Volunteers are what make our work possible. We welcome thousands of individuals each year from every sector of the community to engage in direct service to homebound seniors and adults with disabilities who also are experiencing isolation, loneliness, and in some cases extreme poverty. Together, our volunteers provide on average 15,000 hours of service per year! Our volunteer programs and training also provide participants with an empowering experience. Service with us is more than volunteerism, it’s an opportunity to connect with the community through shared moments of compassion and understanding.

During the COVID-19 crisis, we have adapted many of our volunteer programs as we are concerned for the safety of all our volunteers, clients, and staff. While we have modified our programs, we have a wide variety of opportunities available depending on your area of interest, availability, and skillset.


 Home Delivered Groceries | Friendly Social Call
Grocery Shopper | Client Needs Delivery | Cards for Seniors  

Volunteer Application | FAQ | Contact Us | Donate


Volunteer Application

To become a Volunteer for Friendly Social Call, Grocery Shopper, or Home Delivered Grocery Programs, you will need to submit an application. The online form will only take a few minutes to fill out!


Home Delivered Grocery Program

Help pack OR deliver fresh groceries to our SF clients. Our Home Delivered Grocery Program (HDG) is a partnership with the SF-Marin Food Bank to serve nearly 500 people every week. Unlike our cooked meal service, this program serves a separate group of seniors and people with disabilities who can cook for themselves but have some difficulty purchasing groceries or getting to a local food pantry.

The HDG program is a great way to connect with other volunteers and help serve our seniors and people with disabilities across all SF neighborhoods. We follow all CDC and City of San Francisco safety protocols.

• Background check required
• Grocery Assembly occurs each Wednesday from 6-8 AM at MOWSF’s Bayview facility
• Grocery Deliveries occur each Wednesday from 8:30-11:00 AM
• The HDG program runs outdoors every Wednesday rain or shine.
• Six-month commitment


Friendly Social Call (Virtual Program)

Be matched with a senior to call and check in on them on a weekly basis to help lessen isolation and create a meaningful friendship over the phone. Many of our clients are isolated and lonely and would appreciate someone to call them regularly each week to converse about topics of interest to both the client and volunteer plus check in on their well-being. Since this volunteer opportunity is virtual, you can be located anywhere in San Francisco to be matched with a senior. As a Friendly Social Call volunteer, you will schedule the calls directly with the client based on the best time that works for both parties. Calls typically last 15-30 mins but may go longer if desired.

  • Background check required
  • Must attend an online training webinar before being matched
  • Six-month commitment

Grocery Shopper

Grocery shop for an isolated and homebound senior. Many of our seniors are unable to go to a nearby grocery store in their neighborhood to shop for food and household items. In this program, you will be paired with a senior to assist them on a weekly or bi-weekly basis to shop for essential items they need during the current crisis. You will coordinate a regular shopping schedule directly with the client. As a Grocery Shopper volunteer, you will shop for the items by yourself and then drop them off at the client’s home. Many of our clients that need help grocery shopping live in neighborhoods such as the Bayview, Tenderloin, and Mission, etc. so please be flexible and willing to be paired with a senior living in one of those areas or other neighborhoods as well. This program requires a car so you can be matched and do the deliveries if public transportation is not accessible during the pandemic. We are following all Social Distancing practices and deliveries are “No Contact Deliveries”.

  • Background check required
  • Access to transportation (car or public transportation)
  • Must attend an online training webinar before being matched
  • Six-month commitment

Please note, that we operate this program in all weather.

Client Needs Delivery

Deliver household items to isolated and homebound seniors. Each week our volunteers receive an email with a list of items that need to be delivered and the location of the delivery. These items can range from meal supplements to small refrigerators to microwaves. Volunteers will have to come to the MOWSF headquarters in Bayview to pick up the delivery items and will coordinate directly with the senior to set up a delivery time.

• Client Needs volunteers use their own car.
• 6-month commitment


Cards for Seniors

Let homebound Meals on Wheels seniors know that people care about them, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic where social isolation is at its highest. Make "Thinking of You" cards that we will distribute with our meals to brighten a seniors' day. These are accepted all year long.

Download the guidelines below.




Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Do I have to attend an orientation to volunteer?
Yes, in order to volunteer in our programs, you must attend a 1-hour online orientation via Zoom. You will receive a confirmation after signing up for an orientation session. If you do not receive a confirmation email, check your spam/junk and/or fill out the form at the bottom of the page. If you still do not find a confirmation email for the orientation, please email volunteer@mowsf.org

 If I cannot participate in the Friendly Social Call, Grocery Shopper, or Home Delivered Grocery programs, how else can I help? Are there other volunteer programs?
The card program is a great alternative as MOWSF is trying to provide an uplifting “thinking of you” card with each seniors' meal! We currently have over 3500 seniors! You can also help financially, we are accepting donations to help us continue providing meals and services to homebound seniors and adults with disabilities in San Francisco.

Do I need to complete a background check if I have already done so in the past for a different organization?
Yes, we require all client-facing volunteers to complete an online background check through Sterling Volunteers for Meals on Wheels of San Francisco. It typically takes 5 minutes or less to complete and you will be sent a link via email after you fill out our online application.

Are there volunteer opportunities on the weekend?
We do not have any specific volunteer programs on the weekend. However, both the Grocery Shopper and Friendly Social Call programs are coordinated directly with the client and you pick the days and times you’d like to volunteer with the senior as long as it works for you and for them. The card program is also another great way to volunteer at any time you want.

Do I need to be 18+ years old to volunteer?
Yes, you must be a minimum of 18 years old to get involved in one of our volunteer programs.

Are there any volunteer opportunities at your office or in the kitchen?
No, unfortunately at this time, we only allow full-time paid staff to work in our offices and kitchen.

Do I have to make a minimum length commitment to the Friendly Social Call, Grocery Shopper, or Home Delivered Grocery programs? Yes, we do require a six-month commitment for all programs to minimize disruption for our clients. Our hope is to have you volunteer with us longer as you build a meaningful friendship with a senior! All three programs require a weekly time commitment.

Do I have to live in SF/Bay Area to volunteer in the Friendly Social Call program?
Yes, we ask that volunteers live in San Francisco or the Bay Area.

Will you accept food or goods donations?
We cannot accept many types food donations due to the guidelines we follow for senior prepared meals. Please contact info@mowsf.org if you have more specific questions about donations.



Volunteer Appreciation Cooking with Tim & Richard from Meals on Wheels San Francisco on Vimeo.