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Public Schools Pantry Volunteer Team

Public Schools Pantry Food Bag Packing & Delivery, Sep 2019 - Jun 2020

During the COVID-19 Containment Period...

If you're looking for a chance to help families dealing with food insecurity & see -- in a carefully managed environment, from 6+ feet away! -- a few friendly faces, please sign up to help at:


For the foreseeable future, during the 2nd & 4th weeks of every month, we are going to be packing 250 bags on Wed & another 250 on Thu so they can be distributed Fri morning at 11a alongside the school breakfast & lunch distributions BUSD is doing at six school sites across the district.

We need volunteers...

  • on the 2nd & 4th Wed & Thu of every month, to help pack food bags at the warehouse. There's a 10-11:30a shift & a 11:30a-1p shift.
  • on the 2nd & 4th Fri of every month, to load cars, 9-10:30a. 

We are working in our usual space at the Berkeley Food Network warehouse, 1925 9th near University.

Note: if you have a student 16 or older, they are welcome to come help, too. Please sign them up separately from yourself in one of the volunteer slots. This is important because there is a limit to the number of volunteers allowed on a single shift in order for us to stay in compliance with social distancing recommendations from the California Association of Food Banks.

Please take care, & thank you!

Heather, Anna & Kristin


Volunteers are also needed to help staff the Berkeley Food Network pantry, where BUSD families & staff can come during spring break & throughout the containment period. The shifts are approximately two hours long, Mon, Tue, Wed or Thu morning or early afternoon or Mon or Wed evening at the pantry. Students 16 years & older are welcome to help. The pantry is located alongside our bag-packing space in the Berkeley Food Network warehouse, 1925 9th near University. You enter the pantry directly from the parking lot. Please sign up to help at:


Note that Alameda County's shelter-in-place order allows people to leave their homes to perform work at an "essential business," which includes non-profits "that provide food...for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals," so long as we comply with social distancing requirements. The Berkeley Food Network is following the California Association of Food Banks' best practices to prevent the spread of Covid-19 (http://www.cafoodbanks.org/blog/covid-19-prevention-practices-food-banks-food-pantries), including limiting contact with clients to two trained employees & maintaining a six-foot distance between all employees & volunteers.


Following the Covid-19 Containment Period...

Please sign up below to join our (very friendly!) team to help pack, load, or deliver Public Schools Pantry food bags to 18 public preschools & elementary, middle, & high schools across Berkeley. We pack bags & load delivery volunteers' cars 10:30a & 1:30p on the 2nd & 4th Fridays of every month (with holiday exceptions noted below) from our Berkeley Food Network warehouse at 1925 9th Street just off University. There is ample street parking, but no parking available in the lot at this location (it's used by our neighbor, Meals on Wheels).

Please note that you do not have to be available to help out for an entire time slot & we can also move delivery driver pick-up time slots -- just let us know what times work for you & we'll be excited to have your help. And if you have time to come as early as 10a or stay as late as 2p to help with set-up or clean-up, please do! 

All volunteers working in the warehouse should wear closed-toe shoes. If you have a wagon we can use to help transport bags from the warehouse to the loading dock, please bring it along! And come thirsty & hungry: we always have plenty of coffee & too many treats!

If your family is in need of a food bag delivered to your student's school, you will find all the information about where the bags can be found at your school & how to get connected or just pick one up at https://berkeleyfoodnetwork.org/school/


  • On Jun 12, we will start packing bags an hour earlier than usual in order to deliver early to the middle schools, which will be dismissed at lunchtime. All middle school deliveries will need to be complete by their lunch period.


We assign time slots for food bag pick-up to help manage traffic in our loading dock (but we're happy to adjust the schedule to accommodate yours!). To load bags into your car, back into one half of the Berkeley Food Network loading dock driveway on 9th Street just before University. Bag-packing volunteers will help load your car with the number of bags requested of us by the school site you are serving. These bags can be pretty heavy with produce, beans, rice, a couple of cans, etc. If you have a wagon, it often helps to bring it along to make quick work of the delivery at the school site. Below are specific delivery instructions for each school (& these instructions mention if the school has a cart available). Thank you so much for volunteering to deliver -- & if you have any updates or recommendations for us to share in the instructions for future delivery drivers, please let us know!

Created by:   Heather Ball, Kristin Weinberger, and Anna Brock

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