Volunteer with FRN at the 2019 Winter Fancy Food Show

Join FRN's Largest one-day recovery!

Last year, FRN recovered over 27,000 pounds making it our largest single day recovery! This year, we hope to recover even more food! Stay tuned for blog posts, social media, and more as we celebrate our largest one-day food recovery ever!

Interested in volunteering this year? Follow the link below to register to volunteer at the 2019 Winter Fancy Food Show food recovery!


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Volunteers will assist Food Recovery Network in our biggest one-day food recovery to date. We will recover food on January 15, 2019 from the 2019 Winter Fancy Food Show being held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco and deliver meals to local food-insecure residents. Volunteers are all needed from 3-8pm. By working together, we can help feed the hungry people of San Francisco.

The Winter Fancy Food Show (WFFS) presented by the Specialty Food Association, is a large-scale private event where food vendors display their latest food products to buyers from around the nation.

At the WFFS there will be:

  • 80,000+ specialty foods and beverages

  • 1,400+ exhibitors from around the globe

  • Industry’s top networking events

  • Thousands of new products


Read more about last year’s recovery from the Winter Fancy Food Show and the Delancey Street Foundation, the inspiring nonprofit that turned the recovered food into meals for those in need. It was our largest single-day food recovery to date! We recovered over 27,000 pounds of food, which translates to more than 22,000 meals donated to food insecure people in the San Francisco area!


Volunteer Description & Requirements

Volunteers will arrive at 3pm on Tuesday, January 15, ready and excited to roll up their sleeves, work efficiently as a team, and jump-in where needed. This will include, but is not limited to, collecting surplus food from food vendors, transporting food to designated trucks, and organizing food for donation. Volunteers will lift and transport food using rolling bins, carts, and dollies. This event will require volunteers to be on their feet for 5 consecutive hours during a large fast-paced event.

Volunteers will be managed by a Team Leader in groups of 10-20 people. When you arrive, volunteers will receive food safety training and pertinent information for the recovery from FRN staff. During that training we will provide pizza and t-shirts. Volunteers will be able to direct any questions during the event to their Team Leader and FRN Staff who will ensure the day’s activities run smoothly.

Physical requirements:

Volunteers can...

  • Comfortably lift 35lbs.

  • Actively participate during entirety of food recovery

*These requirements are needed due to the size of the venue and tight aisles volunteers will navigate.

Time requirements

Volunteers will...

  • Arrive on time at 3pm on Tuesday, January 15, 2019.

  • Attend training session, held day-of event.

  • Can stay until 8pm.

Other requirements

  • All volunteers must be 18 years or older to participate.

  • Sign a Volunteer Waiver upon arrival in order to participate.

  • Fill out a short survey after the event to provide feedback for FRN to better improve these type volunteer events.

  • Wear closed toe shoes.

  • Have hair pulled back.

Team Leader Description & Requirements

Before: Prior to the event, Team Leaders will receive instructions and guidance from FRN Staff including a food recovery plan and venue floor plan with critical logistics. They will serve as a supportive and knowledgeable resource for their team. Team Leaders will reach out to their team the day prior to the recovery to confirm meeting location and necessary contact information.

During: Team Leaders are responsible for directing their group (10-20 volunteers) to a designated recovery location, offering guidance as needed, and ensuring that volunteers are working in the most efficient and safe manner possible. Volunteer groups will either be comprised of volunteers whom a leader has recruited personally (colleagues, FRN chapter members,  friends, family (all 18+), etc.) and/or volunteers that have been assigned to them. Team Leaders need to be comfortable in a leadership position, able to make quick decisions, be flexible in the moment, and clearly communicate with FRN and event staff and volunteers. Team Leaders are expected to create an inclusive, safe, and fun atmosphere for their group. Throughout the event, Team Leaders may be expected to take some pictures of their team and send to the FRN staff contact.


After: Team Leaders agree to stay until the end of the recovery (unless prior arrangements are made with FRN staff) and will check in with FRN Staff before leaving. After the event, Team Leaders will participate in a volunteer reflection (by conference call and/or online survey) which will provide an opportunity to give feedback and strengthen large food recoveries like this in the future.


Frequently asked questions

What is Food Recovery Network?

Food Recovery Network (FRN) is a national nonprofit that unites college students to fight food waste and hunger by recovering perishable food that would otherwise go to waste from their campus dining halls and food businesses and donating it to those in need. FRN envisions a world where food recovery, not food waste, is the norm across all sectors and where far fewer Americans are food insecure.

What is the 2019 Winter Fancy Food Show?

The Winter Fancy Food Show (WFFS) presented by the Specialty Food Association, is a large-scale private event where food vendors display their latest food products to buyers from around the nation.

At the WFFS there will be:

  • 80,000+ specialty foods and beverages

  • 1,400+ exhibitors from around the globe

  • Industry’s top networking events

  • Thousands of new products

When is the 2019 WFFS food recovery?

The WFFS takes place Jan. 13-15, 2019. The FRN recovery will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019 from 3-8pm. Volunteers will only have access to the event for the purposes of helping recover food during the evening of January 23rd. Additionally, volunteers must be able to attend the full volunteer block; a safety training will kick-off promptly at 3pm.

Where is the 2019 WFFS food recovery?

Location: Moscone Center 747 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

Travel Information: 10 minute walk from Powell Street Station (MUNI & BART access), 15 minute walk from Caltrain Station (4th & King St.) For more travel information, visit the WFFS site here.

Why does this event require volunteers?

This event requires 100+ volunteers in order to successfully recover from a large-scale event. Last year, more than 27,000 pounds of food was recovered! That translates to over 22,00 meals. Thanks to the attention given to this important work,vendors are becoming more and more committed to food recovery and source reduction

Why should you volunteer?

Volunteers will have the hands-on opportunity to participate in a food recovery, providing food to people who need it throughout San Francisco. Volunteers will also get to join FRN for our largest one-day recovery in FRN history. You will be able to work alongside other active and inspiring people from various sectors as well as FRN student leaders and staff.

What will volunteers be provided with?

  • Preliminary logistics information prior to contact from Team Leader

  • Recovery instructions and food and safety training upon arrival

  • Food Recovery Volunteer T-shirt

  • A satisfying and meaningful volunteer experience!

What are the requirements to volunteer?

Physical requirements:

Volunteers must be able to...

  • Comfortably lift 35lbs.

  • Actively participate during entirety of food recovery

*These requirements are needed due to the size of the venue and tight aisles volunteers will navigate.

Time requirements

Volunteers must...

  • Arrive on time at 3pm on Tuesday, January 15, 2019.

  • Attend training session, held day-of event.

  • Can stay until 8pm.

Other requirements

  • All volunteers must be 18 years or older to participate.

  • Sign a Volunteer Waiver upon arrival in order to participate.

  • Fill out a short survey after the event to provide feedback for FRN to better improve these type volunteer events.

  • Wear closed toe shoes.

  • Have hair pulled back.

What are the requirements to be a Team Leader?

Before: Prior to the event, Team Leaders will receive instructions and guidance from FRN Staff including a food recovery plan and venue floor plan with critical logistics. They will serve as a supportive and knowledgeable resource for their team. Team Leaders will reach out to their team the day prior to the recovery to confirm meeting location and necessary contact information.

During: Team Leaders are responsible for directing their group (10-20 volunteers) to a designated recovery location, offering guidance as needed, and ensuring that volunteers are working in the most efficient and safe manner possible. Volunteer groups will either be comprised of volunteers whom a leader has recruited personally (colleagues, FRN chapter members,  friends, family (all 18+), etc.) and/or volunteers that have been assigned to them. Team Leaders need to be comfortable in a leadership position, able to make quick decisions, be flexible in the moment, and clearly communicate with FRN and event staff and volunteers. Team Leaders are expected to create an inclusive, safe, and fun atmosphere for their group. Throughout the event, Team Leaders may be expected to take some pictures of their team and send to the FRN staff contact.

After: Team Leaders agree to stay until the end of the recovery (unless prior arrangements are made with FRN staff) and will check in with FRN Staff before leaving. After the event, Team Leaders will participate in a volunteer reflection (by conference call and/or online survey) which will provide an opportunity to give feedback and strengthen large food recoveries like this in the future.

Can I bring my child with me to volunteer?

All volunteers must be 18+

If your child is older than 18, they are more than welcome to register as a volunteer or Team Leader.