Drop-In Lunch Program Volunteer


Cause Areas


It's flexible! We'll work with your schedule.


102 N. Union StreetRochester, NY 14607


Drop-In is open to adults (18 years and older) on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 1:30-4:30pm each week.

Our Drop-In Program is like a soup kitchen. We provide coffee, tea, and a hot meal for anyone who shows up. Volunteers either cook or serve (sometimes both). There is at least one cook (should have Level-2 Food Worker Certification) who prepares the meal. Cooks have flexible hours as long as the meal is prepped for serving by 1:30pm. Servers arrive by 1:15pm to serve the meal in our dining room, wash dishes, and keep the dining room stocked with clean mugs, water, and coffee. Volunteers are encouraged to sit and chat with our guests and participate in card games. Guests must leave at 4:30pm when the program ends.


  • Pass food safety quiz (provided by Dimitri House)
  • Proper food handling and hygiene
  • Communication
  • Listening/Interpersonal Awareness
  • Teamwork

Volunteer Responsibilities/Procedure

  1. Attend all mandatory meetings and trainings unless granted an excuse from the director.
  2. When preparing/cooking/serving food you will wear a cap/hair net or have all hair tightly tied back.
  3. When serving/handling unwrapped food you will wear gloves (provided by Dimitri House).
  4. Wash your hands upon arriving to the kitchen, before preparing/serving/handling food, after bathroom use, and as often as needed.
  5. Cooks - review the menu for the month so you are familiar with the meals assigned to you and discuss any questions/concerns with the director or assistant. We will provide all ingredients. It is your responsibility to know how much time it will take you to prepare each meal and to plan your hours accordingly. Meals must be ready to serve at 1:30pm.
  6. Cooks - make coffee using the 100 cup urn and put just cold water in a smaller urn for hot tea. Plug both urns in on the dining room counter by 12:00pm so they will be hot and ready by 1:30pm.
  7. Cooks - prep the serving carts with the appropriate dishes and silverware for your meal.
  8. Servers - please arrive by 1:15pm so you have time to get ready for your shift. You should be ready to serve the meal by 1:40pm.
  9. Servers - unless the cook has already prepped the serving carts, you will need to pull out dishes and silverware, condiments (if needed), sugar, tea, etc.
  10. Unlock and open the door at 1:30pm to welcome the guests in. They will begin to enter and help themselves to coffee.
  11. Around 1:40pm load the two rolling carts with the food, plates, silverware and roll them into the dining room and serve the guests.
  12. Once everyone has been served, roll the carts back to the kitchen. Place warm foods back into the oven to stay warm.
  13. Around 2:00pm you may roll the carts back into the dining room and serve seconds (if there is sufficient food). Around 3:00pm you may serve dessert, if it is available.
  14. Throughout the program, please clear the bins of dirty dishes from the dining room, hand wash all dishes and then place them in the sanitizer. Run the sanitizer when it is full. Empty the dishes onto the drying rack to air dry and then put them away once dry.
  15. At 4:00pm make a "last call" for coffee and then clear off the dining room counter, wash all remaining dishes and coffee makers, wipe down all countertops and tables with sanitizer, clean up any spills on the floor, etc. Please make sure all dishes, pots, pans, appliances, etc. are put away in their appropriate places.
  16. Place all towels and rags used that day in the laundry hamper upstairs (sometimes there is one in the hallway).
  17. At 4:30pm all guests must exit the building.
  18. By this time all your tasks should be finished and you may leave.

Additional Responsibilities

If you have some down time; feel free to take initiative:

  • Fill pantry shelves from overstock in the far back room. Make sure food items are rotated so that expiration dates are sorted closest date to farthest date, with the closest date being in the front.
  • Sort and organize cupboards. Make sure items are sealed and arranged neatly on the shelves.
  • Wipe down the cooler racks and doors.
  • Sweep.
  • Take out the trash if it’s overflowing.
  • Check the Volunteer Info board on the pantry door for upcoming events, information, or vacancies that need to be filled. We welcome any additional time you can offer to help out as a sub!


  • Problem Solving
  • People Skills
  • Cooking / Catering
  • Food & Beverage Services
  • Food Service
  • Relationship Building

Good Match For

Teens People 55+ Group

Requirements & Commitment

  • Must be at least 18
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