Volunteer your time
Since Newton Food Pantry has no paid staff, we rely 100% on volunteers. You can enjoy relaxed camaraderie as you help put food on your needy neighbors’ tables—and know that your contribution of time is truly meaningful.
We welcome volunteers who can make reasonable commitments to any of the following:
- Wednesday mornings 9:30am–noon. Sort food, stock shelves, break down cardboard boxes, and receive donated food.
- Wednesday afternoons 1:15–3:30pm or 3:30–6pm. Guide our clients as they shop, restock our shelves, clean, and close up the pantry.
- Third Saturday of every month 8:45–10:45am or 10:30am-12:30pm. Stock shelves and help clients shop, then clean and close up.
- Monday mornings. Unload, move, and store food delivered from the Greater Boston Food Bank. Volunteers are needed for about one hour between 9am and noon (each week, we let you know several days ahead when that hour will be). Some heavy lifting required.
- Home deliveries to elderly and/or disabled Newton residents who cannot come to the pantry. One Wednesday morning each month between 9:30am-1:00pm, or on the 3rd Saturday between 9:30-11am, you’ll come to the pantry, select food for your delivery client, pack it in bags, drive it to their home, and unload.
- Summers. Some of our regular volunteers are away for portions of the summer. We rely on shorter-term volunteers to fill in on all shifts. A great fit for students and teachers!
Children are welcome to volunteer if they are 11 years or older. Parents are asked to accompany those who are 11–13 years old. Teens who are ages 14-18 may volunteer without an accompanying parent.
Q: What does the Pantry mean by a “reasonable commitment?”
A: See below for expectations of each shift:
- Mondays: Occasional or one time is acceptable
- Wednesdays AM: 1-2 shifts per month for a minimum of 3 months
- Wednesdays PM: 1-2 shifts per month for a minimum of 3 months
- Saturdays AM: A minimum of 6 Saturdays a year (given that we are only open the 3rd Saturday of the month)
- Home Delivery: This is a special relationship for clients so we are looking for a 1 year commitment of once a month
Q: Why can you not accept short term volunteers or one time volunteers?
A: We ask that new volunteers make a longer term commitment so we can maintain continuity for both our regular volunteers and our clients. In addition, we are all volunteers at the Newton Food Pantry and as a result we need to be as efficient with our time as possible and avoid training volunteers solely for 1 session.
Q: What if I need community service hours completed urgently for school or for court duty?
A: If you give us enough notice to complete the hours and can make at least a 3 month commitment, you may apply. Otherwise we are, unfortunately, not able to accommodate these requests.
Q: Who can volunteer?
A: Newton residents (we are so fortunate to have many Newton neighbors interested in spending time with us so we give preference to those who live in Newton) that meet the following criteria:
- Adults over 18 who have filled out a CORI acknowledgment form
- Children 11-13, as long as they are able to take the commitment seriously and attend with the supervision of an adult. Teens who are ages 14-18 may volunteer without an accompanying parent.
- This decision is always at the discretion of the shift coordinators. While we love for children to have the exposure to our work, we need to respect the privacy of our clients and make the pantry environment a professional and safe one.
Q: My company/school/group would love to schedule service day and bring a large group to volunteer. What can we do instead since you are not able to accept one time help?
A: Please consider running a targeted food drive at your location and contact our food drive coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss logistics.
Q: When should I apply if I am interested in summer volunteering?
A: Between March and April.
Q: Why do you ask some potential volunteers to check back and not accept them right away?
A: The volunteer coordinator needs to strike a balance of staffing between ongoing volunteers and new volunteers as well as students and adults. Asking you to check back means you are a great fit, but we cannot welcome you right now
Would you like to volunteer? Download the application forms here:
- Volunteer application form
- Volunteer application form – minors and families
- CORI Acknowledgement form
- CORI Policy and Procedures overview
PLEASE NOTE: All completed applications and notarized CORI forms should be mailed to Regina Wu at the Newton Food Pantry.
For volunteer opportunities and questions, please email: VolunteerCoordinator@newtonfoodpantry.org.
Donate food, paper goods or toiletries
Even a bag or two is most appreciated and welcome. We accept all unopened, unexpired non-perishable food. In addition to canned and boxed foods, right now our clients especially need:
- Canned beets
- Soups and Broths
- Soy Sauce
- Ground Coffee
Because government food assistance (SNAP) covers food only, the residents we serve also urgently need:
- Laundry detergent
- Dish Soap
- Shampoo and Conditioner
(regular size, not travel)
- Toothpaste and Toothbrushes
- Feminine Hygiene Products (pads and tampons)
- All Purpose Household Cleaners
Due to health regulations, we cannot accept perishable or homemade food or any medications. Please check expiration dates on all foods that you are donating.
Download the list of most needed items you can donate.
Run a food drive
Motivate your school, workplace, church, temple, or other group to consider their neighbors in need. We can provide you with a list of items urgently needed at that time, information about hunger in Newton, a logo if you are preparing materials, and other guidance to make your drive a success.
Consider a themed drive such as:
- Happy Snacking. Juice boxes, applesauce cups, snack bars, pudding packs.
- Rise and Shine. Cereal, instant oatmeal, tea, coffee, hot chocolate, pancake mix, granola bars.
- Squeaky Clean. Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste (full size please, not travel size).
- Or a single focus such as laundry detergent (50 oz. or less, please).
Download this helpful guide on how to how to organize your own food drive today.
Drop off donations
We accept smaller donation drop-offs anytime City Hall is open. Please leave your donation outside our basement door in the designated bins, and sign our Donation Sheet. Or you may drop off small donation amounts while the pantry is staffed:
- Wednesdays 9:30am–1:00 pm and 3:00pm–5:30pm.
- Third Saturday of the month 10am–noon.
To drop off larger donation amounts (i.e. 10 bags or more), or if you are dropping off donations from a drive you have conducted benefiting our pantry, please email us to coordinate a time to drop off donations when a volunteer can meet you.
Newton Food Pantry
1000 Commonwealth Avenue
Newton City Hall, Basement Level
Newton MA 02459
Enter the pantry from the Homer Street side of City Hall. Look for our sign! We are elevator-accessible.
Sponsor a fundraiser
The Newton Food Pantry relies 100% on financial support from generous individuals, businesses, religious organizations, schools, community and neighborhood groups, and charitable foundations.
We receive no direct funding from the city of Newton, state of Massachusetts, or the federal government.
While some of the food we give out is donated, much is purchased. Thanks to the Greater Boston Food Bank and generous partners in the food industry, we are able to purchase food at a discount. That means every $1 you contribute actually purchases several times more food for our hungry neighbors.
Successful fundraiser ideas:
- Workplace. Set aside a week when colleagues forego their latte, pastry, or purchased lunch and instead collect that money for the Newton Food Pantry.
- School and community. Organize a charity run, yard sale, concert, or car wash—anything where people participate to raise money for the Newton Food Pantry and the residents we serve.
- Holidays and birthdays. Ask friends and family to make a gift to the Newton Food Pantry in lieu of gifts.
Honor or Celebrate
A gift to the Newton Food Pantry is a meaningful way to celebrate a birthday, anniversary, holiday, or personal milestone. For any occasion, encourage your friends and family to forego presents and make this caring charitable gift instead.
Or to pay tribute to a friend or loved one who is gone. We’ll send a card announcing your gift to the person you designate. (No dollar amount will be shown.)
Make a financial gift
The best way you can put food on a hungry neighbor’s table is through a financial gift.
That’s because we purchase food at a discount—from the Greater Boston Food Bank and generous partners in the food industry. So every $1 you give actually goes even further.
Please click on yellow button at the rightbelow to give online, or make check payable and mail to:
Newton Food Pantry
1000 Commonwealth Avenue
Newton, MA 02459
Your gift is tax deductible as allowed by law. The Newton Food Pantry’s Tax ID number is 04-3218895.
Thank you for your generosity.