The Meatloaf Kitchen - University Community Social Services Serving Freshly Made Meatloaf to Hungry New Yorkers Since 1982
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Volunteer University Community Social Services is staffed entirely by volunteers. There would be no soup kitchen without you!

Cardinal Spellman Center
137 East 2nd Street
Between First Avenue and Avenue A
Where We Are

Every Saturday
Morning shift – 8:15 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Afternoon shift – 11:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Volunteers can sign up to work either one or both shifts.

What do volunteers do?
For the morning shift, duties include helping to prepare the meal, setting up the room for service, and serving a breakfast of pastries, coffee and fruit to our early arriving guests. For our afternoon shift, duties include greeting guests, serving food, bussing tables, dishwashing, and cleaning up. When you arrive, you will be assigned a task to work alongside one of our many experienced volunteers who will provide directions and answer any questions.

I am interested in volunteering. What do I do?
  • Please call or email our Volunteer Coordinator so that we can schedule a time for you to volunteer. It is important for us to maintain the proper level of staffing each week so that both our guests and our volunteers receive the best experience possible.

    Please provide the following information in your email:

    • Date(s) you are interested in volunteering
      • Shift you are interested in working: morning, afternoon, or both
        • Number of people in your group
          • Group affiliation (if any)
            • Email and phone contact information
            • If you have worked with us a few times, and you would like to commit to volunteering on a regular basis, please speak with one of our managers about joining one of our special teams of cooks, meatloaf and salad makers, outreach workers, and greeters.
            Anything I need to know before volunteering?
            No special skills are required for volunteering except for the ability to take direction, work hard, and be kind and respectful to our guests and fellow volunteers.

            There are some general rules to keep in mind:
            • Volunteers should be prepared for manual labor, so wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes and clothes appropriate for serving meals in a restaurant setting. Since all volunteers performing food prep and service must cover their hair as mandated by the Health Department, consider wearing a baseball cap or other head cover. If not, a hair net will be provided to you.
              • Personal belongings can be stored in a locked closet but, to be safe, it is best to leave valuables at home.
                • All minors must be accompanied by adult chaperones. We cannot accept unescorted underage volunteers. If minors are part of a group from a school or other organization, the group leader must have permission forms for all volunteers.
                  • To protect the privacy of our guests, we do not allow volunteers to photograph or interview our guests.
                    • We do not permit volunteers to proselytize their religion or give or sell things to our guests.
                      • We give school credit for community work but are not able to give credit for court-mandated community service.

                      When is the best time of year to volunteer?
                      We need volunteers throughout the year, but it is generally harder for us to get volunteers during the months of May through August and on days with inclement weather. If you are available then, please come join us.

                      University Community Social Services, Inc.
                      P.O. Box 20930
                      Tompkins Square Station
                      New York, New York 10009

                      Phone: 347-850-2230