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.
If you have further questions about safety during this time, feel free to reach out to our Executive Director at email@example.com.
What safety protocols do you have in place?
We ask that all of our volunteers be vaccinated. While masks are not required, they are strongly encouraged. We do our best to set up work stations for volunteers in a socially distanced manner, but it can not be guaranteed. Gloves and sanitizer are also provided, in addition to other traditional food safety items like headcoverings, aprons, etc.
What are the volunteer shifts?
We are open Monday through Friday, and have shifts open each day from 9:30am-1:30pm. There are no weekend or evening volunteer opportunities.
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 when I volunteer?
We ask volunteers to arrive promptly by 9:30am. You will assist with some light meal prep (cutting vegetables, bagging loose produce, etc.) and cleaning (wiping 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.
Then, after the lunch service ends at 12pm, we begin transitioning to a food pantry, opening at 12:30pm for an hour (until 1:30pm).
During the pantry, you will be distributing bags that you packed earlier in the day to families, based on their household size.
What do I need to bring?
We just ask that you please bring your own mask, though we do have some should you not have one. We provide sanitizer, hand soap, 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! We currently have a volunteer limit of 6 people per shift. This is in addition to our staff on hand. If you have a slightly larger group size and want to still volunteer, or if you have any questions, you can email or call our Executive Director, Alex Lawrence, directly to schedule your group, firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-228-5254 x10.