Our volunteers help make the FoCo Cafe run smoothly. We only have four paid employees! We would not exist without these donations of time, in addition to donations of materials, services, and financial support. You help us to make fresh food, a fresh environment, and a fresh approach to ending hunger available in Fort Collins!

The cafe opens its door wide to all who want to join the community. And if you’re down on your monetary luck, please join us for lunch, but be ready to wash a dish or two, or mop the floor, or weed our gardens. Believing in a dignified exchange as a way of life, you just exchange an hour’s work for your meal. Just tell the server you’d like to pay for your meal with your time and talent.

If you’re looking to contribute to the cafe’s mission beyond exchanging work for food, volunteers may sign up to work in the kitchen and in the dining area—prepping food, cooking, counter service, dishwashing, cleaning tables, doing maintenance work, etc.  Space is limited, so it’s best to schedule your volunteer shift ahead of time. For groups (limit 4 per shift) a pre-arranged time is required. Volunteers must be 16 years of age or older. If you are younger than 16, an adult may sign up to volunteer and you may shadow their work.

***PLEASE READ BEFORE SIGNING UP***: Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are required to limit the number of people in the Cafe at one time. Unfortunately, that means the number of volunteers we can accept is also limited. Please be aware that this may be the case when you arrive at the Cafe on the day of your shift. We ask for your patience as we continue to change and tweak our volunteer sign up system. 

For new and returning users: To sign up, click the link below, enter your information and then search for a shift or scroll down to find your desired date manually.

Click on the button below to register as a FoCo Cafe Volunteer:

Yes, I want be a FoCo Cafe volunteer!

Volunteer Forms

All forms will be available at the cafe.


Volunteer Documents

All volunteers should review the documents below.


Volunteer Assignment Description

Job description for the Morning Prep/Serving Shift, Afternoon Serving Shift, and All-Day Shift:
Each Monday through Saturday, the FoCo Cafe serves the community healthy meals. Depending on the number of volunteers, skill levels and the time of day you volunteer, you may be asked to do any of the following tasks based on our greatest need:

  • Help prepare required ingredients for our daily menu.
  • Prepare the cafe to open by completing daily opening tasks.
  • Welcome guests and explain the FoCo Cafe concept.
  • Serve food on the serving line.
  • Serve guests in the dining room by getting seconds, refilling drinks and answering questions.
  • Bus tables, quietly stacking dinnerware by type in bus bins in the dish washing area.
  • Wash and restock dinnerware and cookware.
  • Clean up and put things away after we close for the day.
  • Other tasks such as organization or administrative tasks.

Job description for the Afternoon Closing Shift:

Each Monday through Saturday, the FoCo Cafe serves the community healthy meals. We have a closing shift in order to begin needed work for the next serving day and do the final cleaning for the day. You may be asked to do any of the following tasks based on our greatest need:

  • Help prepare required ingredients for the next day’s menu.
  • Wash and restock dinnerware and cookware.
  • Clean up and put things away after we close for the day.
  • Other tasks such as organization or administrative tasks.

Job description for the Saturday Greeter:

Serve a key role welcoming guests to the cafe, explaining how the cafe works and helping customers to contribute through time, talent or donation.  This is a standing shift from 11am – 2pm.


Frequently Asked Questions

Why volunteer?

Because you care about the FoCo Café and its mission! Volunteers are vital to the ongoing operations of the Café. There are countless ways to volunteer: working a shift as a greeter or wait staff, prepping vegetables in the kitchen, staffing our booth at special events, playing music for the lunch crowd, help clean and sort donations or putting your grant writing skills to work are just some of the opportunities to help out! Please let us if you have additional volunteering ideas!


How do I get started as a volunteer?

If you would like to become a part of the Cafe’s volunteer team, begin by filling out our volunteer application.  Once you completed the application, visit our Volunteer Information Center to schedule a date and time to volunteer.  Before coming in for your first shift, please read through our Volunteer Dress CodeVolunteer Health Policy, and Volunteer Guidelines.


When can I work?

Before the Café is open for lunch Mon-Sat 11-2, we have morning prep shifts and evening closing shifts in addition to our lunchtime serving shift. Sign into our online volunteer scheduling system to select a shift that works with your schedule.


What if I’d like to volunteer at the FoCo Café, but am not interested in actually working in the restaurant?

FoCo Café always needs volunteers to staff our table at special events and the Fort Collins Senior Center, farmers markets, and community events. There are opportunities to help with the winter event auction, the “Kids Feeding Kids” breakfast program during the summer and the always urgent need for grant writers.


Do you always need volunteers?

The Cafe has room in the schedule for volunteers on a weekly basis. However, space is limited, so it’s a good idea to sign up online to reserve your spot so you can plan on working. When you sign up ahead of time, the Cafe can plan around volunteer assistance, which helps things flow smoothly.


Can I sign up with a group of friends?

Due to limited space, it is difficult to accommodate groups. Group volunteer shifts must be pre-scheduled, as it is unlikely we will be able to accommodate a group of volunteers on the spot.


Can kids volunteer?

Independent volunteers must be 16 or older. Those under the age of 16 are welcome to shadow an adult volunteer. The adult signs up for their shift together online.


Are there any health rules & regulations I should know about?

Yes! We are a commercial kitchen, meaning anyone who works as a volunteer needs to maintain awareness of health and safety code regulations. Please read through Volunteer Dress CodeVolunteer Health Policy, and Volunteer Guidelines before coming in for your first shift.


What is the work like?

Visit our volunteer page to view a full description of shift duties. If working in a busy environment is not appealing to you, please communicate with us and we will find or create alternative opportunities for you to serve in a way that suits you best. We are all about giving people a hand-in to community through innovation, creativity, and communication.


I have other skills that may help the Cafe!

If you think your skills may serve the cafe in a way we haven’t mentioned, get in touch with us regarding your suggestions. We welcome your skills and talents into the FoCo Cafe Community.


Stay in touch…

Communication is key! Come in for lunch and ask one of our volunteers any other questions you may have. Or send us an email by visiting our contact page.