Frequently Asked Volunteer Questions

 
General Volunteer Questions
Our most asked questions that apply to volunteering at Forgotten Harvest.

What are the different opportunities for volunteers?

There are many volunteer opportunities at Forgotten Harvest, some of them are listed below, many of them are seasonal. If you do not see a specific opportunity on our website check back or contact our volunteer manager.

  • Warehouse Re-Pack – Volunteers help re-pack surplus perishable food into family size portions that will be delivered to 280 emergency food providers in metro Detroit.
  • Harvesting – Volunteers are needed April - November to help harvest fresh produce at our Forgotten Harvest farm in Fenton.
  • Ride a Long - Ride along with one of our drivers and see first-hand how our harvesters make a difference every day in the lives of those in need of food. You must be able to lift at least 30 pounds and be at least 18 years of age.
  • Food Shows – Volunteers collect food products and samples left over from the exhibit, vendor tables and booths at the end of the show.
  • Administrative – On an as needed basis, we have administrative tasks such as answering phones, preparing mailings and data entry.
  • Speakers Bureau– Volunteers speak on behalf of Forgotten Harvest to various organizations to inform the community, motivate individuals and generate support for Forgotten Harvest.
  • Special Events – We have many special events throughout the year where volunteers are needed such as Stuff the Truck, Busch’s Season of Sharing, Arts Beats and Eats and many more.

Do I need to attend the entire shift?

Yes, we provide important training at the beginning of the shift and schedule our projects based on the number of volunteers scheduled.  We’re counting on your help to get the job done!

Are there any age restrictions to volunteer?

Volunteers must be at least 12 years of age. Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult chaperone.

How do I register to volunteer?

Individuals can either sign up online at forgottenharvest.org or contact the Volunteer Manager at 248.967.1500 ext. 125 to register; groups must register through the volunteer manager. We do require you register in advance. We hate to turn volunteers away, but this policy ensures that there are an appropriate number of volunteers per shift for proper supervision, efficiency and safety. Once registered, you will receive a confirmation via e-mail with all of the details including location, parking, dress code and any other event details.

Do I need to complete a volunteer waiver form before I volunteer?

Yes. All NEW volunteers must complete the Volunteer Waiver Form before they will be allowed to volunteer.  If you already completed one within the last 18 months, you do not need to turn in another one.  Volunteers under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian sign the waiver. If you register online, you can electronically sign the waiver by accepting our terms and conditions. For all others who do not register online, the waiver will be attached to your confirmation and you can complete it before you come or when you arrive.

Can I complete my school service hours at Forgotten Harvest?

Yes. You must bring in any paperwork and have your hours documented and signed by the volunteer manager each time you volunteer. We can provide you with a letter at the end of your service if required.

I do not feel well, can I still volunteer?

For the safety and health of our recipients, if you are sick (even with a mild cold, sore throat, sniffles etc.) or have any of the following illnesses you will not be allowed to volunteer; Hepatitis A; Shiga toxin-producing E.coli, Shigella; Salmonella Typhi; Norovirus.

 

Farm Volunteer Questions
Our most asked questions for volunteers working on the Forgotten Harvest farm in Fenton.

When can I volunteer on the farm?

We will begin scheduling farm volunteer activities in April 2014 and all information will be available on our website. Opportunities are generally available during the planting and harvesting season, April – October.

What do volunteers do?

Tasks vary depending on the season, the weather, etc. Typical activities include planting, harvesting, crop preparation and general farm maintenance.   

What should I wear and bring with me?

It is important that you wear comfortable clothing and closed toe shoes, remember you will most likely get dirty! Be mindful of the weather conditions as you will be outside, information about attire will also be included in your confirmation email. Consider bringing water, a hat, work gloves, bug spray, a snack and sunscreen with you.

Where do I park?

Follow the signs once you pull into the driveway.

How many people can I bring with me?

We can sometimes, based on workload, accommodate groups of up to 100 at the farm but please contact our volunteer manager first to find a date that would work best and ensure we can use everyone’s help.

What if it rains?

Rain or shine we still work! If the weather is hazardous, our volunteer team will cancel the activity and contact everyone.

What if I have physical limitations?

Please contact the volunteer manager before registering to discuss what you’re able to do.

 

Warehouse Volunteer Questions
Our most asked questions for volunteers working at the Forgotten Harvest Warehouse in Oak Park.

What should I wear?

Please wear comfortable clothing and closed toe shoes, do not wear high heels or jewelry. The warehouse does get chilly, so please bring along a sweatshirt or jacket. Upon arrival, we will provide you with a hair net, apron and gloves.

Is there a place to lock up my personal belongings?

No. Please leave all your personal belongings and valuables at home. 

Where can I park?

You can park in our lot in the front of the building or on the south side of the building. Do NOT park in neighboring businesses’ lots or in the back of our building near the Forgotten Harvest trucks and loading dock. Our parking is limited and we strongly encourage carpooling for large groups.

How many people can I bring with me?

We can take groups of up to 50 but please contact our volunteer manager for scheduling and availability.  

What can I expect during my volunteer experience? 

There is a 15-minute orientation for all new volunteers at the beginning of each shift that explains the Forgotten Harvest mission as well as food safety handling practices. Once in our warehouse, you will receive instruction and training from our staff on effective re-pack processes.  You will be re-packing fresh vegetables and/or meat into family size portions (4-5 lb. bags.)  There is NO heavy lifting involved.  At the end of your shift, we will gather in our conference room and let you know how many pounds of food you have re-packed. 

What if I have physical limitations?

Please let the volunteer manager know of any physical limitations you have before you volunteer. Our staff will work to accommodate you.

 

Still have questions? Contact our volunteer manager, Marci Fitch at 248.967.1500 ext. 125

Member of Feeding America Charity Navigator 4-star Charity Crain's Detroit Business Best Managed Nonprofit Edison Award