Frequently asked questions about Food At First.  If you can’t find your answer here, please email Patty Yoder (patty@foodatfirst.com), and we’ll reply via email.

Q:  I am interested in helping.  What should I do?

A:  Click signup to find open FAF volunteer shifts. If all of the slots are full, please come back again soon, as we’re constantly adding new dates! THANK YOU!! that is great you want to volunteer.

Q:  What is the minimum age for volunteers?

A:  Anyone 5th Grade or 10 years or older is welcome to sign up for a volunteer position! A parent or adult should volunteer along side anyone age 10 to 13.

Q:  I signed up to volunteer and I have a conflict and need to cancel.

If you cannot serve your shift, please remove yourself from your shift. You may cancel up to 24 hours before.

How to cancel: Browse to FoodatFirst.com, click Login to login into the volunteer system. Click REMOVE button. Please let FAF know as soon as possible, but if within 24 hours of your shift, please email patty@foodatfirst.com your full name, the date you cannot serve and what time shift to cancel. 

If you forgot your shift please let FAF know. FAF removes volunteers from the volunteer system who do not contact FAF after missing 2 shifts

Q:  I signed up, now what?

Please arrive a few minutes early for your shift and TimeClock in. Food at First is located at 611 Clark, Ames Iowa, lower level. FAF is FUN and FAF runs smoothly if everyone pitches in and works hard, stays happy and motivated, and works the entire shift. If you are new you can ask others who have volunteered before “what can I do next”

Q: Can I bring my friend or relative who has not signed up for a shift?

FAF has carefully calculated how many volunteers are needed for each shift, so please work hard the entire time, and please have them sign up for a shift, please don’t bring extra’s even though you are excited and want to share the experience.

Q: I don’t see any open spots on the volunteer sign-up. I am taking a class which requires community volunteer time, I need to serve soon. What should I do?

A:  FAF often has other “less glamorous” jobs that could be filled, such as defrosting freezers, mopping floors or deep cleaning. Please email patty@foodatfirst.com, let us know your deadline and when you might be available. FAF encourages teachers/professors to have students check as far in advance as possible, we all have a tendency to wait until the last minute. If there are no slots open, then FAF really does not need help for that shift.

Q:  We have a group who would like to volunteer – how do we sign up?

A:  We welcome groups, as it’s a great way to get to know each other and serve the community at the same time!

  1. look at the monthly calendar
  2. click on the arrows in the upper left corner of the calendar to be able to check on future months
  3. email Patty Yoder (patty@foodatfirst.com), when you find a date that will work for your group and they will let you know if it is available!

You should expect a reply within a week – if you do not see one, please feel free to email again.

Q:  What do the letters on the monthly calendar mean?

A:  HC stands for Head Chef.  Prep is the preparation shift, and S/CU stands for Serve / Clean Up.  If there are letters after these words, they are the initials of the group who is hosting the meal (for instance, CPC = Collegiate Presbyterian Church.)  Details about the shifts are on the meal program page.

Q:  It looks like all of the dates in the near future on the monthly calendar are taken.  Can we still help with an upcoming meal?

A: You may be “fired up” and want to help in the next few weeks, but we have to plan our schedule months in advance, and by filling the spot now, you’ll save us effort down the road – while still doing that good work you had intended all along.