Volunteer FAQs

1. What are the benefits of volunteering with Meals On Wheels of Sarasota?

Volunteers make a difference every day through their smiles and more. In order to provide the best service to those we serve, we need dependable and caring people. The quality of our program and ability to expand our service to the community depends on your reliability. Some of the most valuable benefits are intrinsic, such as:
» Help to strengthen the community
» Make a positive impact on someone's quality of life
» Gain work and life experiences
» Model the importance of giving back to the community
» Strengthens leadership skills
» Experience diversity
» Have fun

2. Expectations

Volunteer placement and route assignments are based on your availability, interest and ability to meet the requirements. While our goal is to meet the needs of our mission, we strive to ensure that each volunteer's time is well utilized and that you enjoy your time of service. We hope you honor your commitment and consider your volunteer assignment just as important as a paid position.
Listed below are our expectations:
» Complete the required application and background screening
» Be receptive to our Volunteer Orientation and apply our Policies
» Volunteer in a professional manner
» Report all "Not Home" meal delivery events immediately

3. Are there any requirements to be a volunteer at Meals On Wheels of Sarasota?

All volunteer drivers must by 16 years of age, have a valid driver's license, an automobile, proof of auto insurance and agree to a background check. Those under 16 may volunteer by riding along with a guardian, parent, or friend, or by helping in the office.

4. How do I become a volunteer at Meals On Wheels of Sarasota?

Thank you for your interest in volunteering to help our senior and homebound neighbors. To begin volunteering with Meals On Wheels of Sarasota, please fill out a Volunteer Application and attend a Volunteer Orientation.

5. What are orientations?

Volunteer Orientations are one-on-one meetings with our Volunteer Coordinator. Please make sure you have filled out a Volunteer Application before RSVP'ing for a Volunteer Orientation date. The Volunteer Coordinator will share helpful hints about meal delivery. You will also have the option to schedule a future ride along with a veteran volunteer if desired. Kitchen, desk, and other options for volunteer services will be explained.

6. I'm part of a group that wants to volunteer with Meals On Wheels of Sarasota. What kinds or opportunities do you have for groups (organizations, churches, businesses, etc.)?

MOW Sarasota offers several group opportunities, especially around the holidays.

7. Can I volunteer to deliver meals on a regular basis?

Yes! Secure a route and day of the week that works best for your schedule today! Get started by filling out a Volunteer Application.

8. Can I volunteer to make meals or help in your kitchen?

Yes, there are several opportunities to assist in the kitchen.

9. Do you have opportunities to help out in the office?

Yes, we are in need of office volunteers to support both long-term and one-time projects in the office. Please complete a Volunteer Application and indicate your volunteer preferences in the comments section.

10. Do you offer Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Christmas Day delivery opportunities? What else do you offer for the holidays?

MOW Sarasota volunteers deliver special goody bags at Halloween, Thanksgiving, and on Christmas morning. A Holiday Gift Drive occurs in November and December where the community comes together to collect items.

11. I am interested in volunteering for your special events. How do I go about doing that?

It's easy! Please fill out a Volunteer Application and indicate your preference for volunteering.

12. What if there is bad weather? How do I know if I should deliver?

Our first priority during a storm is both your safety and the safety of our recipients. If you are delivering during bad weather and encounter a situation where the weather and/or the potential flooding creates danger, please do not deliver the meal. We simply ask that you call the office to let us know, and then we will contact the recipient. You may give away the meal to the next recipient on the route.

Meals On Wheels of Sarasota may cancel delivery if the weather is hazardous and/or there is flooding. Scheduled volunteers will receive an email, call or text if their route is cancelled and staff will call to notify recipients and volunteers if service is cancelled for that day. Local radio and TV stations may also announce closing for listen for "Meals On Wheels of Sarasota". Be safe, use your best judgement, and please communicate anything unusual on any given day with our office. Together we will do our best to make sure our volunteers and homebound clients are safe all year long.

Note that the Meals on Wheels of Sarasota phone system is computer(cloud) based and
should continue to function during emergency situations.

13. Do you have volunteer opportunities for children and families?

Yes, volunteers may deliver with children or family.

14. Is there a minimum time commitment to volunteer with Meals On Wheels of Sarasota?

There is no minimum time commitment to volunteer.

15. Do you have evening opportunities?

There are no evening opportunities available except for special fund raising events.

16. Do you have weekend volunteer opportunities?

Yes, weekend volunteer opportunities are available on Saturdays.

17. I have an educational or service requirement to fulfill (for school, a club, an association, etc.). Can I earn service hours by volunteering with Meals on Wheels of Sarasota?

We cannot guarantee that we can fulfill your volunteer hours requirement. However, if you reach us with plenty of notice, we will do our best to find you a meaningful volunteer experience that will mutually benefit MOW Sarasota. If your skills and experience are a good match for us, we will try to make sure your volunteer experience can be applied to your service requirements.

18. I need hours for court ordered community service

Please call Meals On Wheels of Sarasota and speak directly to the Volunteer Coordinator to set up an appointment to discuss court ordered community service. Fill out a volunteer application if you need hours for court ordered community service.

19. I want to volunteer but I don't have a car. What can I do?

We have volunteer opportunities for office support that don't require a car. Please fill out a Volunteer Application.

20. I live outside of Sarasota. Do you have opportunities elsewhere in the Bay Area?

MOW Sarasota is a local, independent organization that serves Greater Sarasota. We don't offer volunteer opportunities outside of our service boundaries. There are 5,000 Meals On Wheels agencies across the country. Please check www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org and contact your local agency for opportunities in your community.