Frequently asked questions
ABOUT FOOD FIGHT
Who is hosting 2018 Food Fight?
New Hope Church in Lorton, VA and Feed My Starving Children
When and where is 2018 Food Fight?
May 4, 5, and 6, 2018 at the Dulles Expo Center (4320 Chantilly Shopping Center, Chantilly, VA 20151).
What is the atmosphere at 2018 Food Fight?
Food Fight a high-energy, fun way to change the lives of starving children all around the world. Volunteers pack ingredients into bags, in teams at cells of roughly 20 people. Volunteers can also help by replenishing supplies, building boxes, wrapping pallets, or labeling bags. Volunteer tasks are assigned during the orientation at the beginning of each shift.
During each shift, there is loud, energetic music playing to keep people motivated and having fun. An emcee hosts friendly competitions between cells and calls out which cells are in the lead. Some cells choose something fun to yell or chant when they finish a box. Overall it is a fun, yet noisy event to participate in. The noise level is on par with that of a live concert or sporting event. We are happy to provide you with earplugs, if desired.
See footage from 2016 Food Fight here:
Is free parking available?
Yes! There are roughly 2,000 parking spaces onsite, including ample accessible parking.
What if I have questions that aren’t covered here?
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to answer any additional questions you have.
We are travelling into town for this event, where should we stay?
The Holiday Inn Chantilly-Dulles Expo is located in the same shopping center as the Dulles Expo Center. The hotel is within walking distance of the event venue. There are several other hotels within a 5 minute drive of the venue as well.
How can I donate to 2018 Food Fight?
You can donate online at 2018foodfight.com/donate, or by cash, check, or credit card in person during the event.
When will registration open?
March 1, 2018
When will registration close?
When the shift has reached capacity.
What if I need to cancel my registration?
If you are registered as a Group:
- The Group Leader can visit "Manage My Reservations."
- As a Group Leader, you may cancel individual Group Member reservations by clicking "Delete" next to the individual's name.
If you are registered as an Individual, visit "Manage My Reservations."
May we bring more volunteers than the number of spots we reserved?
Yes, if there are still spots available. Please update the number of spots you need on your online registration.
May we still come if we don't have all of our volunteers?
Yes, please! We count on you to come even if your group size is fewer than the number of spots you reserved. However, please update the number of people who will be coming on your online registration. By releasing your spots, you are allowing other volunteers to sign up, which in turn helps us keep our food commitments to our partners.
If you are the Group Leader:
- In Volunteer Reservations, go to "Manage My Reservations."
- Click "Manage" next to your group.
- Click "Change Group Name or Size."
- Enter the new number of spots and click "Save."
If you are a Group Member and you cannot attend your packing session, please cancel your reservation so others may fill your spot:
If you joined the group yourself, you may cancel your spot by visiting " Manage My Reservations."
If someone else registered you for your group, contact your Group Leader.
What is a packing shift like at 2018 Food Fight?
The food packing process is a high-energy, fun way to change the lives of starving children all around the world. Volunteers pack in teams at cells of roughly 20 people. There is an emcee who hosts friendly competitions between cells, as well as loud energetic music playing to keep people motivated and having fun.
What kind of volunteer jobs are there?
Packing cells: Each cell needs people to scoop ingredients, weigh bags, seal bags, and box bags. Most volunteers stand for these jobs, but some positions can be seated.
Labelers: Labels need to be placed on bags, prior to the bags reaching the packing cells. This is a great job for volunteers with limited mobility or individuals who prefer to stay seated during the event.
Suppliers: Refill rice, soy, vegetable, and vitamin mix at packing cells. This job requires walking, scooping, and some heavy lifting.
Warehouse: This team takes completed boxes from packing cells and wraps them on pallets. This job requires heavy lifting and walking.
How long are the shifts?
Each shift is 2.5 hours long. This includes roughly 30 minutes of orientation and wrap up, with 2 hours of packing time in the middle.
Do I need to arrive early for my shift?
Please plan to arrive 15-30 minutes prior to your packing session to check-in. You will be checked in and directed to the orientation room. The orientation and packing instructions will begin promptly at your posted shift time.
Can I sign up for multiple shifts?
Yes! We welcome volunteers to pack multiple shifts.
What is the minimum age for volunteering?
The minimum age for volunteering is 5 years old. For safety reasons, children under the age of 5 are not allowed to participate in packing sessions. We recommend that groups of youth be third grade or older. We require the following adult to child ratios for school and church groups:
Grades K-2: 1 student to 1 adult
Grades 3-6: 3 students to 1 adult
Grades 7-9: 4 students to 1 adult
Grades 10-12: 5 students to 1 adult
Please note: Everyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult (an adult is someone 18 years of age or older).
HIGH SCHOOL GROUPS: At least half of the required chaperones must be non-student adults (teachers, advisors or parents). If needed, a few 18-year-olds will be allowed to fill in as chaperones.
FMSC staff members reserve the right to amend volunteer scheduling.
If I’m allergic to one of the ingredients, is there something I can still participate in?
FMSC advises volunteers with food allergies to exercise caution when determining whether or not to participate in food packing. We are able to provide a complete list of ingredients in FMSC's food products, but we cannot guarantee the environments of our ingredients' manufacturing. Volunteers with extreme food allergies or allergies to any of the listed ingredients are advised not to pack.
If we have already been through volunteer orientation, do we need to go through it again?
Yes. We want to offer the full volunteer experience to all volunteers, both returning and new, and we need to ensure that proper packing procedures are followed. Volunteers must attend both the FMSC orientation and the packing orientation each time they visit.
How do I get credit for my community service hours?
We are only able to sign-off on our specific FMSC Volunteer Service Hours forms. These forms are located at each of our sites & MobilePack locations. Sign-off should happen each time you volunteer.
We are happy to complete an FMSC Volunteer Service Hours form for your church, school or court ordered community service requirements. We are unable to sign-off on another organization’s verification form. We are also unable to sign off on hours not registered in our system, so please sign in for each shift you work, including back to back shifts worked the same day.
If your school uses an electronic system for volunteer hour verification, please use email@example.com as the email address for those to be sent to.
Are donations required to pack?
Donations are not required to participate; however they are humbly requested. Each volunteer packs about $50 worth of food. FMSC receives no government aid. We can only send meals as we have funding. FMSC relies on donations from volunteers like you. Nearly everyone is able to contribute something, but we leave the amount up to you. Many groups and individuals make advance fundraising a fun part of their service project. As you're willing and able, you may donate on the day you volunteer (by cash, check or credit card), or donate online before or after you pack. Please share this information with every member of your group and prayerfully consider the impact you can make.
WHAT TO WEAR/BRING
Are we supposed to wear any particular clothing?
We highly recommend all volunteers wear closed-toed shoes. If you volunteer in the warehouse, closed-toed shoes will be required. Otherwise, please come in clean, comfortable clothes. The floors are concrete at this venue, so we recommend comfortable shoes such as sneakers.
Can we wear jewelry while packing?
Due to FDA compliance for food manufacturing plants, NO jewelry may be worn in the packing room. Please review FMSC’s Jewelry Policy and share with fellow volunteers.
Can I bring food or drinks?
No. Food and drinks are not permitted in the packing room. You may bring water to leave in the orientation area. There are water fountains at the venue. Please leave all other food and drink in your vehicle or at home.
Are there sit-down jobs for volunteers?
Yes! We reserve one of our most important tasks for sit-down volunteers. Volunteers can sit while labeling bags—this is a vital step to the packing process. This task entails putting our FMSC label on each bag before it is filled with food.
Is 2018 Food Fight wheelchair friendly?
Yes! In addition to ample accessible parking, the Dulles Expo Center is wheelchair accessible.
Are there Companion/Accessible Restrooms?
Yes – in all 3 areas of the building, there are Family/Companion restrooms available.
Loud noises and music.
Due to the warehouse atmosphere and high-energy nature of the event, it can be very loud in the packing room. While the music played is within OSHA required decibel levels, it is similar to a concert or sporting event. We are happy to provide earplugs.