory safety briefing held at the beginning of each shift. When volunteers leave early, it disrupts the workflow and causes a volunteer shortage.
Can I drop in to volunteer without having registered?
No. Prior to starting to volunteer with us, we require all interested individuals to register with our volunteer management software My Impact. After filling out the online form we will send you an email and you will be able to view all the available shifts.
How can I sign up as a group?
What can I expect when I volunteer?
Firstly to have lots of fun! You will be able to have a first-hand experience of everyday life at the GVFB and see what we do behind the scenes. A welcome and safety speech is part of every volunteer briefing conducted at the beginning of the shift.
COVID-19 Health and Safety Precautions:
Everyone who enters our facility must be fully vaccinated and have provided proof of this. We require all our volunteers to socially distance, wear a face mask and gloves for the duration of the entire volunteer shift. PPE equipment and hand sanitizer are provided by the GVFB.
Can I receive a reference for volunteering?
We are more than happy to provide you with a reference letter if you completed 80 hours of volunteering. Due to the high demand for reference requests, we are unable to provide this to anyone who has not reached the 80 hours mark.
We do not provide verbal references or complete external reference forms.
We do not provide reference letters to anyone who has not volunteered at the GVFB for 12 months or longer.
Why am I unable to see available shifts and/or unable to sign up for shifts?
The most likely reason is that we are still reviewing your volunteer application.
If you were accepted as a volunteer and are unable to sign up for shifts, it could be because when you completed your registration form on Better Impact, one of your answers did not meet our current shift qualifications.
Do I need to submit a Criminal Record Check (CRC)?
Yes, all volunteers are required to complete the Criminal Record Check form before their first shift in order to work with the vulnerable sector. Once completed, this form is submitted by the GVFB to the BC Ministry to be reviewed and processed. You can still volunteer while your CRC is being processed.
Your CRC consent form must be filled out and uploaded in the application form in Better Impact. To verify your identity, we will review your primary and secondary ID, which must be attached to our application form. Please refer to the Identity Verification Document for examples of required IDs. The CRC is free of charge.
Please do not be alarmed if you receive a fingerprint request letter from the BC Ministry. In this scenario, they require confirmation of identity as there could be someone with a similar name and/or date of birth who is flagged in their system.
When a volunteer receives a fingerprints request letter, they are required to make an appointment at their local RCMP station. We will reimburse any costs associated with obtaining fingerprints. Please send us an email with the receipt to [email protected] to receive your reimbursement.
Do I need to disclose any accommodation I may need during my volunteer shift?
Yes, we require you to let our Volunteer Recruitment Coordinator know if any accommodation is needed in order for you to carry out your assigned task, before signing up for the volunteering shift. Please also let one of our staff members know if you need any additional support during your shift.
What is the volunteer shift cancellation policy?
Should you need to cancel your scheduled shift, we require 24 hours’ notice so that we have an opportunity to fill your shift.
- Please cancel your shift on your Better Impact profile as this is the quickest and most efficient way.
- If you are unable to access your Better Impact profile please contact our Volunteer Recruitment Coordinator by email: [email protected] or phone: 604.880.7073.
- If you are unwell on the morning of your shift, even if it’s within the 24-hour window please do let us know ASAP and adjust your upcoming volunteering schedule in Better Impact accordingly.
- We would be delighted to have you come and volunteer with us and appreciate that unexpected situations come up, however we do require this communication.
Repeated volunteer no-shows
- If there are 2 “no-shows” where you have not provided 24 hours’ notice to cancel your volunteer shift, we will de-activate your profile on Better Impact and you will not be able to sign up for future volunteer shifts.
- This is to ensure the Greater Vancouver Food Bank can continue to operate at a level that meets the needs of our communities.
- If you are unwell on the day of your shift you will not be penalized.
What do I do if I have COVID-19 symptoms or waiting for my COVID-19 test results?
Please read the following document here from the BC Centre for Controlled Disease outlining what to do if you have been exposed to COVID-19.
Key things to please note if you are a volunteer scheduled for upcoming shifts:
- If you do experience COVID-19 symptoms please contact: [email protected] at the first sign of being unwell and use the self-assessment tool, following the necessary steps: https://bc.thrive.health/covid19/en We ask that you not volunteer at this time, however, please reach out to us once you are feeling better and keen to return to volunteering.
- If you test negative for COVID-19 but are displaying symptoms, please stay home, cancel your upcoming shifts and keep us informed once you are feeling better and keen to return to volunteering.
- If you test positive for COVID-19 and have an upcoming volunteer shift, please inform us immediately at: [email protected] You must have completed a minimum of 7 days of self-isolation and also be free of any COVID-19 symptoms for at least 24 hours before your next shift. Before signing up for a future shift please reach out to us so we can do a check-in with you.
Please do not attend your volunteer shift if you are feeling unwell.
Is it possible to volunteer without a face mask?
At this time we require all of our volunteers to wear face masks for the entire duration of the entire shift. If you have a medical condition where you have trouble breathing and cannot wear a mask, please email us prior to signing up for a shift: [email protected].
Do I need to have received a COVID-19 vaccine to volunteer at the GVFB?
Can I volunteer if I work in the healthcare sector?
Yes, you can volunteer with us if you are fully vaccinated.
Can I volunteer as part of my court-ordered community service hours?
No, we are not able to accommodate these requests.
Is there parking available at your volunteering sites?
Parking availability varies among our locations.
Warehouse, Burnaby Distribution Site and Head Office, 8345 Winston Street, Burnaby
There is street parking along Winston Street. The GVFB marked spaces in our parking lot are not for volunteer use as those are set aside for GVFB clients and agency partners. If the street parking is full, there is surrounding residential parking by Costco or along Government Street.
We are a 10-minute walk from Production Street Skytrain and encourage volunteers to take transit wherever possible.
Vancouver Distribution Site, 295 Terminal Avenue, Vancouver
There is no available parking outside the distribution site. There is street parking in the surrounding area, but parking spaces are limited and some nearby streets are paid parking. The Main Street – Science World Skytrain station is a 5-minute walk from the distribution site.
New Westminster Distribution Site, 613 Queens Avenue, New Westminster
There is 2-hour street parking available around the perimeter of the church. Volunteers may leave every two hours to move their car and return promptly to their shift.
When will my profile be archived?
If you have not volunteered/signed up for a shift with us for over a year your profile will be archived.
Can I send follow up emails to the GVFB volunteer inbox?
Please do not send multiple inquiries to the volunteer email. We receive an extremely high number of inquiries daily and sending multiple emails will further delay the response time.
Please note that if your inquiry is regarding something that can be answered from the information found on our volunteer page on our website and FAQ’s, you will not receive a response from us.
Can I volunteer if I am a GVFB client receiving food?
Please note we are unable to accept volunteer applications from people who are registered as GVFB clients. It is a conflict of interest and can jeopardize the relationship between our clients and the GVFB.