Volunteer Resources

Thank you for your commitment to changing the lives of so many homebound, older adults in Durham County as a Meals on Wheels Durham Volunteer. Please use the following resources to help you navigate how to provide our "more than a meal" service to over 580 clients.

Volunteer Policies

All MOWD volunteers should have a common goal: To make sure clients are treated with respect, empowered for self-care, and help combat social isolation.

Our volunteers depend on each other to make the work we do happen. We understand that people come from different backgrounds and have personal factors that all combine to make them unique individuals. That being said, MOWD will not permit, condone, or tolerate illegal or unethical behavior among its volunteers or staff that undermines the integrity of the organization.

Do's & Dont's

MOWD volunteers encounter multiple people each day, are invited into clients' homes, and make personal connections with older adults and other volunteers. To protect the integrity of our volunteers and clients, here are a few tips to help guide you while volunteering with MOWD:

  • Obey all relevant laws
  • Treat everyone fairly, with dignity and with respect
  • Deal honestly and fairly with participants, staff, volunteers, suppliers donors, and governmental and regulatory agencies
  • Avoid conflicts of interest
  • Maintain confidentiality
  • DON’T give out your personal information to clients
  • DON’T get involved in inappropriate relationships with clients
  • DON’T accept any form of harassment/violence from others
  • DON’T accept expensive gifts or money from clients
  • DON’T lend to or borrow money/material goods from clients
  • DON’T give rides to clients
  • DON'T solicit, distribute, or sell outside materials to clients or other volunteers

We invite individuals of all ages to volunteer at MOWD. In order to be a driver, one must have a valid driver's license or permit and chaperone as required by law. Volunteers under 18 will need a chaperone with them if volunteering in-person. The chaperone can be anyone 18 or older. Parent/guardian of volunteer under 18 will need to fill out a waiver form prior to the volunteer shift.

Anti Harassment & Discrimination Policy

MOWD is committed to providing an environment free of unlawful discrimination or harassment. MOWD’s policy prohibits sexual harassment and discrimination or harassment because of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, marital status, age, or any other basis protected by federal, state or local law. MOWD’s anti-discrimination and harassment policy applies to all persons involved in its operations and prohibits discrimination or harassment by any of its employees, volunteers and participants. 

HIPAA & Confidentiality Agreement

All MOWD volunteers are required to respect and maintain confidentiality of client and organization information in accordance to Durham County Social Services and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations. Confidentiality is essential to the sound relationship with our participants.


All volunteers are required to sign the Title VI Acknowledgment and HIPAA Confidentiality Agreements each year to remain compliant with local laws.

COVID Vaccination Policy

As part of a continued commitment to maintaining a safe and healthy workplace, and to protect the vulnerable population that we serve, Meals on Wheels Durham requires all staff and volunteers be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, including booster vaccines, as determined by eligibility. All staff and volunteers must provide evidence of full vaccination before volunteering or working in the office. Remote volunteers are subject to this policy only in the event they visit the office or come into contact with staff, clients, and/or other volunteers.

Face Mask Policy

As of Monday, May 22, 2023 inside helpers and staff will no longer be required to wear masks. Drivers will still need to mask when delivering meals. We recommend face coverings consisting of at least two layers of material that is either tightly woven or non-woven, and don't have visible holes, openings or vents.

Pre-Shift Self Screening

Please ask yourself these questions before arriving to your volunteer shift:

  1. Have you had close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 10 days, or has any health department or health care provider advised you to self quarantine?
  2. Have you had any of the following symptoms in the last 14 days:
    • Fever
    • Chills
    • New cough
    • Shortness of breath
    • New loss of taste or smell
  3. Since you last volunteered, have you been diagnosed with COVID-19 or the flu?

If you answered yes to questions 1 to 3, or have experienced any symptoms in question 2, please do not volunteer. Email the Volunteer Services Coordinator to cancel your shift.

Some positions will require the use of a volunteer’s private vehicle and we ask that all eligible drivers have the following:

  • Valid Driver's License: All operators of personal vehicles on MOWD business must have a valid driver’s license. 
  • Insurance: All drivers of personal vehicles on MOWD business must have full liability insurance (personal injury and property damage) in at least the minimum limits required under state law.


MOWD expects volunteers to operate personal vehicles in strict compliance with all traffic laws and regulations. Driver and passengers are all required to wear seatbelts.

Traffic Violations

A volunteer who receives any parking or traffic citation while using their personal vehicle on MOWD business is responsible for all fines, court costs, etc.

If there is a threat of inclement weather, Meals on Wheels Durham will communicate to the public of any changes to operations. Updates, closures or delays will be posted on our digital platforms and will be messaged to volunteers and clients via email.

  • Meals are not delivered when road conditions make it dangerous for volunteers to drive safely.
  • Registered volunteers for a cancelled or delayed shift will receive an email from the Volunteer Services Coordinator.
  • If you are uncertain about whether the Meals on Wheels Durham office will be open, please call the office at 919-667-9424 to confirm cancellation prior to venturing out in unsafe driving conditions.

Volunteer Procedures

Signing up is easy. Fill out the application and you'll be able to reserve a shift in no time.

Volunteer Portal - Scheduler

Meals on Wheels Durham uses a program called Scheduler as its volunteer scheduling platform. On the platform individuals can fill out a volunteer application, view upcoming shifts, and reserve a volunteer shift.

To navigate to Scheduler, visit https://durham.mowscheduler.com/

How to Create Your Volunteer Log In

Step 1

Fill out the Volunteer Application at https://durham.mowscheduler.com/volunteerapplication.

Step 2

Once the application is submitted, you will receive two confirmation emails: 

  1. "Welcome to Scheduler" and
  2. "Welcome to MOWscheduler"

These emails will provide more information on how to create a login, how to navigate Scheduler, and how to sign up for shifts.

If you are an NCCU or Duke student, or Activate Good member, please apply through your school's or organization's portal.

Step 3

Create a Scheduler login using the information provided in the confirmation emails.

Step 4

Once logged in, you are able to register for a volunteer shift.

For more information or assistance on how to sign up to volunteer, visit MOWScheduler's support site at https://support.mowscheduler.com/

All of our upcoming volunteer opportunities are displayed on the "Help Wanted" webpage in Scheduler. This public, no log-in required, webpage allows individuals to view and sign up for upcoming slots that are open.

Meals on Wheels Durham realizes that unexpected events may arise which prevent you from delivering a route on your assigned day. If you will not be able to deliver meals on your assigned day please notify our Volunteer Services Coordinator at 919-667-9424 as soon as possible.

The Mobile Meals App adds an additional layer of efficiency and productivity to Meals on Wheels Durham's delivery operations. All drivers are required to download the app.

Please review the How to Use the Mobile Meals App Guide to help drivers navigate their delivery routes.

Our volunteers deliver meals five days a week between 9:30 am and 1 pm. All clients have a choice to receive a once-per-week frozen meal box that contains multiple microwavable meals, or receive a daily hot meal Monday through Friday. MOWD also delivers auxiliary items like pet food, important flyers, and treats throughout the week.

For full delivery details, click here to view our How-To Guide.

Before You Hit the Road
  1. Make sure to download the Mobile Meals App
  2. Read over the volunteer shift details email sent from the Volunteer Services Coordinator the day before each shift.

Making Deliveries

Pick Up Instructions

Meal pick up times: 9 - 11 am (M), 9 - 10:30 am (T-F)

  • Monday Drivers - Upon arrival, stay in your car and notify the Greeter of your route(s). Volunteers will then bring the delivery items to your vehicle.
  • Tuesday through Friday Drivers - Pick up delivery items from inside the building.
Delivery Instructions - Call, Knock, Wait
  1. Call - Please call your client before you deliver each meal. If a client doesn't answer the phone, please leave a message. 
  2. Knock - When you arrive at each client's residence, please knock loudly and announce you are with Meals on Wheels Durham.
  3. Wait - Wait at least 2-3 minutes for the client to reach the door. If your client doesn't answer the door in that time, please leave a hang tag on their door to indicate an attempted delivery. Hang tags are available at the office.
Meal Drop Off Instructions
  • Frozen Meal Clients - Each client will receive a 5 or 7-meal box, one bag of fruit, and any auxiliary items indicated in the Mobile Meals App or communicated by staff.
  • Hot Meal Clients - Each client will receive one hot meal tray, one cold items bag (milk, fruit, and bread), and any auxiliary items indicated in the Mobile Meals App or communicated by staff.
  • Weekend Meal Clients - Each client will receive their weekly meal and two additional frozen meals for the weekend. Frozen Meal Weekend Clients receive an extra pair of meals in a 7-Frozen Meal Box while Hot Meal Weekend Clients receive an additional box on Fridays with the extra meals. Weekend Meal Clients are indicated on the Mobile Meals App.


How To Guides


Below are step-by-step guides to help you navigate the volunteer processes and answer any questions you might have along the way.

Sign Up to Volunteer

Scroll to view our upcoming weekly volunteer assignments and click on an open shift to sign up.