Volunteer FAQs

Volunteers in masks holding boxes of food

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with CFBNJ! Because of dedicated volunteers like you, we are able to feed more of our hungry neighbors. Here are some things to keep in mind before you sign up and visit us for your shift here:

What Happens if I'm Late for My Volunteer Shift? - NEW

We ask that volunteers arrive 15 minutes prior to the shift start time to allow time for parking and check-in.

To prevent disruption of volunteer activities that have already begun:

  • Volunteers who arrive after the project has started may be asked to wait until additional volunteers arrive.
  • Group members who arrive after the start of the project may not be placed with the rest of their group.
  • Volunteers who are more than 30 minutes late may not be able to join a warehouse project that has already started. Volunteers who arrive 30 minutes or more after the start of the shift may be given an administrative task or can reschedule for another date/time.

We understand that traffic and other circumstances may cause volunteers to be late, but we ask that volunteers plan ahead so they can be on time and ensure maximum productivity and satisfaction during volunteer activities.

What COVID-19 Precautions Are In Place at CFBNJ?

The safety of employees and volunteers is our top priority. Here are some of the COVID-19 safety measures we’ve put in place:

  • Fully vaccinated volunteers who can show proof of vaccination will not have to do an onsite COVID-19 screening. All unvaccinated volunteers must have their temperatures taken and answer preliminary screening questions by a registered nurse upon entering our facilities.
  • Hand sanitizer is provided and frequent handwashing is encouraged.
  • The facilities are cleaned regularly throughout the day.

How Do I Sign Up to Volunteer?

What Will I Be Doing?

Warehouse volunteers assist with a variety of tasks including:

  • Sorting and repacking food items
  • Assembling our Emergency Food boxes, Family Packs and Senior boxes.
  • Packaging bulk product into family sized bags

Help with office work and data entry tasks is also welcome.

When Can I Volunteer?

Volunteer hours are by appointment only during the following times:

  • Monday through Friday: 9 am – 12 noon / 1 pm – 3:30 pm
  • Tuesday (second Tuesday of the month): 4:30 pm – 6:30pm
  • Saturday: 9 am – 11am / 11:30 am – 1:30 pm

Please check our volunteer signup page to confirm availability.

What Should I Wear?

Dress is casual and comfortable (remember that the warehouse is not temperature controlled).

The following items are not allowed in the warehouse:

  • No open-toe shoes, heels, sandals or flip flops
  • No Short shorts/short skirts, tank tops, bare midriffs, or revealing clothing
  • No Bags of any kind – purse, backpack, cross body bags, etc.
  • Any controversial clothing that can be considered derogatory, insulting or otherwise disrespectful to employees or visitors.

NOTE: It is best not to bring your valuables to the warehouse. However, we do have some lockers available for your use, if necessary. The Community FoodBank is not responsible for missing personal belongings.

What Are the Warehouse Rules?

  • No open-toe shoes may be worn in the warehouse.
  • No bags of any kind or thermoses may be brought into the warehouse.
  • No eating, drinking, running or smoking in the warehouse.
  • Volunteers must not remove any products from the premises.
  • Volunteers must not touch, handle or operate any warehouse equipment (i.e. hand truck, forklift or golf cart).
  • All volunteers should remain in their assigned work areas. Please report to the group leader or CFBNJ staff if you need to leave your work area.
  • No more than two youth volunteers should leave the work area at the same time.
  • Cleaning up of the work area is part of your volunteer visit.

How Do I Get to CFBNJ?

Driving Directions:

You can use this map to get driving directions to either location.

Public Transit:

Please go to NJTransit.com to find out the best way to get to CFBNJ from your location. The #59, #65 and #66 NJ Transit bus routes all have stops near our Hillside warehouse.

Where Can I Park?

Groups are urged to car-pool or come via their organization’s bus or van. There are two parking lots at the building and signage indicating where the lots are.

Parking at CFBNJ Map

  1. After the turn onto Evans Terminal (the FoodBank is straight ahead at the end of the road), make a left at the second “driveway” that is between the second and third building on the left.
  2. Continue until you reach the chain link enclosed parking lot. Park within that lot and walk back out to the main drive and down the street to the warehouse. It is a short walk.

How Do I Volunteer With a Group?

  • All groups must be registered and scheduled in advance of their shift.
  • Group contact/leader should contact the office if any of the details in your confirmation are not correct. Do this at least one week prior to the scheduled date.
  • Group leaders should distribute the Warehouse guidelines to everyone in the group.
  • Volunteer groups with teens age 12 through 16 must be accompanied by one adult for every 10 teens. Adults must stay with their groups in their assigned work areas. The CFBNJ staff cannot act as chaperones or supervisors.

Can Kids Volunteer?

Yes! The minimum age to volunteer with CFBNJ is 12, with adult supervision.

  • Teens aged 16-17 may volunteer without adult supervision, if they have written permission from their parents on file.
  • For the time being we are not hosting Family Days for kids aged 6-11.

What If I Need to Cancel?

If you need to cancel your volunteer shift, please reply directly to your confirmation email, email your Volunteer Coordinator, or email volunteer@cfbnj.org.

Can I Bring More People to Volunteer?

Please contact the Volunteer Services Department soon as possible to check on additional availability. We are happy to accommodate, if possible.

Can CFBNJ Accommodate the Needs of a Disabled Volunteer?

We occasionally have projects that our special needs volunteers can help with. Please contact the Volunteer Services Department for more information.

Do I Have to Volunteer In the Warehouse?

If you don’t want to volunteer in our warehouse, we have many offsite volunteer opportunities! They include:

  • Volunteer at one of our Partner Agencies (see list under “Off-site opportunities”)
  • Our annual Turkey Drive in November
  • Collect food and monetary donations at food shows, food drives, concerts and sporting events

Volunteers are always needed for our annual Check-Out Hunger campaign. This opportunity involves setting up and monitoring donation placards in NJ supermarkets every fall and winter.

Please email Kristen Hull  or call her at 201-201-0181.

Is There a Meeting Room We Can Use Before or After Our Shift?

Our meeting room has limited capacity at this time and we aren’t able to host large groups.

We are happy to reserve a room if it is available. Please contact the Volunteer Services Department to check availability. Please do this well in advance, as the schedule fills up very quickly.

Didn’t see your question answered here? If you want to contact us, email Volunteer Services and someone will get back to you. If your matter requires a phone call, just dial 908-485-4616 and use the auto-attendant to reach a staff member.

We look forward to seeing you here soon!