Interested in Volunteering?

Interested in Volunteering?

Guidelines for volunteers during COVID-19 recovery phase.

Please Note:

The difference in guidelines is for fully vaccinated individuals vs. unvaccinated individuals.

We have no way of knowing who has been vaccinated and who has not. The Food Bank is operating on the honor system as we trust you to care about the Food Bank community.

Fully vaccinated volunteers

  • Can move around Food Bank facilities without wearing a face covering.
  • Can work an outdoor distribution shift without wearing a face covering.
  • We ask that you continue to social distance whenever possible.

Unvaccinated volunteers (and fully vaccinated volunteers who prefer to operate out of an abundance of caution)

  • We require that you wear a face covering at all times while inside a Food Bank facility.
  • We recommend that you wear a face covering when working an outdoor distribution shift.
  • We ask that you maintain 6 feet of physical distance from other individuals whenever possible.

We acknowledge that some fully vaccinated people may feel safer following public health safety measures used at the height of the pandemic (social distancing, face coverings in all settings), and we support your right to do so.  We will continue to monitor the number of volunteers permitted for each event to ensure safety and caution for all volunteers and staff.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the Food Bank. We take very seriously the health and safety of all Food Bank volunteers, staff and visitors.

Thank you for your desire to join us in our efforts to fight hunger in Southwest Virginia!

The Feeding Southwest Virginia relies on more than 2,500 volunteers every year in various capacities.  Individual volunteers and volunteer groups lend support to our day-today operations as well as helping staff with special projects/events.  We could not make the impact we do without our volunteers!

Individuals that would like to donate their time click here to see volunteer opportunities and sign up!

Volunteer as a group

Many businesses and organizations can see short- and long-term benefits from getting outside the office with employees and providing a meaningful service to the community.

Research even shows that employees prefer to work for companies invested in charitable causes, and volunteering is a terrific way to facilitate that need at a relatively low cost to you.

  • Get to know your colleagues on a more personal level.
  • Break outside your regular office hierarchies.
  • Build camaraderie and strengthen relationships.
  • Share an experience that you can take back to the office.

Get involved- volunteering at the food bank is fun, easy and engaging!

Businesses and organizations that would like to volunteer and help fight hunger should contact Lanell Otey at for our Salem Distribution Center and Joan Hawsey for our Abingdon location.

Where to go and what to do.


We have volunteer opportunities throughout our 26 county 9 city service area.  Most of the availability will be for our Salem Distribution Center and our Abingdon Distribution Center. 

If you are coming to either Salem or Abingdon, the Volunteer Entrance is located BEHIND the warehouse.

Please contact Lanell Otey at with any questions about volunteering in Salem.

Please contact Joan Hawsey with any questions about volunteering in Abingdon.


  • Attire: you must wear close-toed shoes at all times.
  • Age: Volunteers must be at least 8 years old accompanied by an adult to work in Bulk Repack and at least 16 to work anywhere else at the food bank.
  • Groups: Please do not exceed your reserved headcount. If you desire slots for additional volunteers, please contact Lanell Otey, Director of Volunteer Services.
  • Physical: Please make sure to read the physical requirements for each volunteer task before signing up for a shift. Many projects require standing for prolonged periods of time or light to heavy lifting.

Court Ordered Community Service

If you have questions about court-related community service at our Salem facility, contact Jon Smith at 540-342-3011 ext. 7028.

If you have questions about court-related community service at our Abingdon facility, contact Joan Hawsey at 276-628-9266 ext.8010.