Volunteer FAQs

Calendar

When is the calendar posted?

We post all NTFB opportunities on the first business day of the month one month in advance. It is a manual process completed by 10:00am on the first business day. 

Example: January’s calendar is posted on the first business day of December. February’s calendar is posted on the first business day of January. 

Why are there no opportunities on the calendar?

The calendar is a live calendar. When a shift is full, it will disappear from the calendar. 

I didn’t see a shift yesterday, but today there is a shift. What happened?

If a volunteer unregisters from a full shift, it will reappear on the calendar. 

There is no availability on the calendar. Can I show up anyway?

Due to safety policies, we do not allow walk-ins. 

The calendar is completely full. Are there other opportunities?

Once the NTFB calendar is full, there is no additional availability with NTFB. We recommend checking on the first business day of the month to secure a space. 

NTFB works to feed our neighbors through our Feeding Partners across our 13-county service area. If you are unable to find a shift at NTFB, we recommend checking with our partners who also rely on volunteers to serve our neighbors.

Partners will have their own volunteer process that you will be required to follow to volunteer with them. 

Minors and Chaperones 

What is the minimum age?

The minimum age of the volunteer varies depending on the opportunity. Each description will list the age requirement for the specific opportunity. 

Volunteers for Pack and Box must be at least 12 years old on the day of their volunteer shift. 

Does my child need a chaperone?

Any volunteers ages 12 – 15 are required to have a chaperone. 

My minor is 16. Do they need a chaperone?

Minors that are 16 or 17 years old volunteering at the Distribution Center do not need a chaperone. A parent/guardian will be required to electronically sign their liability waiver. 

Can I chaperone multiple minors? 

One chaperone is required per three minors. 

Does NTFB provide a chaperone? 

NTFB does not provide chaperones. 

Who can be a chaperone? 

A chaperone must be at least 18 years old and take responsibility for the minor. 

I am the chaperone. Can I sit in the volunteer room while my minor volunteers? 

Chaperones are required to volunteer alongside the minor(s) for the entirety of the volunteer shift. 

I am volunteering and my child is under 12. Can they sit in the volunteer room while I volunteer? 

We are not able to have unaccompanied children sit in the volunteer room or lobby during a volunteer shift. 

I am the chaperone. Do I need a volunteer account? 

Chaperones and minors are both required to have a volunteer account AND be registered for the shift.  

Community Service Verification

How can I track my hours? 

Our volunteer portal will automatically track your hours. A NTFB representative will check you in when you arrive for the shift; the check-in will reflect in your volunteer account. 

I am completing community service hours for school. Can my hours be verified? 

NTFB will verify service hours for educational institutions. If you have a form from the school that needs to be signed, bring the form with you to the volunteer shift. A NTFB staff member will sign the form at the end of the volunteer shift. 

My school needs an email address for the online verification. What is the email address?

Please use volunteer@ntfb.org for hour verification forms. 

My hours were declined on my school’s verification system, but I completed the work. What happened?

Hours are declined typically for three reasons: 

The name on the verification does not match a name in our system. If your name in your volunteer account is a nickname or different from your school form, hours will be declined. Please ensure that the names match. 

The email address on the verification form does not match the email address in our system. If your email address in your volunteer account is different from the email address on the form, hours will be declined. 

The number of hours or the date is incorrect. When submitting hours for verification, please use the date you completed the hours and the number of hours of the service. We do not award time for arriving early. 

I am completing court-ordered community service hours. How can I verify my hours? 

NTFB is unable to sign court documents. Our volunteer portal allows for you to download a “Volunteer Resume” that will verify hours completed at NTFB. The resume will show dates, hours, and opportunities completed. 

I made a financial contribution for community service. Can I receive service hour credits for this donation? 

NTFB does not award service hours for monetary donations. NTFB will accept financial contributions and provide a donor receipt. 

I hosted a food drive and made a donation to the Food Bank. Can I receive service hour credits for this donation? 

NTFB does not award service hours for Food Donations. NTFB will accept food donations and provide a donor receipt. 

The hours in my volunteer account were declined. What happened? 

NTFB policy is that hours entered manually by the volunteer will be declined. Only hours entered by a NTFB Staff Member or using the Kiosk in the Distribution Center Volunteer Room will be approved. 

Volunteer Opportunity

Where does the volunteer opportunity occur?

The description of the opportunity on the volunteer portal will provide the address. Please verify the location before responding to an opportunity.

▪ If the opportunity occurs at the Distribution Center, it will be at 3677 Mapleshade Lane, Plano, TX 75075. 

▪ If the opportunity is a Mobile Pantry or Senior Food Box Distribution, it will NOT be at the Distribution Center. These distributions occur across our service area. 

▪ If the opportunity is a Special Event, the location of the opportunity will vary. 

When does check-in begin?

The check-in time is included in the description of the opportunity. 

For Pack and Box and Produce Sorting, check-in begins 30 minutes prior to the shift time. 

Can I arrive late to a shift? 

There is a 10-minute grace period. Once 10 minutes after the shift start time passes, volunteers will not be permitted to volunteer for that shift. 

What should I wear to the volunteer opportunity? 

Volunteers are required to wear closed-toe shoes. We recommend wearing comfortable clothing as you will be moving around.

▪ If you are volunteering at a distribution, please dress appropriately for the weather. 

▪ If you are volunteering for Cold Sorting or Produce Sorting, please dress for 40° as these opportunities occur in our cooler and cold dock. 

Is there a place to put my belongings? 

There is not a locked place to keep your personal belongings.

At the Distribution Center, there is a cage located near the volunteer area to store belongings, but the cage does not lock. 

I am registered for the shift online. Can I bring additional volunteers with me even if they are not registered online? 

Only volunteers who are registered for the shift will be able to volunteer for the shift. If you are bringing others with you, ensure they are registered for the shift. 

I am volunteering at the Distribution for both shifts in one day. Can I eat lunch in the Volunteer Room between shifts? 

We are unable to allow individuals or groups eat lunch in the Volunteer Room between shifts. 

I am unable to volunteer for the shift that I registered for. What should I do? 

We understand that emergencies or situations arise where you are unable to attend the volunteer shift you registered for. Please unregister for the shift in your account. 

Step-by-step instructions to cancel your shift can be found in our Portal Guide. 

What happens if I no-show for a shift? 

We rely on volunteers to attend volunteer shifts that they register for. Volunteers who consistently no-show for volunteer shifts will be asked to no longer volunteer with NTFB. 

I need to leave early from the opportunity. Am I able to leave early? 

Opportunities require individuals to work as a group to complete the tasks. If volunteers left early there would be gaps that we couldn’t fill in. For that reason, we require volunteers to stay for the full duration of the shift. 

I have a medical condition that requires special accommodations. Will NTFB be able to make accommodations? 

Each opportunity has different physical and mental requirements. The opportunity will describe these requirements. 

If you are in need of an accommodation, please let the NTFB Staff Member know when you check-in. 

Will there be a break during the volunteer shift?

There will not be an official break during the volunteer shift. However, volunteers are encouraged to take a break at any time they would like. 

Group(Team) Volunteering

I want to volunteer as a group with North Texas Food Bank. Can we do that?

NTFB welcomes groups of up to 25 to volunteer for our opportunities based on availability. 

Can I create a team for my family?

Any group can create a team to reserve spaces to volunteer. 

We recommend using the team reservation method in our portal if you are wishing to volunteer with others. 

Can my group of 25 volunteer multiple times?

We ask that groups limit themselves to two shifts per month. 

I am organizing a group volunteer opportunity. What should I do?

The team leader will create a team and reserve spaces for the entire team. After the spots are reserved, the team leader must have all team members join the team. 

Step-by-step instructions for this can be found in our Portal Guide. 

My company’s volunteer day is in 4 months. Can I reserve spaces now?

We are unable to reserve spaces for teams ahead of the calendar opening. The calendar opens one month in advance on the first business day of the month. 

I am creating the team. Do I need to know everyone who is joining when I create the team?

No, you can reserve up to 25 spots without knowing the names of the individuals joining the team. 

Does every team member need an account?

Yes, every team member must create their own account AND join the team in order to volunteer. 

Volunteers who create an account but do not join the team will not be able to volunteer. 

How do my team members join the team?

The team creator/leader will have access to a unique team link through their account. The team creator/leader should send this link to their team members to join. 

Step-by-step instructions for team members to join the team can be found in our Portal Guide. 

How long do I have to fill the spaces I reserved for the team? 

Any unfilled reserved spots will be released to the public 10 calendar days before the shift date. 

Our team is more than 25 people. Can we still volunteer together? 

NTFB offers Private Volunteer Shifts for groups of 40 – 100 volunteers. A Private Volunteer Shift is made available with a $5,000 donation to the North Texas Food Bank. If you are interested in this opportunity, please email volunteer@ntfb.org for more information and to check availability of dates.

If the Private Volunteer Shift is not an option for your group, you can reserve 25 spots in two different shifts in the month for a total of 50 volunteers. 

Can our group have lunch before or after the shift at NTFB facility? 

We are unable to accommodate groups who wish to eat together before or after their shift at our facility. There are several great restaurant options in the area perfect for groups of different sizes. 

Volunteer Account

How do I create my volunteer account?

You can create your volunteer account on our website. 

Does each person in my family or group need their own account?

Every volunteer is required to have their own volunteer account, including minors. 

Each account requires a unique email address. 

My minor’s account requires a parent/guardian signature on the waiver. How do I sign the waiver?

The minor was prompted to enter the email address of a parent/guardian. An email was sent to that email address for the waiver to be signed. 

The system will not allow the parent/guardian waiver to be sent to the same email address as the email address used to create the account. The email addresses must be different. 

If you didn’t receive the email, check your spam/junk folder. 

If the email isn’t in your junk/spam, you can email volunteer@ntfb.org for assistance. 

I entered the wrong information on the age qualification questions and it won’t allow me to change it. What should I do?

The system will not allow you to change your age qualifications. Please email volunteer@ntfb.org to fix this error. You must include the email address that you used to create your account in the email, along with your first and last name. 

Why do you need an emergency contact?

We require emergency contacts in case of the event of an emergency, such as a medical emergency or a fire. Please ensure that you do not list yourself as your own emergency contact. 

What is the Civil Rights Training? 

Volunteers who are participating in Mobile Pantry or Senior Food Box Distributions are required to complete the Civil Rights Training as you will be interacting with NTFB clients. 

I cannot remember my password and I am not receiving the reset password email. What should I do?

Please email volunteer@ntfb.org for assistance. You must include the email address that you used to create your account in the email, along with your first and last name. 

I created my volunteer account. Am I good to go to a volunteer opportunity?

You must be registered for a volunteer shift in order to volunteer. 

Step-by-step instructions to register for a shift can be found in our Portal Guide. 

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