Volunteer with us!

Get Started in Just Three Easy Steps

Step 1: Attend an orientation! In this 45-60 minute session held here at Mama’s Kitchen (3960 Home Ave), you will learn more about our programs and the ways that you can make an impact through volunteering.

Step 2: Complete your volunteer application and background check (delivery driver volunteers) or reference checks (non-delivery driver)

Step 3: You’ll be added to our volunteer system and will be able to see what shifts are available and get signed up!

Volunteer Opportunities, Responsibilities, and Expectations

We have a variety of volunteer opportunities based on your interest, skills, and availability.

We have several expectations for all Mama’s Kitchen volunteers:

  • Exhibit a polite, personal manner with good personal hygiene, and dress appropriately for the nature of the work you will be doing
  • Attend shifts as scheduled or give adequate notice of inability to be present
  • Display sensitivity to the cultural and socioeconomic diversity of clients, employees, and other volunteers
  • Maintain confidentiality of client and/or donor information learned during your service

Route Driver


  • Pickup meals at kitchen or courier site for delivery to clients at their home
  • Notify Client Services of changes in client condition and in routing and delivery instructions
  • Report any undelivered meals to client services
  • Deliver 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:

  • Tuesday and Friday delivery days with three varying delivery windows
    • Pickup at 12:30 for 1-3pm delivery
    • Pickup at 2:30 for 3-5pm delivery
    • Pickup at 3:30 for 4-6pm delivery
  • Routes are available for weekly commitments or as you are available

Staging/Kitchen Volunteer


  • Package items for inclusion in lunch, breakfast, frozen, and/or cold bags
  • Plate/package dinner meal items
  • Place meals into bags before delivery
  • Follow all food safety requirements and staff instructions

Time Commitment:

  • Morning shift each weekday from 8:30-11:30am
  • Meal plating shift non-delivery days from 11:30am-1:30pm
  • Afternoon shift on delivery days (T/F) from 1-2:30pm
  • Shifts can be on a weekly basis or as you are available

Front Desk/Office Volunteer


  • Answer phones with a pleasant tone and direct callers to the appropriate department
  • Greet and welcome guests to Mama’s Kitchen
  • Perform light clerical duties as assigned

Time Commitment:

  • Delivery Days (T/F): 8:30am-1pm or 1pm-6pm
  • Non-delivery days (M/W/Th): 8:30am-1pm or 1pm-5:30pm
  • Other office work as needed by department
  • Can make a weekly commitment or help as available

Mama’s Pantry Volunteer

Mama’s Pantry is for low-income San Diego county residents (<$1700/month) with an HIV+ diagnosis who are well enough to shop and cook and need occasional nutrition support to maintain their health.


  • Assist clients with sign-in, shopping, “check out”, and bagging of items
  • Register new clients
  • Keep shelves filled with food items and maintain the cleanliness and organization of the pantry

Time Commitment:

  • Mama’s Pantry is open Monday – Friday 10am – 4pm
  • Two shifts daily: 10am-1pm and 1pm-4pm
  • Able to make a weekly commitment (if a spot is available) and/or fill-in as needed

Food Drive Volunteer

Food drives are held the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Sunday of each month at grocery stores in central San Diego. These food drives provide approximately one-third of the food available in Mama’s Pantry.


  • Distribute Mama’s Pantry wish-list flyers and explain Mama’s Pantry’s mission
  • Maintain positive, light-hearted attitude with shoppers
  • Keep area and food collection bins neat, clean, and tidy

Time Commitment:

  • Three-hour morning or three-hour afternoon shift

Events Volunteer

Assist in a variety of tasks including set-up, breakdown, check-in, logistics, etc. for our various events throughout the year

Time Commitment:

  • Varied shifts for a variety of tasks based on event needs
  • Events occur throughout the year and our signature events are: Mama’s Day (May), Mama’s Pie (November), and World AIDS Day (December 1st)

Please note, we do ask that volunteers who have not yet reached their 18th birthday be accompanied by a parent at orientation and while volunteering.

Corporate Volunteer Opportunities are also available. Please contact  Grants and Institutional Giving Coordinator, Grace Galloway at grace@mamaskitchen.org. Please note: WE HAVE FULFILLED OUR CORPORATE VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES FOR 2019! Please check back with us in December as we begin to schedule 2020 opportunities.