We Love Our Volunteers!

And we want you to be safe and healthy …

Please do not volunteer at this time if you are over the age of 60, have been exposed to COVID-19, or have an underlying health condition that puts you at higher risk for severe illness from the virus.

If you are healthy and comfortable volunteering, contact Alex Early (alex@friendshipcenterchicago.org) to inquire about volunteer opportunities. We are open during regular hours with significant changes to operational procedures (see below) to ensure everyone’s safety during this time.

Volunteer groups are kept fairly small to limit social interaction, so we only schedule as many volunteers as are needed to unload, stock and pre-bag groceries. Please do not come to the Friendship Center to volunteer unless your participation has been confirmed.

How Else Can I Help?

Volunteer at Greater Chicago Food Depository

The Greater Chicago Food Depository (GCFD) welcomes volunteers at its spacious and gleaming new South Side facility to help segment large quantities of food into smaller quantities for distribution around the city. Select The Friendship Center as your local food pantry during sign-up, and we’ll earn credits to buy more food for our clients. Sign up to volunteer for a GCFD Packing Day here.

Always a model of food safety and sanitation procedures, the GCFD has ramped up precautions to maintain social distancing and ensure volunteer safety. Three-hour shifts are available almost every day of the week, and volunteers can sign up on their own or with the members of their household. Volunteering at the GCFD is restricted to those between the ages of 18 to 60 at this time.

Make a Donation

We are providing groceries to more people in need despite losing significant revenue from the cancellation of spring and summer fundraising events. Your financial contribution helps us continue essential operations to serve the community. Click here to donate.

Donate Soap

In order to encourage our clients to wash their hands to prevent the spread of infection, we are including bars and bottles of soap with their groceries. If you have soap to donate, call Ross at 312-415-2044 to arrange a drop-off time.

Changes to Operational Procedures

* Everyone entering The Friendship Center must wear a mask at all times. We will provide masks to volunteers and clients who do not have them. We have an ample supply of gloves on hand and recommend using them while working at the pantry.

* Volunteers will pre-bag groceries (instead of allowing clients to choose their own), and a small crew of staff and volunteers will remain to distribute pre-bagged items to clients.

* We have converted our weekly hot meals into a “to go” program. We will still provide free nutritious meals every Thursday evening to anyone hungry, no questions asked, but we are temporarily ending the dine-in, social aspect of our weekly meals.

* We continue our commitment to hygiene, handwashing and cleanliness. Volunteers are doubling already stringent efforts to wipe down surfaces with disinfectant wipes throughout each grocery and food distribution.