Volunteer Health & Safety

Volunteers packing food during COVID-19 pandemic

At Every Meal, our volunteers play a key role in packing food into bags that are distributed to children and families facing food insecurity. In order to continue our essential work of providing food to the community through the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we have implemented many preventative measures intended to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. This includes strict compliance with all Minnesota State-mandated requirements.

We aim to make your health and safety our priority. To do so, we need your help!

1. Before registering to volunteer, are you able to answer “no” to the following questions?

      • Are you currently experiencing any symptoms of illness consistent with COVID-19? Symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, headache, muscle pain, sore throat, fatigue, congestion, or loss of taste or smell. Other less common symptoms include gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. For more information about symptoms, click here.
      • Are you in a high-risk category?
      • Have you or anyone in your house traveled out of the country in the past 14 days?
      • Have you been in contact with someone under investigation for or with a confirmed case of coronavirus in the last week?
      • Have you or a family member been instructed to self-quarantine in the last week?
      • Do you have symptoms of any other health condition that is contagious?
      • Do you have any concerns about agreeing to follow the new preventative measures at Every Meal?

If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, you should not register to volunteer. Thank you for your understanding

2. If your answer to any of the questions changes after you register, please stay home. Make sure to unregister here.

3. When you arrive at Every Meal:

      • All volunteers will be asked to answer the questions again when arriving at Every Meal. If you answer “yes” to any of the questions, you’ll be asked to return to your home.
      • You will be required to wear masks for the duration of your volunteer session. We encourage volunteers to bring their own masks; we will have masks available for those who do not have them.
      • As part of your general orientation and introduction to our preventative measures, volunteers will receive instructions on the location and use of our handwashing stations, how to maintain a safe distance, and how to comply with the other preventative measures that we have implemented.

4. In addition to the above, our preventative measures also include:

      • Groups are capped at a maximum of 40 volunteers per event.
      • Every volunteer must sign up individually and have a current signed release form in our files.
      • We do not allow volunteers under the age of eight.
      • Volunteers who touch food are required to wear vinyl gloves.
      • Volunteers are spread out as much as possible. However, please be aware that in some circumstances, volunteers may cross paths in the warehouse.
      • After each event, we clean all work areas and sanitize the tables and tools.
      • Other measures announced during orientation.

We are continuously monitoring this dynamic situation.  Our preventative measures are constantly monitored to confirm that they remain in compliance with Minnesota State law and reflect the best practices for volunteers who work with food.  We will revise our preventative measures with your health and safety as our highest priority.

5. Interested in volunteering with us? Sign up here

Thank you for your patience and understanding, and especially for using your time and skills to meet the critical needs of children in our community during these extraordinary circumstances.