Martha's Pantry Volunteer Handbook

Martha's Pantry Volunteer Handbook

Welcome to Martha's Pantry. We are immensely grateful for your contribution of time and talent to help us fulfill our mission and vision.

Location: 1220 NE 68th St. Vancouver, WA 

Phone: 360-695-1480

Thank you for volunteering! Your interest and involvement make you an important partner in the effort to alleviate hunger in our community. You are making a real difference in the lives of your neighbors, and we are delighted you have chosen to serve with us.


Purpose of Handbook and How to Use It

This Handbook has been developed to help you feel comfortable and confident as a Martha's Pantry volunteer. In it, we outline some of our history, mission, procedures, and policies, as well as explain your responsibilities as a volunteer. Our goal is to create a safe and welcoming environment for our volunteers, employees, and clients.

Organizational Information

The mission of Martha's Pantry is: “To improve the quality of life of individuals living with AIDS / HIV in SW Washington.” Martha's Pantry is an independent 501 (c)(3) organization not formally associated with any religion or religious institution except through partnership.


Volunteer Information

Volunteers play a critical role in helping the Pantry fulfill its mission. You can expect to be treated with respect and gratitude, and to be guided through a brief orientation at your first volunteer assignment. We are committed to equal opportunity volunteerism and welcome a diverse community of volunteers. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, age, disability, marital status, family, sexual orientation or gender expression.

We are committed to working together towards creating a safe, supportive, and caring volunteer experience where we can learn from each other and grow in service to our community. 

As a volunteer, it is understood that you will be providing services without monetary compensation. Your contribution may be in the form of assisting at a food distribution; making home deliveries; pre-packing produce bags; stocking shelves; picking up or unloading food deliveries; or sorting, date-checking, and weighing food donations. You may also choose to organize a food drive in your own community. 

Guidance and Oversight

Each food distribution is staffed by one or more of the following: the Program Coordinator, Executive Director or at least one Board member. They are there to provide guidance for volunteers and are available to address any questions or concerns you may have. Do not hesitate to ask them for assistance.

Time Reporting/Volunteer Sheets

It is important that we track and recognize the amount of time our volunteers donate. Please sign in and record the expected amount of time you will be volunteering.

Standards of Conduct

• Be prompt and reliable.

• Be courteous, friendly and helpful to clients, staff, and other volunteers.

• Respect the privacy of our clients.

• Carry out the role to which you have been assigned.

• Ask for support when you need it.

• Adhere to all Pantry policies and procedures as described in this handbook and at your orientation.

• Report to volunteer unimpaired by alcohol or drugs of any kind.

• Display appropriate conduct or behavior that reflects positively on the Pantry’s mission.

• Follow standards of conduct that will protect the interests and safety of all clients, staff, and volunteers.

Age Requirements

Volunteers of all ages can participate at the Pantry, though we ask that volunteers interacting directly with clients be 16 years or older. Younger volunteers may assist with other pantry activities such as packing bags, sorting donations, and stocking shelves. Volunteers under the age of 14 MUST have an accompanying adult. Unaccompanied youth ages 14–17 must provide a permission slip signed by a parent or guardian.

Dress Code

Attire should be appropriate for the volunteer assignment and should reflect positively on the Pantry. 

Volunteers Who Are Also Clients

Volunteers who are also clients may not take extra food or fill their own orders.

Weather Policy

Martha's Pantry follows the weather-related openings and closings of the local school district.


Client information is confidential. No client information or proprietary information may be shared outside of the Pantry. Our clients are often our neighbors; please respect their privacy. Do not post any photos of Pantry clients on social media sites, including but not limited to Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram. While it is central to the Pantry’s mission to warmly welcome our clients, interact with them respectfully, and recognize their individual dignity, for reasons of privacy and safety we discourage the exchange of personal details, including address, between clients and volunteers. 


Please be aware that some volunteer jobs may include lifting and carrying heavy items; it is your responsibility to know your limitations, communicate them as needed, and refrain from activity beyond your abilities. The Pantry strives to maintain a safe environment in compliance with federal, state, and local safety regulations. Volunteers should report any unsafe conditions to the Executive Director, Program Coordinator or a Board member.


Volunteers who are not in compliance with our Standards of Conduct or Confidentiality requirement, who engage in unsafe or unseemly behavior at the Pantry, or who violate our practices or policies as detailed in this Handbook, are subject to dismissal. The Pantry may request a volunteer to leave immediately if warranted by the circumstance. 


Martha's Pantry is committed to the fair and equal treatment of all staff, volunteers, and clients. 

Martha's Pantry does not discriminate against any applicant, employee, or volunteer regarding any term, condition, or privilege of employment or volunteer engagement on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, veteran, or disability status, or any other classification protected by federal, state or local law or ordinance.

Martha's Pantry does not deny service to any client on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, veteran, or disability status, or any other classification protected by federal, state or local law or ordinance. 

Harassment Prohibition

All forms of harassment are prohibited at the Pantry. If a volunteer feels they have been subjected to harassment or has witnessed conduct believed to be harassment they should contact the Executive Director or a Board member.

Sexual Harassment Prohibition

Martha's Pantry strictly prohibits harassment of any kind of an employee, volunteer, or client by another employee, officer, director, volunteer, client, or by a third party. 


Food donated to the Pantry is intended for distribution to clients. If you find yourself in need of food please contact a staff or Board member. Any theft of goods will be reported to the local police department and subject to investigation and criminal prosecution. 

Incident Reports

When conflicts arise or incidents occur, please complete the Incident Report Form, found on our website at or contact a staff or Board member to request a physical copy.