Volunteer FAQ

Use the online volunteer calendar to sign up for a shift. Contact our Volunteer Engagement Specialist for assistance.
None. Just a great attitude and willingness to work hard.

Volunteers must be 12 years or older.

Meal prep involves cutting vegetables, preparing salads, packaging meals, and other kitchen related tasks.

Morning Meal Prep: 35

Afternoon Meal Prep: 15 (Kitchen) and 12 (Nutrition Lab)

Evening Meal Prep: 30

Gleaning: 20

No, we offer special assignments for vegetarians and persons with allergies.
Volunteers must be able to stand for 3 hours but will not be required to lift heavy loads. Persons with back injuries are not advised to sign up for gleaning.

Safety is our number one concern. All volunteers must wear appropriate and professional attire suitable for an industrial production kitchen. Please wear closed toed shoes, sleeves and long pants. Shoes with high-grip soles are strongly recommended.

Due to health regulations, volunteers who do not follow this dress code will not be allowed to work in the Kitchen. Please remember:

  • No shorts or short skirts/dresses
  • No tights, spandex, leggings, or pajama pants
  • No tank tops or sleeveless shirts/dresses
  • No shirts with exposed midriff (front or back)
  • No open toed sandals or shoes
  • No clothing with printed crude or offensive words or images
  • No loose jewelry such as watches, bracelets, dangling earrings, and rings
  • No high heels

We rely heavily on the hard work of volunteers in order to effectively serve our community. If you schedule a volunteer shift and DO NOT show up, DC Central Kitchen cannot serve the community to the best of our ability.

All registered volunteers, including groups, must confirm their shift one week prior to the scheduled volunteer date. Registered volunteers will receive an email one week before their shift with confirmation instructions.

Unconfirmed shifts will be cancelled 3 days prior to the scheduled shift in order to ensure DC Central Kitchen has enough volunteers to support our meal production.

Lunch is provided at the end of the morning shift on weekdays only.

No on-site parking is available at DC Central Kitchen’s 2nd Street location. Limited parking is available in lots at Union Station, on E Street between 2nd and 3rd Streets NW, and on the street. There is metered parking along E Street NW, 1st Street NW and New Jersey Avenue NW, all within a block of the Kitchen.

Street parking is available at The Nutrition Lab (2625 Evarts St. NE)

Yes, each volunteer must sign an electronic waiver upon arrival. Volunteers under the age of 18 must provide a parent/guardian’s name on the waiver.