How do I register to become a volunteer?

Click here and you will be directed to My Impact, our volunteer database, where you can create a profile with your details.

After registration, you will be able to see what volunteer activities are currently available in your opportunity calendar.

Currently, we do not require our volunteers to attend an in-person orientation, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

How old do you have to be to volunteer?

We require all volunteers to be at least 14 years of age to volunteer at our warehouse and at least 18 years old to volunteer at our distribution sites.

If you are 14-17 years old you will need to have written consent from a parent or guardian prior to arriving for your shift. If you are under 14 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 entire duration of the shift. When volunteers arrive late, they may miss our important safety briefings held at the beginning of each shift. When volunteers leave early, it disrupts the workflow and will cause 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?

If you are interested in signing up as a group please register with My Impact. After the sign up we will send you an email with all the relevant information. Further details can be found on our group volunteering page.

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 briefing is part of every volunteer orientation at the beginning of the shift.

COVID-19 Health and Safety Precautions:

We require all of our volunteers to socially distance, wear a face mask and gloves for the duration of the entire volunteer shift. All of the 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.

Why am I unable to see available shifts and/or unable to sign up for shifts?

The most likely reason is that when you completed your application form on Better Impact, one of your answers may not have met our volunteer requirements. Another reason may also be that we have not received your COVID-19 vaccination record card. In this instance please reach out to: [email protected] and we can look into the issue and clarify this further.

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.

Criminal Record Checks are performed by BC Ministry and the form can be submitted to us either in person or by email to [email protected]. If you submit the CRC form in person, we will need to check your primary and secondary ID. If you submit the CRC form via email, please attach a piece of your primary and secondary ID. Please refer to the Identity Verification Document for examples of required IDs. The Criminal Record Check 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] in order 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.

How is the GVFB keeping their volunteers safe during the pandemic?

The health and safety of our volunteers, clients and staff are of the greatest importance to us. We have taken the following precautions to ensure that everyone feels comfortable:

  • We decreased the number of volunteers in our warehouse and at our distribution. Everyone is required to physically distance during the shift to follow the recommendations of health authorities.
  • Every volunteer is required to wear gloves and a facemask for the duration of their entire shift. The PPE equipment is changed every hour. We provide facemasks, hand sanitizer and disposable gloves for our volunteers.
  •  Plexiglass is used at our distribution sites.
  • There is a volunteer orientation at the beginning of each shift, where a staff member will go over all the health and safety procedures.
  • If you do not feel well at any time before, during or after the shift, please let a GVFB staff member know. The COVID-19 questionnaire is sent daily to the volunteers to complete on the day of their shift, before arriving at one of our sites.
  • We have increased sanitation of high-touch areas, which are sanitized with bleach water every hour.
  • It is mandatory for anyone who wants to volunteer to have received a COVID-19 vaccine.

Is it possible to volunteer without a face mask?

At this time we require all of our volunteers to wear non-medical masks or face shields for the entire duration of the assigned 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?

Yes, currently we do require all our volunteers to provide proof of at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine before volunteering with us. This needs to have been administered at least two weeks prior to your volunteering shift. As of September 1, 2021, all volunteers will need to have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and submitted proof of this to our Volunteer Recruitment Coordinator: [email protected]

For more information on COVID-19 vaccine requirements, please click here.

Can I volunteer if I work in the healthcare sector?

Yes, you can volunteer with us, as long as you have received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in the last 14 days. You must also be able to provide our Volunteer Recruitment Coordinator with a copy of your immunization card 24 hours prior to your first shift.

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.