with us



Because everyone deserves fresh, delicious food

University Community Social Services is staffed entirely by volunteers.

There would be no Meatloaf Kitchen without you!




Cardinal Spellman Center

137 East 2nd Street

Between First Avenue and Avenue A

New York, NY 10009




Every Saturday


Morning shift – 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 am


Afternoon shift – 11:30 am to 3:30 pm (includes clean-up).


What do volunteers do?

A manager will assign you to work with one of our experienced volunteer team leaders who will provide directions and answer any questions. No special skills are required except for the ability to take direction, work hard, and be kind and respectful to our guests and fellow volunteers.


For the morning shift, duties include helping to prepare the meal, filling bags of food to go, and serving a full breakfast to our morning guests.


For the afternoon shift, duties include greeting guests, serving food, bussing tables, and handing out to-go bags. All volunteers help with clean-up after all the guests have exited.


I am interested. How do I sign up?


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 email our Volunteer Coordinator so that we can schedule a time for you to volunteer. Please provide the following information when you contact us:


  • Date(s) you are interested in volunteering
  • Shift you are interested in working: morning, afternoon, or both shifts
  • Number of people in your group
  • Group affiliation (if any)
  • Email and phone contact information


If 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.



 Other things 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. No tank tops, please.
  • We need volunteers throughout the year, but it is generally harder for us to get volunteers during the summer, especially holiday weekends (Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day weekends).

  • All volunteers must cover their hair as mandated by the NYC Health Department, so consider wearing a baseball cap or other head cover. Otherwise, a hair net will be provided to you.

  • Personal belongings can be stored in a locked closet but it is best to leave valuables at home. 
  • Minimum age for volunteering is 15 and all minors must be accompanied by an adult. 
  • 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.
Meatloaf Kitchen Facebook Page
Meatloaf Instagram page

University Community Social Services (d/b/a The Meatloaf Kitchen) is a U.S. registered 501 (c) (3) tax exempt emergency food and social service non-profit organization. 2017.


Photo Credit: Kenneth Jackson 2015, Joseph Montano 2015.