The Branch of Nashville Driver Policy
Volunteers assigned to driving duties (“drivers”) must at all times meet the following criteria:
• Drivers must have a current, valid driver’s license for the state of Tennessee, and
• Drivers must maintain a clean driving record, I.e., must remain insurable under The Branch’s
liability insurance policy.
Any volunteer driving a Branch vehicle or driving on The Branch business must observe all
safety, traffic, and criminal laws of this state. No driver may consume alcohol or illegal drugs
while driving a Branch vehicle, while on Branch business, while in a Branch vehicle, or prior
to the volunteer’s shift if such consumption would result in a detectable amount of alcohol or
illegal drugs being present in the volunteer’s system while on duty. In addition, no driver may
consume or use any substance, regardless of legality or prescription status, if by so doing,
the driver’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle and carry out other work-related duties
would be impaired or diminished. No driver may pick up or transport other volunteers while
in a Branch vehicle or on Branch business unless there is a work-related need to do so. Any
illegal, dangerous, or other conduct while driving that would tend to place the lives or
property of others at risk is prohibited.
Anything a driver does in connection with the operation of motor vehicles can affect that
driver’s fitness for duty or insurability as a driver. Regardless of fault, circumstance, on-or
off-duty status, time, or place, any driver who receives a traffic citation from or is arrested
by a law enforcement officer, or who is involved in any kind of accident while driving, must
inform the Volunteer Coordinator or Executive Director about the incident immediately or
as soon as possible thereafter. Any penalty, fine, imprisonment, fee, or other adverse action
imposed by a court in connection with such an incident must be reported immediately to the
Volunteer Coordinator or Executive Director. In both of the above situations, the matter will
be reported to The Branch of Nashville’s insurance carrier so that a prompt decision
on continued coverage of the volunteer can be made. The driver involved in an accident
or cited by a law enforcement official for violating a motor vehicle law must turn over any
documentation relating to such incident as soon as possible to the Volunteer Coordinator
or Executive Director, and must cooperate fully with The Branch in verifying the information
with other parties involved and with law enforcement authorities. While parking tickets will
not affect the driver’s insurability, any parking ticket issued on a vehicle that is being used for
The Branch business should be reported to the Volunteer Coordinator or Executive Director
at the earliest possible opportunity.
Any volunteer who violates any part of this policy, or who becomes uninsurable as a driver,
will be subject to reassignment and/or disciplinary action, up to and possibly including
termination from The Branch. All volunteers with driving duties must sign the agreement.
I have read and understand The Branch of Nashville Driver Policy, and I agree, in the event
that I am ever found to be uninsurable, or that I lack a clean driving record or a valid and
current driver’s license, that if necessary, I will accept whatever alternative assignment.
(by typing your name, you are providing your electronic signature)
The Branch of Nashville Handbook
Table of Contents
Overview and Purpose of this Document 1
Section 2 - The Branch Directives
Mission Statement 2
Vision and Guiding Values 2
Board of Directors 2
Section 3 - The Branch of Nashville Volunteer Policies
Attendance and Absenteeism 3
Standard of Appearance 3
Volunteer Personnel Files 3
Ending Volunteer Service 3
Problem Solving Procedure 4
Section 4 - The Branch of Nashville Operational Policies
Food Handling Safety 5
Confidentiality Agreement 5
Emergency Evacuation Program 6
Policy Against Harassment 6
Policy Against Sexual Harassment 6
Substance Abuse 7
Volunteer Code of Conduct 7
Volunteers as Clients 8
Volunteer Task Descriptions 8
Thank you for volunteering with The Branch of Nashville!
With only a few full- and part-time staff, our organization could not operate without a cadre of
committed, long-term community volunteers. Volunteers contribute over 400 hours of service
each month and play a key role in helping us fulfill our mission. As we grow our operations, it is
crucial that we continue to promote a favorable and lasting impression of The Branch of Nashville
(“The Branch”) to the guests, volunteers, donors, media, and the community. Our volunteers are
important to us, and we ask for your help in creating a safe and meaningful volunteer experience.
To facilitate that goal, all volunteers must review and acknowledge receipt of our organization
policies and processes. We appreciate your service.
About the handbook
This handbook is designed to introduce you to The Branch and to provide a basic overview of
the policies and procedures that provide all of us guidance and direction. As a volunteer staff
member, you are provided with a safe work environment, necessary job training, supervision,
evaluation, and recognition.
In return, we expect you to honor your commitment to The Branch, respect other staff members,
and perform your assigned duties to the best of your abilities.
As our organization grows and changes, there will be a need to modify policies, practices, and
other information in this handbook. When such changes occur, you will be notified by an
announcement or update. It is your responsibility to keep your handbook current and to be
informed about policies and changes that affect you.
If you have any questions or need any clarification of the information contained in this handbook,
please contact the Volunteer Coordinator or the Executive Director.
Who we are
The Branch provides food assistance to low-income residents in the southeast Nashville area,
ZIP codes 37013, 37211, and 37217 with a focus on seniors, families both native and immigrant,
individuals with disabilities, and the homeless. No one who meets The Branch’s broad criteria
for assistance is turned away. We have a commitment to honor our clients by offering healthy,
The lower level of our facility is wheelchair accessible. The Branch also assists families with babies
by offering baby food, formula, and diapers as available. The Branch is open for food distribution
on Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings.
The Branch provides groceries for approximately 400 families a month, and we expect the need
for this service to continue as Nashville becomes an increasingly more expensive city to live in.
In addition to twice-weekly food distribution, The Branch offers English language classes
Monday - Thursday. Classes are offered for multiple levels of English proficiency, from little to no
understanding of the English language to growing proficiency.
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The Branch Directives
Nourishing. Educating. Equipping.
Our Vision and Guiding Values
The Branch strives to create bridges whereby people in our community can thrive. We create
those bridges in the areas of:
• We give priority to people before structures, systems, money, or any other institutional
• Because every single person is created in the image of God, we will treat them with love,
respect, and dignity. Every person has value and worth regardless of their place, position,
religion, or other characteristics.
• Putting people into groups, categories, or stereotypes divides us and focuses on our differences.
We will work to resist this tendency and focus on what we have in common.
• We do all things from a biblical perspective, based on the words and values that are found in
The Bible. With the Bible as our guidebook, we believe that it is our responsibility to take good
care of others by loving every person.
• God loved us, despite our brokenness, and when we experience and recognize this, we want to
love others. So we will love God first, recognizing that it is imperative to love our neighbor, who
is anyone in need that we encounter and have the ability to help.
• We will make every effort and take every opportunity to bridge the gaps between people in
our community. We will focus on what unites us, not what divides us. We will grasp hands with
others to promote a culture of respect and love among all of our neighbors.
• We believe that we are all in this together. No man is an island and what we do, or don’t do,
affects others. We will collaborate with church partners to provide education and opportunity
to engage with the community. We will collaborate with businesses and other organizations to
lock arms and create a culture of encouraging families of all ethnicities with support systems
and opportunities to thrive.
The Branch of Nashville Board of Directors
A strong and faithful board representing the Nashville business community is leading The Branch
with a focus on community awareness and management of the organization to better serve our
clients and meet the increasing demands.
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Attendance and Absenteeism
You are a volunteer staff member, and we depend on you to complete your scheduled shifts.
We do understand that, from time to time, certain situations may arise that prevent you from
doing so. Please alert the Branch staff member in charge of your area of service of any scheduled
absences, such as vacation, as far in advance as possible so that an appropriate substitute may be
found. In the event of an unscheduled absence, illness or emergency, please alert the appropriate
Branch staff member as soon as possible, preferably 24 hours prior to your scheduled shift.
Punctual attendance is an essential responsibility of each volunteer at The Branch. Any tardiness
or absence causes problems for fellow volunteers and clients. When a volunteer is absent,
others must perform his work. No matter how skilled a volunteer, if he does not have a good
attendance record, his contribution to the smooth functioning of The Branch is diminished.
The purpose of this policy is to promote the efficient operation of The Branch and minimize
Volunteers must sign in at the beginning of their shifts and sign out at the end of their shifts. It
is important that all volunteers comply with this policy as The Branch receives credit based on
volunteer hours served.
Standard of Appearance
Dress appropriately for your duties. For example, physical work requires clothing that is durable
and comfortable. Clothes cannot be torn, dirty, or reveal any part of the cleavage, midriff, or
buttock. For work in the pantry, only closed toes shoes, with no heels, should be worn. Gloves,
which will be provided, must be worn if in direct contact with food.
Volunteer Personnel Files
Your personnel file is confidential and consists of written documents retained by the department
Director. The volunteer’s personnel file can be only reviewed by the volunteer, the Director of the
department in which the volunteer works, and the Executive Director. This file contains basic
contact information and records about your volunteer service with The Branch.
Ending Your Volunteer Service
You may resign from your volunteer service with the organization at any time. We request that
you notify the Volunteer Coordinator two weeks prior to your departure, ideally, and request that
you complete the Exit Interview process.
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When a group of people work and volunteer together, problems may arise. It is important to all
of us that such problems are solved as quickly as possible. Occasionally, however, it may be
necessary to investigate certain problems in greater detail. Our problem-solving procedure
provides you with the opportunity to have a review of any problem, dispute, or misunderstanding
that arises during the course of your volunteering.
• In situations where differences arise between volunteers or volunteers and staff, it is advised
to first try to resolve these differences amongst the parties involved.
• If a third party is needed, the Volunteer Coordinator is to be informed and involved. Under no
circumstances shall differences be made public or involve other members of the organization.
• If the grievance is in regard to the Volunteer Coordinator, the Executive Director should be
Dismissal of a volunteer is a serious consideration. Before a volunteer is dismissed, attempts to
reconcile the situation will be made, including a meeting between staff and volunteer involved,
the Volunteer Coordinator, and, if applicable, the Executive Director. Dismissal of a volunteer
may take place if a volunteer is unreliable, irresponsible, disruptive, demonstrates inappropriate
behavior, or fails to adhere to the policies of The Branch.
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Food Handling Safety
Safe steps in food handling and storage are essential in preventing food-borne illness. Bacteria
that may cause illness can’t be seen smelled or tasted.
• Always wear gloves when in contact with food.
• Never cross-contaminate; for example, refrain from handling meat and then fruits and
vegetables without washing hands and changing gloves.
• Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough. Cough or sneeze into a tissue and then
throw it away. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not
• Clean your hands often. When available, wash your hands with soap and warm water, then rub
your hands vigorously together and scrub all skin surfaces. Wash for 13 to 20 seconds. It is the
soap combined with the scrubbing action that helps dislodge and remove germs. When soap
and water are not available, alcohol-based disposable hand wipes or gel sanitizers may be used.
If using a gel, rub the gel in your hands until they are dry. The gel doesn’t need water to work;
the alcohol in the gel kills germs that cause colds and the flu.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches
something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his/her eyes, nose, or mouth.
Germs can live for a long time, up to two hours or more, on surfaces such as doorknobs,
desks, and tables.
• When you are sick or have flu symptoms, stay home, get plenty of rest, and check with a health
care provider as needed. Remember, keeping your distance from others may protect them from
getting sick. Common symptoms of the flu include:
• Fever, usually high
• Extreme tiredness
• Sore throat
• Runny or stuffy nose
• Muscle aches
• Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
Guest information is confidential. No client information or proprietary information will be shared
outside of The Branch. You will be asked to sign a Confidentiality Agreement. By signing this
document you acknowledge that you agree to refrain from the unauthorized use or disclosure of
any proprietary or guest information.
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Emergency Evacuation Procedures
In order to provide a safe environment for our staff, volunteers, and guests, all volunteers should
be familiar with the procedures that will help to ensure the safety of everyone in the building.
• You should be aware of the nearest exit in the area where you are working. In the event of a
fire, the fire alarm will sound. You should calmly exit the building and go to the designated
gathering area. Please go to the designated area quickly, so that all staff, volunteers, and
guests can be rapidly accounted for.
• In the event of a tornado, volunteers in the pantry area should calmly and quickly move to
one of the classrooms, sit on the floor next to an interior wall, and cover their heads. Volunteers
working upstairs in child care, ESL classes, offices, or kitchen will guide all guests, students and
children, calmly and quickly, to a downstairs classroom. Everyone should sit as close to an
interior wall as possible, and cover their heads.
• In the event of an unauthorized intruder into the building, volunteers and staff should guide
guests and their children to the nearest exit as quickly as possible. If exiting the building is not
possible, gather in a room that has a lock on the door, lock, and barricade the door.
Policy Against Harassment
The Branch is committed to maintaining a work environment free of unlawful harassment. The
Branch prohibits harassment based on sex, including sexual harassment, gender harassment, and
harassment due to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, and harassment based
on race, religion, creed, color, national origin or ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical
condition, marital status, age, sexual orientation, or any other status protected under federal or
state law or local ordinance or regulation. All such harassment is unlawful. The Branch policy
applies to all persons involved in the operation of The Branch and prohibits unlawful harassment
by any volunteer or employee of The Branch, including supervisors and co-workers.
Policy Against Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is unwanted sexual attention of a persistent or offensive nature made by
a person who knows, or reasonably should know, that such attention is unwanted. Sexual
harassment includes sexually oriented conduct that is sufficiently pervasive or severe to
unreasonably interfere with an employee’s job performance or create intimidating, hostile, or
offensive working environment. While sexual harassment encompasses a wide range of conduct,
some examples of specifically prohibited conduct include:
• Threatening, directly or indirectly, to retaliate against a volunteer, if the volunteer refuses to
comply with a sexually oriented request.
• Engaging in sexually suggestive physical contact or touching another volunteer in a way that
• Displaying, storing, or transmitting pornographic or sexually oriented materials using The
Branch equipment or facilities.
• Engaging in indecent exposure
• Making sexual or romantic advances toward a volunteer and persisting despite the volunteer’s
rejection of the advance.
Sexual harassment can be physical and/or psychological in nature. An aggregation of a series
of incidents can constitute sexual harassment even if one of the incidents considered on its own
would not be harassing.
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Volunteers are prohibited from harassing other volunteers whether or not the incidents of
harassment occur on The Branch premises and whether or not the incidents occur during work
hours. Sexual harassment can involve males or females being harassed by member of either sex.
Although sexual harassment typically involves a person in a greater position of authority as the
harasser, individuals in positions of less or equal authority also can be found responsible for
engaging in prohibited harassment.
If a volunteer believes he/she has been subject to sexual harassment or any unwanted sexual
attention, he or she should:
• Make his/her unease and/or disapproval directly and immediately known to the harasser,
• Make a written record of the date, time, and nature of the incident(s) and the names of any
• Report the incident to the Volunteer Coordinator, Pantry Director, or Executive Director.
• All incidents of sexual harassment or inappropriate sexual conduct must be reported regardless
of their seriousness.
In response to state and local laws and building codes, smoking is not permitted on the premises.
Solicitation by non-staff or staff members for any reason on company property is not allowed
The possession, use, or sale of illegal drugs is never acceptable in a business environment. The
abuse of prescription and over-the-counter drugs and alcohol can compromise your job
performance and conduct.
We recognize that substance abuse can be successfully treated. Seeking help or assistance is not
considered grounds for discipline, but refusal to get help in certain circumstances may be. It is
your responsibility to get professional help to improve your performance or conduct.
Volunteer Code of Conduct
• All guests must be treated with patience and respect. If you are experiencing difficulty with a
guest, please inform the appropriate director or other staff person to intervene.
• Be courteous, friendly, and cooperative.
• Any injury, accident, or incident in which you might have experienced injury while volunteering
must be reported to The Branch staff.
• Please let us know if you have physical restrictions that would limit your ability to serve in the
pantry, such as the inability to lift heavy objects or to stand for more than one hour.
• If you are asked to perform a volunteer task or are in a situation in which you are
uncomfortable, please inform the appropriate director, please talk with the Executive Director.
The following behaviors are not permitted. Individuals who exhibit any of these behaviors will be
asked to leave and will not be allowed to volunteer in the future.
• Offensive or derogatory comments or jokes, including epithets or slurs
• Yelling, intimidation, or threats
• Pushing, hitting or any physical contact with a guest, staff, or other volunteer
• Questioning a guest’s right to food distribution, or preventing a guest from receiving food.
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Volunteers as Guests
Please follow these procedures for food distribution:
• Volunteers may shop, receive USDA dry goods and meat, and any produce available after
serving at least three (3) hours in the Pantry.
• Volunteers may check with the Pantry Director to see if there are other items that they can take.
Volunteer Task Descriptions
• Offload trucks
Monday, 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Tuesday, 8:30am - 11:30am
Friday, 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Saturday, 8:30am - 9:30am
This position requires the lifting of heavy boxes, up to 50 lbs, and moving the food from the
delivery truck to the lobby of the building.
• Shelf stocking
Tuesday, 9:00am - 2:00am
Saturday, 8:30am - 9:30 am
This position involves moving food from the lobby of the building to the appropriate rooms,
weighing, cleaning, and sorting the food items, dividing bulk items into smaller distribution bags,
and placing the food on shelves or in the freezer.
Tuesday, 12:00pm - 2:00pm
This position involves cleaning the facility in preparation for our guests after the trucks have been
unloaded and the food stocked on shelves.
Tuesday, 3:45pm - 6:00pm and Saturday, 9:15am - 11:30am
This position involves greeting, verifying registration, and providing a name tag for each guest.
Tuesday 3:00pm - 6:00pm and Saturday, 8:30am - 11:30am
This position involves escorting the guests through their shopping experience and offering
assistance in loading their cars.
• Food and USDA Room Team Leaders
Tuesday, 3:00pm - 6:00pm and Saturday, 8:30am - 11:30am
This position involves overseeing the distribution of food from rooms and requires additional
management and record keeping.
• Upstairs Ministry and Activities Coordinator
Tuesday, 3:00pm - 6:00pm and Saturday, 8:30am - 11:30am
In this position you will interact with guests as they await their turn to shop.
• Food Collection
Monday - Thursday - various times
In this position, you will travel to various locations to pick up food from donors.
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