Information for Volunteers

  1. DESK now serves dinner and distributes weekly in an outdoor pantry. Dress accordingly!
  2. The entrance to the building for volunteers and donors is on the south side (on the right facing the building) – second door from the basement.
  3. As of December 2021, DESK requires that all volunteers be vaccinated. Be prepared to show proof of vaccination status if requested.
  4. In addition to food preparation, food and grocery distribution, and maintenance unloading and delivery, DESK now offers volunteer shifts at our Care and Resource Center, where volunteers have the opportunity to engage those we serve at a more personal level.
  5. In accordance with public health guidelines, DESK requires that all volunteers remain masked while working indoors and wear a mask while handling food outside or participating in any activities where social distancing is not possible.
  6. Volunteers showing any symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath, etc.) will be asked to leave. (If you don’t feel well, stay home!)
  7. Volunteers cannot volunteer if they have had close contact with someone who has tested positive in the last two weeks.
  8. All volunteers are asked to continue to practice smart hygiene while working at DESK: wash your hands, change gloves frequently, wear a cap, and avoid touching your face.

Volunteers can still sign up for shifts through our Registration Page, but feel free to contact our Ashley Burkell, Volunteer Coordinator at if you have any questions.

Community Service and Court Appointed Hours

If you need documentation as part of a credit-based community service program or at a court-appointed time, be sure to notify us of this by email at .org afterwards having completed their hours. We will do our best to provide electronic verification letters within three business days or hard copies within seven business days. Requests for documentation must be made within six months of the last volunteer shift.

Some guidelines and rules

DESK is committed to the health and safety of both our guests and our volunteers. To that end, we ask that all volunteers follow the guidelines outlined below.

  • Age: In general, all volunteers must be at least 12 years old, and those under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult (unless prior arrangements have been made). In some cases, we allow younger volunteers, but this must be arranged in advance with our staff. (Please note that while we encourage all children to learn about the work we do at DESK, most volunteer opportunities and the general environment of our program may not be appropriate for very young children.)
  • Dress: Dress appropriately for (1) serving the public, (2) working in a kitchen, and (3) working in an environment that can be very cold or hot depending on the weather. Also, expect to get a little dirty. Tank tops with wide straps, shorts (no shorter than mid-thigh), jeans, and sweatshirts are fine. And everyone should wear closed shoes. Make sure your clothing is comfortable and the type of clothing in which you can move easily. Volunteers who are not dressed appropriately may be asked to leave.
  • Head Covering: Those who are working with food, whether in preparation or serving, should wear some type of head covering. (Fitted hats that contain hair are acceptable). We can cover the head, if necessary.
  • Current Customers: Volunteers working in the kitchen or warehouse cannot be current Food Pantry customers. Former customers must wait 30 days from the last date of service to volunteer in the kitchen or warehouse, and should check with the DESK Program Manager before signing up to volunteer.
  • Court Appointed: We are unable to accommodate court appointed volunteers whose service is related to any type of violent crime. If you have any questions about what constitutes a violent crime, please contact us.
  • Use of multimedia: DESK strictly prohibits the use of any multimedia recording device (audio, video, photography, etc.) to capture information about our Guests and clients without written consent. (In other words, please do not take photos or record video or even audio of our Guests here at DESK.) We consider this to be as much a matter of privacy as it is of dignity. However, we recommend posting photos and social media outside of program hours, such as when you’re working in the kitchen or cleaning up after dinner.

If you have any physical or other restrictions that may affect your work here at DESK, please let us know in advance so that we can do our best to accommodate you. For more information, contact or call (475) 238-6170.

Volunteer Bill of Rights

  1. DESK maintains the following rights for all of our volunteers:
  2. The right to work in a safe environment.
  3. The right to be treated with respect by all staff members.
  4. The right to participate in meaningful work and be actively included regardless of any physical limitations.
  5. The right to be told what impact your work has on the community.
  6. The right to ask any member of staff about the work of the organization.
  7. The right to provide feedback on your experience.
  8. The right to receive financial information or an annual report.

If at any time a volunteer feels that the above rights have been infringed in any way, they should notify the Executive Director, Steve Werlin at: or the president of the Board at: