V training

Developing training for volunteers is key to a successful client choice pantry. It will help ensure all staff and volunteers have a clear understanding of their role and the pantry flow, which will aid in a smooth transition and create a reliable, welcoming environment.

To build your training, use the volunteer job descriptions you created in step 5 and the procedure you wrote in step 6 to create a training plan for all staff and volunteers. Training is vital to the success of client choice.

As you develop your training and associated documents, be patient and ask for help. During this process of transforming, you will learn more about your pantry, volunteers, and clients. 

Effective Training Tip

  • Plan your training around “say it, see it, do it.”.
  • Start by sharing information. Follow-up by modeling how to do certain tasks. Anchor the information by having the volunteers physically do certain tasks.
  • Engaging volunteers throughout the training will keep it fun but also help them retain the information to put into practice in the pantry.
  • Click each box below to learn more.

Suggested Training outline
The order of this outline can be modified for your organization.

  • Explain who your organization is, mission statement, where the support comes from, code of conduct, rules and regulations, safety, etc.
  • Describe all of the job roles, the responsibilities, and the hours needed for each.
  • Set expectations about how to talk about the pantry environment.
  • Prompt volunteers to practice explaining the organization, clients they serve, & volunteers like they are speaking to potential/current volunteers or donors.
  • If you have enough time, allow them the oppurtunity to experience potential positions they are interested in or have them come back another time to shadow the position.
  • Determine what you need to include:
    • Application to volunteer, civil rights training/signature, confidentiality agreement, sign in/out sheet (to log your volunteer hours for grants and assistance), and other essential documents.
  • Review all paperwork with volunteers.
  • Prompt volunteers to fill out all documents during the training.
  • Remember, a safe environment is a judgement-free environment.
  • Share with your volunteers the information from the lesson “Judgement Free Environment.”
  • Prompt volunteers to practice using Asset-Based Language with each other. Check out the printable page from Judgement Free Environment or the Appendix for resources if you need assistance.
  • It can be a challenge to change your habits. Still, with practice conversations and training, your organization will be well on its way to empowering your clients.
  • We have included a scenario document that contains some common challenging conversations with clients to build on communication.
    • Download and review this document.
    • Consider your pantry’s prior experiences and add your own scenarios to the list.
  • Prompt volunteers to take turns practicing as the client and the volunteer.

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