THANK YOU so much!
It’s heart-warming to see how generous the Hamilton community is! In the early times of the pandemic, your offers to help kept us energized, feeling connected, and grateful to our community! THANK YOU so much!
For over 35 years, our dedicated volunteers have been helping to meet the issue of food insecurity head-on in our community. We are neighbours helping neighbours. Why not join us?
Our food access programs (i.e. the Emergency Food and Community Food programs) and bookstore are open, and operating with volunteers. Our Education Programs are recruiting and training volunteers for Fall 2022.
If you would like to volunteer, please review the volunteer role descriptions below and send us a message via the Ask us about volunteering form at the bottom of this page. We will contact you about next steps when a role becomes available.
Volunteers follow these COVID-19 safety measures:
– pre-screen for COVID-19 symptoms before attending a volunteer shift
– stay home if feeling unwell and let supervisor know as soon as possible
– work within the designated zone that corresponds to one’s volunteer role
– keep a 2-metre distance from other volunteers, staff, shoppers, participants and donors while volunteering
– wear a face mask that covers nose, mouth and chin during the duration of a volunteer shift
– wash hands frequently, and for 20 seconds
– minimize contact with others on a shift
Our Philosophy for Volunteer Involvement
Volunteers reflect the diversity of our community, and are the heart of Neighbour to Neighbour Centre – an integral part of our past and vital to our future. Volunteers uphold our mission, share our vision, and embrace our values. We are committed to supporting volunteers with the resources necessary to implement our programs, and draw on volunteers’ experience and skills to achieve our common goals. This partnership enriches the services we provide and strengthens our community.
- 1. The realities of living with low-income
- 2. N2N’s four areas of programming & volunteer opportunities
- 3. Required abilities and knowledge for volunteer positions
- 4. COVID safety
Within a few weeks of beginning a role new volunteers attend a workshop, Planting the Seeds of Belonging, designed to more fully equip volunteers for their roles working with – and serving – people of diverse backgrounds. The following is covered:
- 5. Anti-oppression
- 6. Belonging
- 7. Inclusion
If you would like to volunteer in the future, please review the volunteer role descriptions below and send us a message via the form at the bottom of this page. We will contact you about next steps when a role becomes available. We look forward to working with you soon!
Emergency Food Services - volunteer roles available!
The Emergency Food Services department is open Monday – Friday. Emergency Food volunteer shifts happen during these times:
9am – 12:15pm (Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays) – all roles except home delivery packing and food bank
12:30pm – 3:45pm (Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays) – all roles except home delivery packing and food bank
3:45pm – 7:45pm (Thursday evenings) – all roles except home delivery packing
10am – noon (Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays) – home delivery packing only
10am – noon (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays) – home delivery driving only
- AVAILABLE! Driver volunteers: work on a team in the spirit of N2N Centre’s values to drop off 30-40 lb. food boxes to designated Hamilton residences. Must be more than 24 years old. Commitment: 2-hour shift once weekly, either Tuesdays OR Thursdays 10 am.
Warehouse volunteers: work on a team in the spirit of N2N Centre’s values to receive, sort, pack boxes and stock shelves with food donations and to ensure the timely delivery of food products to food bank shoppers. The ability to lift 30-50 lbs. and be on your feet for a 3.5 hour shift are required.
Commitment: 3.5-hour shift once weekly. Must be more than 16 years old.
Types of Roles:
- AVAILABLE! Thursday Warehouse Runners: support the Emergency Food food bank service every Thursday, 3:45-7:45 pm by receiving, sorting, packing and storing food donations. See descriptions below.
- Warehouse Runners: support Emergency Food volunteers (food bank, receiver, sorter and home delivery) by obtaining and delivering the items they require while also maintaining a safe work area.
- Warehouse Sorters: organize donated food by commodity, paying special attention to Best Before dates to ensure that only items that meet standards are made available to shoppers and housebound clients.
- Warehouse Receivers: direct just-arrived food donations to appropriate locations to ensure the timely delivery of products to shoppers and home delivery clients while also maintaining a safe work area.
- Warehouse Packers – customize and prepare boxes for delivery to housebound clients.
- Food Bank volunteers: work on a team in the spirit of N2N Centre’s values, and in a manner that is dignified and respectful, to provide food options to shoppers. The ability to lift 30-40 lbs. and be on your feet for a 3.5 hour shift are required. Commitment: 4-hour shift weekly, Thursdays 3:45-7:45. Must be more than 16 years old.
- Greeter volunteers: work on a team in the spirit of N2N Centre’s values to manage the flow of shoppers in the outdoor and indoor waiting spaces of the food bank. Must have excellent people skills (self-aware, customer service-oriented, accommodating, efficient), and be on your feet for a 3.5 hr. shift. Commitment: 3.5-hour shift once weekly. Must be more than 16 years old.
Community Food programs - volunteer roles available!
See each description to learn when Community Food volunteer shifts happen:
Garden volunteers are involved in one of 3 roles:
- AVAILABLE! Garden Program volunteers, trained and supported by the Coordinator, help with set-up and take-down of program supplies, greeting program participants and community members, assisting participants in finding an activity that fits their interests, demonstrating various garden activities. Commitment: About 3 hrs. once weekly, either Tuesday mornings, Saturday mornings, Thursday afternoon/evenings.
- AVAILABLE! Pollinator Gardener / Forest Caretaker volunteers, trained and supported by the Coordinator, help with the maintenance of the gardens and/or forest areas, including watering, weeding, species identification, harvesting edible plant parts, and promoting awareness of pollinator and/or edible species within the community. Commitment: about 2 hrs. per week, either Tuesday mornings, Saturday mornings, or Thursday afternoon/early evenings.
- AVAILABLE! Sharing Garden volunteers will help with the maintenance (seeding, planting, watering, weeding) of this garden at 28 Athens St. Commitment: about 2 hrs. per week
- Dining Service volunteers help to serve the in-person lunch on Fridays, and assist with clean-up afterwards. There is a strong emphasis on sanitation and safety as we’re still concerned about COVID. Commitment: Fridays, 11:30 am – 2 pm.
- Take-out Community Meal Preparation volunteers assist prepping the Thursday take-out meal and Friday in-person lunch (starting May 27).
Commitment: Tuesdays, 10:30 am – 2:30 pm, or Thursdays 10 am – 1 pm or Thursdays 1:00 – 4:00 pm. Must be 16 years or older.
- Affordable Produce Market volunteers help run a fresh fruit and vegetable market for the community. They set up and/or take down market equipment, arrange and present produce in an appealing way, label foods according to price list, serve customers and conduct a closing inventory. Customer service skills and friendly personality are assets. Must be comfortable with basic math. Commitment: Saturdays, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. Must be 16 years or older.
- Saturday Café volunteers engage in programming by preparing and distributing food to community members that visit the market/cafe.
Commitment: Saturdays 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. Ideal for 15-19 year olds and newcomers of any age.
- Kids Club Program volunteers help the coordinators encourage each child to participate in the way they are most comfortable. Volunteers will help the program coordinators to create an environment that is safe, encourages exploration, and is fun! Kids Club volunteers are people who love messy, loud, fun programming for kids and who are very adaptable. Commitment: Wednesdays 3:00 – 6:15 pm. Must be 18 years or older.
- Cooking Up Justice youth kitchen program volunteer assists the Program Coordinator with set-up, delivery, and clean-up of a biweekly community kitchen for youth ages 13-18. Volunteers help provide an open, welcoming space for young people to learn and share food skills, develop confidence in the kitchen, and engage in meaningful discussions about food justice. Priority will be given to volunteers living in the Rolston neighbourhood, newcomers, and Indigenous, Black, and racialized applicants. Commitment: Every second Tuesday from 3:30pm – 6:30 pm for 4 months. Must be 18 years or older.
(UNAVAILABLE) Drop-in Community Meal (Lunch or Dinner) Service volunteers assist with serving food to guests during Community Meal programs. They welcome and seat guests, and provide exemplary table service throughout the meal in a comfortable and dignified environment. Commitment: 3.5 hour shift weekly. Shift times and availability will vary according to program schedule and demand. Must be 16 years or older.
(UNAVAILABLE) Drop-In Greeter & Program Support volunteers welcome guests to our Drop In Meals. They provide guidance for new and returning guests seeking more information about programs. Drop In Program volunteers provide leadership and direction. Commitment: 3.5 hour shift weekly. Must be 16 years or older.
(UNAVAILABLE) Special Event volunteers assist staff before, during and after Special Events. Special Events could include community gatherings, film screenings, forums, town hall meetings, holiday celebrations, etc. Commitment: Special Event volunteers are periodically required.
Educational Programs - recruitment for these roles is OPEN!
- AVAILABLE! Reading Tutors provide one to one reading support for students in Grades 1 to 4 at selected schools during the school day. Commitment: 2-3 hours weekly from October-May and (4 hours total required in both September and June). Must be a minimum of 18 years of age.
- Educational Consultants instruct and support N2N’s reading tutors. This position requires extensive experience in education. Commitment: September to June, 2-8 hours per month.
N2N Math Success Program:
- AVAILABLE! Math Tutors provide math support for students in Grade 7 and 8 after school (3:45-5:00 pm) from October- June. Commitment: Up to 2 shifts per week October-June. Community Involvement hours will be credited for youth volunteers. Must be a minimum of 14 years of age (parental consent required).
For details on any of these positions please contact Carolyn Rankin-Boutin at 905-574-1334 ext. 204 email@example.com or leave a message in the Ask us about volunteering form below.
Fundraising - our fundraising initiatives are up, running and in-person!
- Used Book Store Clerks: maintain a high level of customer service in the Used Book Store. The store is a social enterprise, housed in the Neighbour to Neighbour Centre and open to the public, that generates revenue for our programming.
Commitment: a 3.5-hour shift weekly. Must be more than 16 years old.
- Golf Tournament: volunteers oversee the ‘Closest to the Box’ contest at the annual golf tournament fundraiser. Commitment: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on the day of the tournament (Tuesday, September 6, 2022)
Family Services Program - recruitment for these roles is suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Community Counsellors: provide information and access to community resources, help to identify options as well as validate the client’s experiences. Counsellors provide assistance with a variety of issues related to poverty, employment, family violence, health concerns and legal problems.
Commitment: 3-hour shift weekly. Must have post-secondary education or work experience.
Speakers - recruitment for these roles is suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Ambassadors: network with the business community to raise Neighbour to Neighbour Centre’s profile
- Speakers’ Bureau: make presentations to interested churches, schools and groups on Neighbour to Neighbour Centre’s programs and services. Commitment: 1 hour per month as needed. Must be more than 16 years old.
December Programs - recruitment for these roles is suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic
- (UNAVAILABLE) Christmas Food Bank: the same as ‘Food Bank’ in Emergency Food Services, but in late-November and December only. Commitment: 3.5-hour shift weekly. Must be more than 16 years old.
- (UNAVAILABLE) Christmas Warehouse: the same as ‘Warehouse’ in Emergency Food Services, but in late-November and December only. Commitment: 3.5-hour shift weekly. Must be more than 16 years old.
- (UNAVAILABLE) Special Events in Community Food Programs: Volunteers work with staff to provide support at the Winter Solstice Dinner, at Community Kitchen workshops and Child/Youth-focused events. Exact dates and times tbd.
- (UNAVAILABLE) Christmas Toy Store: volunteers set up the store, float between the store and Neighbour to Neighbour to maintain tables stocked with toys; assist shoppers with carry-out; and ensure each shopper is treated with dignity and respect. Commitment: One or two 4-hour shifts. Must be more than 16 years old.