This page includes important COVID-19 guidelines for our volunteers and donors. Please read these guidelines carefully. Thank you for doing your part to keep everyone safe.


If you or someone you know needs food assistance at this time, click here for a list of local resources that could help.

Si usted o alguien que conozca necesita asistencia alimenticia en este momento, haga clic aquí para obtener una lista de recursos locales que podrían ayudar. 

COVID-19 Guidelines for Red Bag Donors

Has anything changed for Red Bag Donors?

Things will stay pretty much the same since our pickup process is already safe and contactless.

  • Please remember to reply to the text to let us know if you're leaving a bag and don't forget to put your filled bag out before 8:30 a.m. on pickup day.
  • Our grocery list is modified.  Please fill your Red Bag with the items we put in the student weekend bags.  See the list below.
  • If your bag is not picked up by 11:00 on pickup day, click here.
  • If you can't leave a bag, remember that you can always donate a virtual bag on our website.
  • If you have other questions about the Red Bag Program, check out our Red Bag page and our FAQ page.


What is the MODIFIED grocery list?

We are currently operating from a MODIFIED grocery listBecause of the increased need for food within our community, if possible, could you leave an extra bag of groceries with your Red Bag donation?  

  • individual cup of noodles
  • individual mac n cheese cups
  • individual milk boxes (chocolate preferred)
  • juice boxes/pouches (100% juice preferred)
  • individual applesauce and fruit cups
  • individual snack crackers, like peanut butter sandwich crackers
  • granola bars
  • fruit/cereal bars
  • individual oatmeal packets
  • gallon sized Ziploc bags

*We typically run out of individual milk boxes and fruit/cereal bars before any other items.

*Please leave all items in their original packaging for this event and check expiration dates.

COVID-19 Volunteer Guidelines

Our TOP PRIORITY is keeping all volunteers healthy and safe.

Please read these guidelines carefully before you volunteer. 


Please DO NOT volunteer if, in the last 14 days, you or someone with whom you reside have:

  • Had any of the symptoms related to COVID-19 as identified by the Centers for Disease Control 
  • Received a positive COVID-19 test, or are waiting on COVID-19 test results;
  • Been around anyone who has COVID-19; 
  • Been asked to quarantine (CDC Quarantine Guidelines);
  • Traveled to any foreign country;
  • Traveled via plane, train, bus or cruise ship;
  • Been to an event with more than 25 people; (updated 11/13/2020 to reflect new Virginia Guidelines)
  • Failed to follow Virginia requirements for wearing a mask in indoor public spaces, regardless as to whether these spaces are in Virginia or another US State, territory, or the District of Columbia; or
  • Placed yourself in a location or situation considered high risk for contracting the coronavirus, including recently returning from living away in a college town/dorm.

Please DO NOT volunteer if you are in a higher-risk category for the virus or if you are in frequent contact with anyone who is in a higher-risk category for the virus.  


NOTE: Even if you are not sick, please check your temperature the evening before and the morning of your service to make sure it is normal (98.6 average)


Please DO NOT show up to volunteer for an event if you have not previously signed up to assist.


All volunteers are required to wear a mask at all times and stay 6-10 feet away from anyone with whom you don’t reside. Before signing in and beginning work, please disinfect your hands. Remember to wash your hands (or disinfect) thoroughly when you’re finished, and have fun!

  • Wear your mask at all times. (Gaiters or masks with respiration valves or vents are not permitted.)
  • Clean and wash your hands (for a minimum of 20 seconds) before you sign in, during the event, and after volunteering . If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid physical contact with others and maintain a social distance of 6-10 feet.
  • Cover any sudden cough and sneezes with your elbow or tissue. (If you have a frequent or persistent cough or sneeze, please do not volunteer.)
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.


Even with all of these precautions, Food For Neighbors is unable to guarantee that volunteers will not contract the coronavirus. 


Please always check your email prior to an event. Plans can change quickly sometimes, and we will use email to communicate those changes.



We encourage all FFN volunteers to download the COVID-wise app from the Virginia Dept. of Health to assist with contact tracing if the need arises. Also, please visit the Virginia COVID Symptom Checker for additional resources.

COVID-19 Guidelines for Red Bag Event Volunteers

What do I need to know if I am a Driver Volunteer? 

Your process should remain the same. We will be asking you and your team to wear masks and will provide you with hand sanitizer.

  • PLEASE READ ALL TEXTS AND EMAILS CAREFULLY IN CASE THERE ARE ANY CHANGES TO THE PROCEDURES OR SOFTWARE. For the purposes of planning, we need all drivers to respond in a timely manner. Thank you!
  • Please do not exit your vehicle at the drop off site - a team of volunteers will unload your vehicle for you.
  • The drop-off location may have changed in some areas - please double check where you are taking your food at the end of the route. 
  • All of that information will be communicated to you when you receive your route. Please read all the texts and emails carefully so you know when to start and where to go.


Will there still be a need for Sorting Volunteers? 

Yes! We need volunteers (in most areas and not as many).

  • Due to school closures and difficulties with weekend food distribution, some areas will not have an actual sorting event. We are still working through this issue, but food will be picked up in all areas and each area has it's own plan for food distribution.
  • If your area does have an event, then it will be much smaller in scale. The best we can tell you right now is "please stay tuned." We are working on "the where and the how" for each of our five sorting locations. We are working closely with each school to determine how we can best help them this fall. Many of the details can't be finalized just yet, so we thank you in advance for your patience.
  • We'll contact sorting volunteers via email with instructions (including a Sign-up Genius link) with everything you need to know.
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Food For Neighbors is located in Herndon, VA, and proudly serves local middle and high school students in Fairfax County and Loudoun County. For general inquiries, please email

© Food For Neighbors®

Food for Neighbors® is a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) public charity and your donation is tax-deductible under U.S. tax law. To claim a donation as an itemized deduction on your taxes, please keep your email donation receipt that we will send you. Any funds raised in excess of our goal for any particular project will be automatically applied to the other ongoing work of Food for Neighbors®.

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