Volunteer this holiday season

There's no better way to celebrate the holidays than by giving back. Your local soup kitchen, food pantry or food bank rely on volunteers to help make the holidays special for families in need. Whether it’s serving meals on Christmas Day or preparing holiday meal boxes - you can make a difference.

Pledge to volunteer this holiday season!

How to volunteer at a food bank during the holidays

There are many ways you can make a difference for families struggling with hunger this holiday season. However, the holidays are a very busy time for our partner food banks and are a very popular time to volunteer. We have a few tips to help you get started:

  1. Contact a food bank or food pantry near you about volunteering well before the holidays. With so many people interested in volunteering over the holidays, spots can fill up quickly and you may need to attend a volunteer orientation before you start.
  2. Be open to helping where you're needed most. Food banks, food pantries and soup kitchen may need a variety of help to keep things running smoothly. You may be asked to pass out food at a holiday meal pick up, serve a warm holiday meal, or deliver boxes of food to those who can't make it to their local pantry. 
  3. Consider other ways to give back to your local food bank beyond volunteering. It's great to have a backup plan in case you can't volunteer this year. This is a great time to help raise much-needed funds for the hunger-relief work of the Feeding America network.

Read more of our tips for having the best volunteer experience this holiday season and beyond.

A mother and daughter smiling at a food distribution location.

Helping families in need during the holidays

"This is a tremendous blessing. Before I lost my job, I told my family I was going to have dinner at my house for the first time. With this food, I can make that happen." - Carmen from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Carmen is one of the many people who need extra help from Feeding America and our network of 200 food banks during the holidays. Even though both she works as a nurse, she struggles to make ends meet and has to make tough choices during the holidays. But thanks to Philabundance and her children's school, Carmens's family was able to have everything they needed for a complete holiday meal.

Listen to more stories about the people who have fallen on hard times and need some help from their local food banks.