THANK YOU so much!
So many people have stepped forward with offers to help throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. It is heart-warming to see just how generous the Hamilton community is!
We want you to know how much we appreciate your offers to help – it keeps us energized and feeling connected and grateful to our community! THANK YOU so much!
All volunteer roles are filled right now, but sometimes roles become available unexpectedly. Please review the information below and leave us a message at the bottom of this page if you’d like to volunteer in the future. We will contact you about next steps so that you are ready when a role opens up.
Note: our food access programs (i.e. the Emergency Food and Community Food programs) are essential services and remain open during periods of lockdown and provincial control phases.
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.
For over 30 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?
Volunteer opportunities open up frequently.
To be eligible to volunteer with us, prospective volunteers attend an in-person orientation, where the following is covered:
- N2N’s four areas of programming & volunteer opportunities
- The realities of living with low-income
- Required abilities and knowledge for volunteer positions
When you attend an orientation, you place your name on a call-back list, and will be notified as volunteer opportunities become available.
Check back soon for upcoming orientation session dates!
Here are the dates, times, and locations of all upcoming orientations. Choose the one that works best with your schedule. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Community Food Programs - are operating with volunteers, but shifts are full right now
See each description to learn when Community Food volunteer shifts happen:
- (UNAVAILABLE) 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, and conduct a closing inventory. They also serve take-out lunch. Customer service skills and friendly personality are assets. Must be comfortable with basic math. Commitment: Fridays, 9am – 12:30pm. Must be 16 years or older.
- (UNAVAILABLE) Take-out Community Meal Preparation volunteers assist with different tasks, prepping the Thursday and Friday take-out meals. Commitment: Wednesdays, 12-3pm, or Thursdays 10-1pm. Must be 16 years or older.
- (UNAVAILABLE) Meal Kit Prep volunteers assist with preparing and packaging meal kit boxes that will be delivered to families while COVID-19 restrictions are in place. Volunteers will support the Coordinator in ensuring that all items are properly included and ready for pick-up. Commitment: Mondays, 10am–1pm, until the end of March (at least)
- (UNAVAILABLE) Meal Kit Driver volunteers deliver meal kit boxes to approximately 10 families while COVID-19 restrictions are in place. Commitment: Tuesdays, 12-3pm, until the end of March (at least). Must be more than 24 years old.
(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) After School Kids Club Program volunteers help to deliver fun, engaging and informative programming to school-age youth. They enjoy working with young people and help to keep focus during cooking and gardening activities. Commitment: 4 hour shift weekly. Must be 16 years or older.
(UNAVAILABLE) Produce Market receivers are responsible for receiving shipments of fresh produce and sorting produce for various community programs. They ensure all produce ordered has been delivered in good condition, and clearly label and sort items for various community programs including community meals, food skills programs and markets. Commitment: one ½ day shift per week. Must be 16 years or older.
(UNAVAILABLE) Saturday Café volunteers help our customers at the community market stand and serve them in our café. It’s a fun, fast-paced shift! Gain useful customer service experience!
(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. Must be 16 years or older.
(UNAVAILABLE) Garden volunteers help with general maintenance of community gardens and patio space. General duties include seeding, planting, watering and weeding and assist staff with garden programming. Must be comfortable doing physical work and being outside. Gardening experience is a requirement.
- Commitment: 3.5 hour shift weekly. Must be 16 years or older.
Emergency Food Services - are operating with volunteers, but shifts are full right now
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
- (UNAVAILABLE) 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: Warehouse Receivers – direct 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 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 Packers – customize and prepare boxes for delivery to housebound clients.
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.
- (UNAVAILABLE) 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 great people skills 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.
- (UNAVAILABLE) 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: 3.5-hour shift weekly. Must be more than 16 years old.
- (UNAVAILABLE) 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. Commitment: 3.5-hour shift once weekly. Must be more than 24 years old.
- (UNAVAILABLE) Driver Assistant volunteers: work on a team in the spirit of N2N Centre’s values to help our driver deliver groceries and pick up donations of food. Ability to lift up to 35-50 lbs.
Commitment: 3.5 hour shift weekly on Tuesday or Thursday afternoon. Must be more than 16 years old.
Fundraising - recruitment for these roles is suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Bingo: volunteers are customer-service oriented and friendly, working as a team to sell bingo cards to patrons; count and balance cash, coin and cards; operate Toonie Pot software at Princess Bingo. Commitment: 4-hr shift once monthly. Must be more than 18 years old.
- 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 Thursday of the tournament (Thursday, August 13, 2020)
Educational Programs - operating with volunteers, but shifts are full right now
N2N Jack Parent Reading Program
Reading Tutors volunteer once a week for 2 to 3 hours to improve the reading skills of students in Grade 1-4 at selected schools during the school day.
Commitment: 2-3 hours weekly from October-May, 4 hours required in September and June.
Must be a minimum of 18 years of age.
N2N Math Success Program:
Math Tutors, are volunteers who work with students in Grade 7 and 8 after school, October-December and February-May, on Mondays and Tuesdays, 3:45-5:00 p.m.
Commitment: A weekly commitment of 1-2 hours. Program is approximately 25 weeks in length, so 25-50 hours. Training will be provided prior to and during the program.
Community Involvement hours will be credited for youth volunteers.
Must be a minimum of 14 years of age. Parental consent required for anyone 14-17 years of age.
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 - volunteer roles are open to individuals who have attended an orientation
- (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) Toy Room: volunteers sort new donated children’s toys by suitability to age. Commitment: flexible, depending on your availability.
- (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.