Get Involved — Volunteer
Volunteers are the heart of our whole operation.
From packing lunches to serving a hot meal, distributing pantry bags of food to passing out haircut vouchers, it is our volunteers who enable us to be here for our guests.
9 am – 1 pm | Volunteer Shift
Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Thursdays
1 pm – 3 pm | Additional Shift
ABOUT our volunteer program
Dignity and respect served daily.
Every weekday at 10:30am, hundreds of hungry and homeless New Yorkers receive a warm, nutritious meal at Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen. But at 9AM, another crowd is gathering: volunteers who will make sure that happens. One of the most important things we do is treat our guests with dignity and respect, and as a volunteer, this is part of your job too.
Volunteers at Holy Apostles are critical partners in combatting hunger for our New York City neighbors in need. Corporations, schools, community groups, and faith-based organizations join us from across the City and around the world to provide nutritious food, social services, and a sense of community to hundreds of guests who pass through our doors. Use the form to the right to begin organizing meaningful team-building experiences while creating lasting impact in the local community.
When can I volunteer?
We are the largest emergency food program in New York City and serve 1,000 meals every weekday morning through the Soup Kitchen and 1000+ families each week through the pantry. You can volunteer any day, Monday-Friday, from 9am until 1pm. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, you can also volunteer from 1pm until 3pm.
How do I sign up?
How do I get to the soup kitchen?
Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen is located at 296 Ninth Avenue (on the corner of 28th Street) in Manhattan in the landmark Church of the Holy Apostles. We are easily accessible from most public transportation. You can take the C/E train to 23rd Street and 8th Avenue or take the 1 train to 28th and 7th Avenue. We are just four short blocks from Penn Station, and within walking distance from Port Authority Bus Terminal. You can also reach us by taking the M11 bus, which runs south on 9th Avenue, or the M10, which runs north on 8th Avenue.
You will be making a difference in many lives! Our guests often tell us that the friendly greetings and warm smiles of volunteers and staff brighten their day. Volunteering is a great way to give back and to meet new people from all walks of life. Volunteers come from all the boroughs of New York City, different states, and even different countries. From those who come every day to those who just visit once, volunteers always have an inspiring and memorable experience.
Do I need special skills or training?
No special skills are needed. We also welcome young people to volunteer, but children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.
How big can my group be?
Group sizes are usually between 6-8 people, but we can accommodate groups of almost any size. For more information about groups and group bookings please contact us at [email protected].
Can I make a donation to help the soup kitchen?
We are supported by the generosity of individuals and organizations in New York City, State and beyond. Financial donations are gratefully accepted and you can make a donation in advance or on the day you volunteer.
What will my volunteering day be like?
There are two options for volunteering: Soup Kitchen & Pantry. When you arrive at the Soup Kitchen for your shift, you will receive instructions from our staff.
Soup Kitchen volunteers fill 600-700 lunch bags that include a salad, a hot meal, a pierce of fruit, juice, and a snack. Some volunteers help distribute the combined bag to our lunch guests from the outside courtyard. Also during the Soup Kitchen shift, volunteers help to pack 3 full bags of Pantry, that include non-perishables, produce, and frozen protein items. These bags are distributed during the Pantry shift later.
Pantry volunteers place bags in the carts of our Pantry clients, in order for them to be carted home. Some volunteers will also work at the registration table, greeting and registering our guests.
What should I wear?
There are no specific requirements, but volunteers should wear something they don’t mind getting dirty. Shoes with a good grip are also important in case of spillages or wet floors. All volunteers are issued a disposable apron, hat, and gloves — if you’d like to wear a cap or hat of your own, that’s fine too.
During this time, to maintain the safety of our volunteers, guests, and staff we are requiring that volunteers wear a surgical or reusable mask to reduce the risk of exposure. Masks must cover both the mouth and the nose.
The soup kitchen has ample amounts of masks and latex gloves, which can be provided at the beginning of a volunteer’s shift. However, we do ask that staff and volunteers commit to wearing their masks on public transportation to and from their volunteer shift and at all other times when social distancing is not possible.
Where can I store my belongings?
We provide lockers for volunteers to store their belongings in. Our staff holds the keys to the lockers, but everyone is ultimately responsible for the safety of their possessions, so please bring only what you need.
I’m doing community service. How many hours of credit will I be awarded?
A morning at the Soup Kitchen equals 3.5 hours of volunteering credit. An afternoon shift is 2 hours of volunteering credit. For more information on community services credit, please contact our volunteer services manager in advance at [email protected].
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