Volunteer opportunities exist in all facets of the program, but most regularly, student volunteers are essential staff at all meal preparation, meal delivery and food pick-up shifts. In turn, we promise leadership, service and learning opportunities for all interested volunteers.
Your goal is to fill all meal preparation, meal delivery and food pick-up shifts with an appropriate number of volunteers. What’s appropriate is determined by the space you have, the amount of food you need picked up, the number of meals you have to prepare and deliver, and the additional programming you’d like to do at your Campus Kitchen. A few guidelines for all volunteers:
- Volunteers for meal preparation shifts must be 12 years and older
- Volunteers for meal delivery may be any age
- Volunteers will often have to sign a release or waiver by the rules of your community service office. Please check with you school’s service office to determine which release forms volunteers must complete. We also have a template release form for you to use.
We recommend setting up a few different levels of commitment for your volunteers. They are:
- One-time: volunteers who visit the Campus Kitchen for one shift
- Regular: volunteers who commit to volunteering at one specific shift for a prolonged amount of time
- Leadership Team: volunteers on your student leadership team
- Community volunteers: volunteers who are not students or staff at host institution and volunteer at the Campus Kitchen
Key points for volunteers
- Most Campus Kitchens start with a group of 20-50 total volunteers: about 6 Leadership Team members, 12 regular volunteers, and the rest “occasional” or “one-time” volunteers.
- You will need approximately 4-6 volunteers for every cooking shift and 2-4 volunteers for every delivery site (notice we said site, not shift. If you have 3 delivery sites on one day, you’ll need 6-12 volunteers total for that shift.).
- Corporate volunteer groups do more than fill in when students are around. They often go back to their company and decide to give your Campus Kitchen money. Recruit them!
Where to recruit volunteers
Think about where you looked to build your leadership team and return to those organizations and places to recruit volunteers. Here are some typical places you could look to recruit your volunteer base:
- Fairs: staff a table at the campus community service, student organization, and service learning fairs. Also consider approaching graduate school fairs.
- Flyers: post flyers in residence halls, the student union, service office classrooms, campus buildings, mailboxes, dining halls, etc. Please ask permission from residence life, dining services and other building managers before posting flyers.
- Posting: post in weekly or monthly news announcements e-mailed out to students, professors and staff.
- Speaking: coordinate speaking opportunities for you or the Leadership Team at campus assemblies, chapter meetings of Greek organizations, campus club meetings, faculty/staff orientations, new student and freshman orientations, academic department meetings, sports team meetings and dorm hall meetings.
- Classes: talk with professors about getting the Campus Kitchen to be part of their classroom curriculum and having their students make a semester-long commitment to volunteering.
- Current student organizations: Reach out to current student groups (particularly service-based groups) about volunteering with your Campus Kitchen on a regular basis.
- VolunteerMatch.com: register your Campus Kitchen on volunteermatch.com as a local service organization. Community members can search for service opportunities and e-mail you with their interest.
- High school and church bulletins: post a request for volunteers.
- Corporate groups: Invite groups from local businesses, firms, stores etc.
Steps for making your volunteer plan
Talk to some groups or students on campus. If there’s a service fraternity, or if you have groups on campus that have required service, ask them if they’d consider doing service with the Campus Kitchen. See if they’d commit to providing a few members every week for a cooking or delivery shift.
Talk to professors. If you have any professors who have service learning classes, they may be willing to partner with the Campus Kitchen to provide you with volunteers as part of one of their classes.
Figure out how many volunteers you will need. Using the guidelines above, as well as the schedule of operations that you’ve put together, count up how many volunteers you will need for each shift and special project.
Make a plan. Figure out which volunteer recruitment and training strategies you will need in order to get the number of regular, one-time and leadership team volunteers to accomplish your volunteer numbers above.
Think about how volunteers will sign up for shifts in the future. Facebook? Website? Email/listserv?
One of the best ways to manage your volunteer is by utilizing the free platform CKP provides to all Campus Kitchens called “Volunteer Hub”. Let us know if you are interested in using this once you launch your Campus Kitchen!