UPDATED: 4/9/21

YES, we still need volunteers. Mama’s Kitchen is recognized by the County as an “essential business” and will continue to operate during California’s “shelter in place” order, with additional safety practices. Under direction from the County, volunteers are also deemed “essential” and allowed to continue working with us.

We will be operating with exceptionally lean volunteers to do our part to ensure safety and minimize the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

We continue to seek additional volunteers for:

More information regarding our COVID-19 precautions and volunteer opportunities are below. If you have any questions or seek additional information, please contact Director of Volunteer Engagement, Mark Maddox, at mark@mamaskitchen.org or 619.233.6262 x121.

COVID-19 Precautions:

  • Modifications to our meal preparations, scheduled volunteer shifts, and delivery schedules have been implemented. 
  • We seek not only to adhere to local public health official guidance but to also foster a physically and psychologically safe facility for all volunteers and staff.
  • All in-building volunteers enter through the lower kitchen doors (drivers do not enter the facility but are screened on the loading dock).
  • Each person has their temperature checked and completes a four question COVID-19 screening checklist regarding symptoms and potential exposure for each shift
  • Each in-building volunteer signs in including their arrival time and signs out with their departure time.
  • Face coverings are required the entire time in the facility with both masks and face shields available. Face coverings are also required while making deliveries.
  • No-touch meal deliveries procedures are in place with gloves and sanitizer provided as needed.

Complete a Volunteer Application prior to orientation. Download it to your computer, fill it in, save it and email the saved file to mark@mamaskitchen.org. 
STEP 2: Attend an orientation. Click here to view orientation days and times.
STEP 3: Complete your volunteer application and background check (delivery driver volunteers) or reference checks (non-delivery driver).
STEP 4: You’ll be added to our volunteer system and will receive emails regarding available shifts with instructions on how to sign up.

Key Volunteer Opportunities – High Need

Meal Delivery Driver/Adopt-A-Route

Responsibilities: Pickup meals at kitchen or courier site for delivery to clients at their homeDeliver all meals within a two-hour delivery window (generally 10-15 clients).

  • Complete an annual background check (paid for by Mama’s Kitchen).

Time Commitment:

  • Regular delivery days are Tuesday and Friday delivery with three varying 2-hour delivery windows, however during this times additional delivery windows may be scheduled.
  • Routes are available for weekly commitments or as you are available.

Kitchen/Staging Volunteer

Modified Eligibility: Must be fully COVID-19 vaccinated with fourteen days elapsed since last dose.

  • Shifts resume Monday, April 12th.
  • Cohort based model: volunteers will need to select ONE area of kitchen/staging volunteering and for the time being will ONLY be allowed to volunteer for shifts in that cohort. This is to reduce the potential of greater exposure and allow us to adjust, with minimal impact, if there is any exposure. Descriptions of the cohorts are below.
  • After being accepted as a Mama’s Kitchen volunteer you will select your cohort.

Shift Schedule:

Plating/Kitchen Prep Cohort (Monday/Wednesday/Thursday 8am-12pm, Monday 12:30-2:30)

  • Plating entrees of about 525 portions each. Goal is to complete one entrée per two hours – so a four-hour shift will plate two separate meals.
  • Prep work in conjunction with kitchen staff as needed and requested.

Grocery Bags (Monday/Thursday 9am-12pm)

  • Assembly line of “dry” items for inclusion in the next day’s delivery (fruit, cereal, crackers, oatmeal, etc).
  • Preparing individual items like tortillas and bread for future deliveries.

Delivery Day Morning (Tuesday/Friday 8am-12pm)

  • Frozen Bags: assembly line of cold items for inclusion in that day’s delivery (yogurt, milk, cheese, burritos, etc).
  • Bundling: bundling all meals for that day’s delivery to fill the bags more efficiently.
  • Staging: compile all items into delivery bags (grocery bags, frozen bags, and meal bundles) and then place onto carts by delivery route.

Delivery Day Afternoon (Tuesday/Friday 1-3pm or 2-4pm)

  • Staging: compile all items into delivery bags (grocery bags, frozen bags, and meal bundles) and then place onto carts by delivery route (1-3pm).
  • Cart Loading: loading carts with the appropriate number of regulars and specials by route and wheeling out to the loading dock as drivers arrive (2-4pm).

Phone/Office Support

Modified Eligibility: Must be fully COVID-19 vaccinated with fourteen days elapsed since last dose.


  • Direct callers to the appropriate department or staff person.
  • Provide general information about Mama’s Kitchen to callers with staff training and resource materials.
  • Support administrative functions of various departments with mailing, sorting, and filing tasks.
  • Based on interest level, support project-related tasks for program staff.

Time Commitment:

  • Morning shift (9am-1pm) or afternoon shift (1-6pm) as needed based on shift availability. Available for substitute or ongoing schedule based on need.
  • Other varying shifts available as needed.