Volunteers play a central role in powering Food Bank’s mission. Whether filing tax returns for low-income New Yorkers, writing a letter of hope to our pantry clients, or advocating through social media, you can make an impact in many ways with Food Bank For New York City!
Help engage volunteers as a full-time AmeriCorps Member with Food Bank! Applications are NOW OPEN for our 2021-2022 NYC Civic Corps roles, start date September 1st. LEARN MORE AND APPLY.
JOIN OUR PRIDE MONTH VIRTUAL SERVICE HOUR
Throughout the month of June, Food Bank will spotlight organizations across our member network that use food and other resources to empower LGBTQ+ New Yorkers. This will culminate with a special Pride Month Virtual Service Hour on June 30, during which volunteers are invited to join us via Zoom to write personal letters to benefit New Yorkers living with HIV in collaboration with our partners at GMHC.
This event will open with a conversation with GMHC Director of Community Relations Krishna Stone to discuss GMHC’s vital work to uplift and support New Yorkers living with HIV. Food Bank’s Volunteer Engagement Team will then guide participants in a breakout session to write personal letters of hope and compassion to GMHC clients.
BECOME A SOCIAL MEDIA AMBASSADOR
Food Bank’s Social Media Ambassador Program is a way for volunteers to amplify resources for New Yorkers facing food insecurity, boost Food Bank’s mission on social media, and advocate by using their voices creatively and intentionally online – all while earning volunteer service hours.
Volunteers choose actions to complete (which range from sharing our Food Finder Map, to posting a selfie in orange for Hunger Awareness, to simply commenting on a Food Bank post), tag #FoodBankAmbassador, and document with screenshots to earn service hours for posting.
WRITE A LETTER OF HOPE
Food Bank launched the Dear New York Program as a way for volunteers to connect with our clients virtually. Volunteers from New York City and across the country have contributed over 13,000 letters of hope, solidarity, and encouragement to be distributed along with emergency pantry bags to New Yorkers in need. We provide a downloadable Dear New York Toolkit with everything you need to get started.
Food Bank’s Volunteer Engagement Team also hosts interactive Dear New York Letter-Writing Parties via Zoom with schools and corporate partners. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
BE A VOLUNTEER TAX PREPARER
Food Bank’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program has put more than $1 billion back into the pockets of low-income New Yorkers, and we rely on over 300 dedicated volunteers each tax season to support this impactful anti-poverty work.
This Tax Season, Food Bank shifted from in-person appointments to an end-to-end virtual model, allowing both clients and volunteers to participate completely virtually while ensuring the process remains safe and secure.
JOIN A VIRTUAL SERVICE EVENT
Food Bank hosts largescale Virtual Service Hours on Zoom, bringing together volunteers from across the country to join in impactful virtual service activities. These events pair virtual service with educational panel conversations on food insecurity topics with guest speakers.
Recent virtual events have included our Virtual Day of Service for MLK Day with guest speaker Reverend Rasheed Baird, and People Get Periods: A Virtual Service Hour and Conversation on Period Poverty with US Congresswoman Grace Meng.
Due to COVID-19, Food Bank has temporarily suspended many of our traditional onsite volunteer opportunities to protect the safety of our staff, clients, and volunteers. We currently do not have public volunteer shifts available at our Community Kitchen & Pantry in Harlem or at our Warehouse & Distribution Center in the Bronx.
However, we have continued to engage our dedicated volunteer base – and expand this base beyond the bounds of New York City to connect with hundreds of new volunteers across the country – by launching new virtual service opportunities. As we look forward to a time when we can safely relaunch our onsite programs, we invite you to view the Virtual Opportunities tab!
Food Bank continues to evaluate the best timeline for a safe relaunch of in-person volunteer programs – please check back here for an update when onsite shifts reopen!
CUSTOMIZE A VOLUNTEER PROGRAM
Organizations can partner with Food Bank to build a unique team volunteer experience. Food Bank has designed and delivered custom opportunities to groups in corporate offices, schools, community organizations, and many other locations. Through the pandemic, Food Bank has also developed engaging virtual events for groups to serve together from home. Programs are fully customizable to any group’s needs: large or small groups, family-friendly events, or corporate team-building retreats.
Customized projects include a sponsorship fee. To learn more, contact Jessica Presedo, Associate Director of Corporate Service & Engagement, at email@example.com. Interested organizations with limited budgets are encouraged to contact firstname.lastname@example.org or check out public volunteer opportunities and events.
BUILD EMPATHY THROUGH A FACE HUNGER™ SIMULATION
Gather a team of 10-25 people to share in the Virtual Face Hunger™ Simulation – a highly interactive experience which raises awareness and understanding of hunger and its many causes.
In this workshop, participants receive a profile packet with information about the identity, income, and available resources of a person at risk of hunger. Each participant embodies a person experiencing hunger through a series of exercises, facing the challenge to provide nutritious meals for their family. Face Hunger™ participants also debrief with a group discussion on their experience to walk away with a new understanding of hunger in New York City.
Each simulation for up to 25 participants asks for a sponsorship fee of $2,500.