Is it safe to volunteer right now?
There is of course no such thing as 100% safe right now. There is a chance with all interpersonal interaction that COVID-19 or other viruses can be transmitted. But we are taking many steps to ensure that all staff and guests are safe.
We have transitioned fully to a "to-go" operation. Lunch is served in take away boxes. Pantry bags are packed for guests and then given to them outside. Our strict hand washing and sanitation practices, which have always been vigorously enforced, have found new meaning with our volunteers. Every effort is made to distance volunteers from each other and the guests.
But for the safety of our staff and guests, we have stopped accepting new volunteers at this time. If you have further questions about safety during this time, feel free to reach out to our Executive Director at email@example.com.
What are the volunteer shifts?
We have two shifts available, Monday through Friday. There are no weekend or evening volunteer opportunities.
Our SOUP KITCHEN shift is 9am-12pm.
Our FOOD PANTRY shift is 12pm-2pm.
We do ask that if you commit to volunteering, to please stay for the entire shift. We can not accommodate late arrivals or early departures.
What will I be doing in the Soup Kitchen?
We ask volunteers to arrive promptly by 9am. You will assist with some light meal prep (cutting vegetables, bagging loose produce, etc.) and cleaning (wiping trays/tables, sweeping/mopping, etc.). You may be asked to help in our pantry cellar, assisting with deliveries or organization of stock.
All volunteers are welcome to eat lunch before we open our doors to our guests for lunch.
Food service starts at 11am, and ends at 12pm. You may be asked to assist with some cleaning as lunch comes to an end.
What will I be doing in the Food Pantry?
After lunch service ends at 12pm, we begin transitioning to a food pantry, opening at 12:30pm for an hour (until 1:30pm).
When you arrive at 12pm, you will assist with cleaning the dining room (which becomes our waiting room). Then, in the pantry, volunteers will help guests pick out groceries according to their family size. After 1:30pm, there is some light cleaning, with the day ending at 2pm.
What do I need to bring?
You don't need to bring anything with you. We provide aprons, hairnets, and gloves for all our volunteers. Wearing head coverings (hairnets, hats, etc.) is required by law, and will be strictly enforced. A baseball cap is an acceptable substitute for a hairnet and can be worn in place of one.
What should I wear?
We ask that you please dress modestly and comfortably as you will be on your feet most of the day. Because of the health code, no tank tops or open-toed/open-heeled sandals are allowed (i.e. no flip flops, etc.) - you will be sent home. If you're questioning if a specific type of sandal is inappropriate, it most likely is.
I want to volunteer as a group with my office/school/church. How do we sign up?
We are happy to host your group when we accept groups again. Our soup kitchen (9am-12pm) can accommodate up to 10 volunteers total (that includes any chaperones, etc.) and our food pantry (12pm-2pm) can accommodate up to 6 volunteers total. Email or call our Executive Director, Alex Lawrence, directly to schedule your group, firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-228-5254 x10.