About Hunger and Nutrition

Urban Ministries’ food pantry provides a week’s groceries to as many as 50 families each weekday. Last year, our volunteers distributed 250 tons of food and served more than 8,000 families, including 11,000 hungry children. We are transitioning from a traditional food pantry to a client-choice model, which reduces food waste and affords greater dignity to those served.

While the crisis is hunger, the opportunity is for health through nutrition.  It begins by sourcing and providing fresh produce–including our own three volunteer-run gardens. We offer nutrition education targeted at chronic conditions, Cooking Matters classes on healthy meal options and preparation, and we provide healthy recipes and their ingredients.  Time spent waiting is an opportunity too.  Our Connector program engages clients in the waiting room to discover what other needs they may have and provide results-oriented referrals to community partners.  People come in a crisis—93% seek our services three or fewer times. Our goal is to maximize these opportunities by engaging clients to help make life-change possible.



Complete a short application to begin



Contact our Manager of Volunteer Services, Beverly Benitez

Hunger & Nutrition Volunteer Positions

Description Tend-plant-and harvest our organic garden! All yields go directly to our Food Pantry to help feed our clients

Sample Skills and Responsibilities Gardening experience is helpful though not required

Scheduled Shifts Flexible

Description Assess client needs to determine appropriate emergency food assistance, prescription assistance, and to make referrals to other agencies

Sample Skills and Responsibilities Ability to use a computer, ability to interview and ask sensitive questions about financial standing, ability to talk to pharmacists on the phone, patience, ability to tell a client if they cannot receive assistance, Spanish language skills helpful, but not required

Scheduled Shifts Monday-Friday 9am-1pm

Description Work on-site to help stock and organize the pantry and package food orders for crisis clients.  Help clients navigate the client-choice pantry.

Sample Skills and Responsibilities Sort through donations, stock pantry shelves, process and package food orders, hand out completed orders to clients

Scheduled Shifts Monday-Friday 9am-1pm

Description Be the first point of contact when clients, donors, and volunteers enter the building! Greet and sign in patients and answer questions and direct clients’ needs to the appropriate staff.

Sample Skills and Responsibilities Check clients’ identification, determine need of client (appointment/food assistance/prescription assistance/medication pickup), use a computer database to check in clients, provide clients with additional resources for assistance, and alert clients when their food is ready for pickup.

Scheduled Shifts Monday-Thursday 9-1, 1-4, or 5-8. Friday 9-1

Our gardens supplemented more than 6,000 pounds of fresh produce in 2016, giving families more opportunity to make healthy choices!