Volunteer FAQ

01. Does Meals on Wheels San Diego County currently need volunteers?

Yes! It takes hundreds of volunteers each day to deliver meals. Many seniors are often dependent on the food and safety checks our volunteers provide.

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02. What are the requirements to volunteer to deliver meals?

Volunteers must be 18 years or older, or if under the age of 18, must be accompanied by a legal guardian. Volunteers must submit a volunteer application, pass a background check, pay a $10 fee for the background check, and watch our mandatory training video. Volunteers must have a valid driver’s license and proof of auto insurance. A smartphone or smart device is required in order to use our Mobile Meals App to follow directions when driving. Volunteers must be able to walk up stairs and pick up coolers weighing up to 15 lbs.

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03. Do you accept Court Ordered volunteers?

No, we do not accept volunteers who are court ordered.

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04. Can those under 18 years of age volunteer?

If under 18, the minor must be accompanied by a parent or guardian when delivering meals. The minor cannot drive, but can assist with giving the meals to seniors. Minors do NOT need to complete an application or background check.

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05. Can my friend or partner volunteer with me?

Yes! But they would need to complete the application process and background check.

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06. Is there a time commitment to volunteer?

We ask for a once a month commitment. You’re more than welcome to do more.

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07. Do I have to use my own vehicle, and if so, will I be reimbursed for gas or mileage?

Our volunteers use their own vehicles and they are not reimbursed for gas or mileage.

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08. What time does delivery start?

We deliver Monday-Saturday. Delivery starts around 10:30 AM and lasts about an hour or two, depending on the number of clients on a route.

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09. Where do I need to go to pick up meals?

We deliver all across San Diego County and can find a meal pick-up location that is convenient for you. Once your application and background check have finished processing, a member of our team will contact you to find the most convenient pick-up location.

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10. How many stops will I make?

Our routes have between 10 to 16 stops.

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11. Are there COVID-19 protocols?

Yes, our volunteers are required to wear face masks when delivering meals. Volunteers are asked to wear gloves or sanitize their hands between each delivery. Our volunteers are asked to NOT enter seniors’ homes. When delivering meals, volunteers must leave the meal at the door and step back 6 ft. to ensure a safe distance when interacting with seniors.

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12. What happens if I’m a volunteer but I need to call off due to sickness, an emergency, etc.?

Due to the vulnerable population we serve, we do not allow volunteers to deliver meals while sick under any circumstances. For any reason that prevents a volunteer from completing a delivery, we ask that you contact your regional office to cancel as soon as possible. For a listing of regional offices, please click here.

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13. I’d like to help Meals on Wheels with delivering meals to seniors. How do I get started?

The first step is to submit a volunteer application. You will need to complete a Live Scan background check if you are not active-duty military, a first responder, or under the age of 18. After you submit a volunteer application, you will be redirected to a confirmation page which will have the link to our mandatory volunteer training video. After you watch the training video and your application has been processed, you will be contacted via phone or email to begin volunteering. Please be patient as we are processing applications as quickly as possible.

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14. I’ve submitted my volunteer application and paid the Live Scan fee. What’s next?

You must complete a Live Scan at one of our partner offices across the county. You will be contacted via phone once your Live Scan results are received and application is processed. For more information about the Live Scan background check, please visit our Live Scan page by clicking here.

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15. How does the background check work?

The background check must be completed at one of our Live Scan partner offices across the county. You will be contacted via phone or email once your Live Scan results are received and your application is processed. Please bring a printed copy of the first page of the Live Scan form with you to the Live Scan office. For more information, please visit our Live Scan page by clicking here.

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16. I’ve already been background checked by another organization. Can you use that background check?

Unfortunately, no. A background check can only be completed at one of our Live Scan partner offices. First responders and military personnel do not need to complete a background check. 

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17. Who can I contact if I have other questions about volunteering?

All of our offices are receiving a high number of calls and emails. We apologize in advance for the delay in our response. If you have an urgent question, please contact us at volunteer@meals-on-wheels.org or 619-278-4011.

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