Volunteer Policies

Open Heart Kitchen (OHK) is committed to treating every volunteer, employee, and client with dignity, compassion, and respect. All volunteers must be aware of and comply with OHK volunteer policies. Open Heart Kitchen reserves the right to terminate service of any volunteer who violates our policies or engages in conduct found to be unacceptable by their supervisor. 

Becoming a Volunteer

  • OHK does not accept walk-in volunteers. All those interested in volunteering must go through a signup process with the Volunteer Coordinator. 

  • Volunteers must complete an application and sign the Volunteer Liability Waiver and Agreement. Those over the age of 18 must also complete a criminal background check. Any other requirements will be communicated by the Volunteer Coordinator.

  • Volunteers are required to watch the Handwashing and Personal Hygiene video and the Kitchen 101 video. Links to the videos can be accessed on the volunteer portal, Better Impact, or accessed below:

General Guidelines 

  • All volunteer shifts must be scheduled in advance via the Better Impact Coordinator or by communicating with the Volunteer Coordinator.

  • Volunteers must sign in and out for every shift. (This helps us keep accurate records of volunteer hours and ensures sure each site is receiving adequate support.)

  • Please leave valuables at home or out of sight in a locked vehicle. OHK has limited secure storage space and will not be held responsible for personal items. 

  • Any volunteers seeking community service hours for their time with OHK are fully responsible for the completion and submission of any necessary forms to the Volunteer Coordinator or supervisor.


  • Volunteers must treat clients, other volunteers, and staff with dignity, compassion, and respect.

  • OHK does not allow proselytizing.

  • Volunteers must maintain a professional relationship with clients at all times.

  • Information, both verbal and written, regarding clients, employees, or volunteers is to be kept confidential at all times. 

  • OHK is a drug- and alcohol-free workplace. Any volunteer who distributes, possesses, consumes, or is under the influence of drugs (including marijuana) or alcohol, or who smells of drugs or alcohol, will be asked to leave immediately. 

  • Volunteers may smoke in designated areas only.

  • Whenever a volunteer has a problem or concern with OHK, the volunteer should contact the Volunteer Coordinator for a copy of OHK’s Grievance Policies and Procedures.


  • Volunteers must always be safety conscious. This includes preventing injuries by using proper lifting techniques and asking for help if needed. 

  • Volunteers must report any unsafe conditions or practices to the supervisor.

  • Volunteers must not operate any machinery or equipment unless authorized by the supervisor.

  • Volunteers must immediately inform the supervisor if they suffer from fatigue, illness, discomfort due to repetitive tasks, side effects of medication, or any other causes that may affect workplace safety.

  • Volunteers must not engage in any horseplay or rough-housing. 

  • Volunteers must keep the workspace and restrooms clean and orderly. Stack objects at least 6” off the floor and ensure they are placed properly so they do not fall or obstruct aisles, doors, fire exits, or stairs.

  • Volunteers must wash their hands in between each assigned task, after eating, smoking, touching their face or hair, or using the restroom. 

  • Volunteers must not use cellular/smartphones, headphones, iPods, MP3 players, or other electronic devices while performing volunteer activities as these devices may impede awareness and alertness.


Dress Code

All volunteer dress code guidelines are in compliance with health department guidelines and are put in place to protect the health and safety of both OHK clients and volunteers.

  • Shoes must be closed toed with rubber soles and supportive for standing for extended periods of time.

  • Shirts MUST fully cover the midriff, shoulders & underarms.

  • Hair must be pulled back from shoulders and covered while on shift. Volunteers can wear a hat, scarf, or bandana. If a volunteer does not bring a personal head covering, a hairnet will be provided by OHK.

  • Pants should be appropriately fitting. Volunteers at the Production Kitchen must wear full-length long pants. All other volunteers may wear pants or knee-Length shorts.

  • A clean apron will be provided by OHK and should be worn while on shift.



  • Volunteers should arrive on time for each scheduled shift

  • Volunteers are expected to work for the entirety of their shift

  • Volunteers must notify their assigned supervisor before leaving the site

  • Any change in a volunteer's schedule or availability should be communicated to the Volunteer Coordinator as soon as possible to allow the volunteer department to find a replacement for their shift. 

  • Any cancellations that are not communicated prior to the volunteer shift will be filed as a "no call/no show" on the volunteer's record

    • Penalties for such instances are as follows:

      • First No Call/No Show: Volunteer will be emailed a warning.

      • Second No Call/No Show: Volunteer's account will be suspended for three months. During this suspension, the individual will not be able to volunteer at any OHK site. After three months, the volunteer account will be reactivated.

      • Third No Call/No Show: The Volunteer's account will be permanently closed and the individual will no longer be able to volunteer at OHK.

No Discrimination / No Harassment Policy 

OHK strictly prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of sex (which includes discrimination and harassment based on gender, pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), as well as discrimination and harassment based on race, color, religion, age, mental or physical disability, medical condition, national origin, ancestry, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, family care or medical leave status, or any other legally protected characteristic. Harassment on the basis of gender is defined, generally, as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other physical, verbal, or visual conduct of a sexual nature. This includes the harassment of men by women, harassment of women by men, and the gender-based harassment of individuals of the same sex as the harasser which can take many different forms (overt or subtle). 

Right to Revise 

OHK reserves the right to revise, modify, delete, or add to any of the policies stated in this publication.


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