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Do I need to be Covid-19 vaccinated to volunteer?

SA Harvest is committed to Nourishing Our Community – and never has this been more needed than now. To ensure that we’re able to continue delivering vital food relief to the most vulnerable among us, SA Harvest requires all staff and volunteers be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. We respect that vaccination is an individual choice, and this may impact your decision to volunteer with us.

How often can I / am I expected to volunteer?

SA Harvest utilises the invaluable time, skills and experience of many of volunteers every day. Volunteers can participate as often or as little as they wish – if you can join us for one or two shifts per week, or one shift every few months, we welcome your valuable help!

The large majority of our roles occur during business and school hours, Monday through Friday. Shift length can vary from a couple of hours to a full day, depending on the role. We do have limited weekend and weeknight volunteer roles in some locations, and more info on the timing of shifts in your location will be given at our information session.

We use a digital shift calendar, so our volunteers have flexibility and can sign up to roles at their convenience. Many of our roles do not require a regular commitment, for example, of the same day per week, or for a specific length of time. However, some roles will ask volunteers to commit to a regular and set schedule, and this will be made clear when recruiting for the roles.

For the wellbeing of our volunteers, some frontline roles may have limits on how often a volunteer can complete a shift.

When is the next Information & Induction Session?

The Information & Induction Session is your opportunity to learn in more detail about the work we do, the various volunteer roles available in your location, and get details on our volunteer registration requirements. We feel it is important to give you as much information as possible, so you are able to make the most informed decision regarding joining our team. This is also a great opportunity for you to get to know us and ask questions!

Once you have submitted your details via the application form on this page, your local Volunteer Coordinator will be in touch as soon as the next Information & Induction Session date is confirmed – sessions are held monthly or quarterly, depending on your location.

Besides the Information & Induction Session, what else will I need to do or provide before I can start volunteering?

Each SA Harvest location has unique approval requirements for volunteers, and these will be discussed in the Information Session. However, volunteers in all locations must show proof of Covid Vaccination, complete online Manual Handling training (provided free of charge), and most locations also require a Police Check (issued within the last 12 months).

Depending on the nature of the volunteer activity, some roles may have further requirements – for example, Working With Children Checks, or completion of free, online Food Safety training.

If you have any questions regarding the approval requirements, you can contact your local volunteer coordinator, or email

Please note: a record on a police check does not automatically disqualify someone from volunteering. The result may mean volunteers are more suited to some roles over others, and this will be discussed in confidence as the need arises.

Is there a cost involved to volunteer?

There are a few costs associated with volunteer registration, which can include:

  • Volunteers to provide a police check issued within the last 12 months, at their own cost.
  • Volunteers who already hold existing police checks issued within the past 12 months can submit this and may not be required to obtain a new check.
  • An administration contribution to SA Harvest to cover costs in providing volunteers with the required uniform may be applicable. This cost varies depending on location, but is never more than R500.

If these costs would present a financial challenge, please contact your local volunteer coordinator, or email

Do I need to wear a uniform?

All volunteers are required to wear a yellow SA Harvest T-shirt, black/dark bottoms, and closed toed shoes (except for those who are volunteering at an SA Harvest office, in which case we ask volunteers to please wear business or smart casual clothing). Volunteers helping with food prep are also asked to ensure their hair is tied back.

The cost for our SA Harvest Volunteer T-Shirt is included in the above administration fee.

Do you require reference checks for volunteers?

Depending on the role, yes. SA Harvest offers a variety of volunteer opportunities, so volunteers are asked to supply a reference in the volunteer application form. The Volunteer Coordinator will conduct and/or oversee the reference process for any role that requires it (and you’ll be told if a role you’d like to help with does).

Volunteers must also consent to a Police and Criminal History Check, and those who will be volunteering in an education program will also need to have a Working With Children Check (WWCC). Once complete, volunteers will receive a copy of their police report/WWCC, which may be helpful for future use. An adverse outcome revealed in the police check does not automatically disqualify someone from volunteering. The result may mean volunteers are more suited to some activities over others, and this will be discussed with volunteers as the need arises.

Do any volunteer roles require further training?

Yes, all SA Harvest education programs and some other roles require volunteers to undergo specialised role-specific training, which is conducted on an as-needed basis a few times a year. Additionally, some volunteer programs may require you to shadow an existing volunteer or complete a trial shift before you can register for future shifts.

At a minimum, all volunteers will receive on the job training from the shift or program lead when they participate in a role for the first time.

I am interested in workplace volunteering with my team, how do I organise this?

Thank you! Please click HERE to find out more about our workplace volunteering & engagement options, and to contact our Workplace Engagement team.

Can people under the age of 18 volunteer with SA Harvest?

We love to see young people around the country looking to get involved and make a positive impact in their community.

Unfortunately, we do not have any opportunities for Youth Volunteering  currently. After successfully piloting a Youth Volunteering program in some of our locations pre-Covid, we are committed to getting the program up and running nationally in the future.

The good news is that you don’t have to volunteer with SA Harvest to start fighting food waste. Almost half of all food waste in South Africa  comes from our homes, and we need dedicated individuals to become food waste warriors. You can learn more about food waste and what you can do in the fight against it here. If you are interested in food waste and sustainability, you may also want to check out our FEAST program to see if your school might be interested in bringing the program to life!

I have accessibility requirements. Can I volunteer?

If you have accessibility requirements, we’d love to have a chat to understand your needs and explore volunteer roles that might suit your needs and interests. Contact us to start the conversation!

Where can I learn more about my local SA Harvest office?

To learn more about your local team, the types of volunteer roles available, shift times and locations, or to get in touch with our SA Harvest team in your area, you can click HERE and find your local team.

I can’t find the answer to my question in the FAQs above, where can I get some more information about volunteering?

If we haven’t been able to answer your question in our FAQs, please send us an email to with your question and your location, and we can help you with your specific query.

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