Our coalition that has responded so effectively to the needs of the community during the pandemic is in process of transition over the next month. By the end of June we hope to have ended our centralized food and supply distribution out of the Boys & Girls Club, and shifted resources to community-based food access to absorb what we anticipate to be a summer of high need.
Along the way, we have been fortunate to have had resources such as the National Guard and County employees to help with our Call Center, Data Center and Distribution. As those folks are being redeployed elsewhere, we are now in need of more volunteers over the next four weeks to ensure that we remain responsive to people seeking help.
If you have volunteers that can help us — people in your network, board members, etc. — please refer them to my associate Jean Churchill, who will be assuming responsibility for volunteer coordination. Jean’s email is: jmchurchill@
I have attached a description of our volunteer needs. We primarily need people to assist at our Call Center, and with Data Entry. We may also need Packers in the afternoon to prepare food and supply bags for delivery the next day. We have both morning and afternoon shifts of about 3 hours.
We operate out of the new Boys & Girls Club, which is a spacious, bright, clean and safe location with plentiful parking. Volunteers are physically distanced, wear masks, and are supplied with hand sanitizer.
Many thanks for your consideration of this request. Anything you and your volunteers can do is not only deeply appreciated — it’s vitally important work!
Robert A. Carreau, executive director
MOVING SCHENECTADY FORWARD COALITION
Volunteers are needed for 3 hour shifts, from 10 am to 1 pm Monday – Friday. Volunteers answer incoming calls, or make call-backs to customers who have left messages. During the calls, our volunteers identify caller needs for food and supplies, and write down the information on a simple form (Name, address, phone number, dietary restrictions, etc.). A Call Center leader will be there to supervise and support volunteers, and guide them in responding to questions or requests from callers.
Volunteers are needed for two 3- hour shifts (from 10 am to 1pm, and from 12pm-3pm) to do data entry into an excel spreadsheet. Volunteers take the forms completed at the Call Center, and enter the data from the calls. Later, the data is used to set up delivery routes to get food and supplies to those customers by the following day.
We cross-train the Call Center and Data Center volunteers so that, depending on the volume of calls coming in, we can move some volunteers to the role most needed at the time.
Volunteers are needed between Noon and 3 pm to pack supply bags to be distributed the following day. There is no heavy lifting involved. A supervisor will instruct volunteers as to the contents that should be in each bag. Typically, we pack one set of bags with perishable items (meats, produce) and a second set of bags with non-perishables. Perishables are kept in a refrigerated truck over-night. We anticipate packing 600 – 800 bags per day.
Volunteers that have certification to operate a forklift are needed periodically, to assist in transferring product that is delivered from the Regional Food Bank to our on-site storage trucks.
We are operating out of the new Boys & Girls Club located on Education Drive in Mont Pleasant, adjacent to Mont Pleasant Middle School and Pleasant Valley Elementary. Parking is plentiful. The facility is large, enabling us to ensure that volunteer work spaces are physically distant, and operated with the safety of volunteers and staff as our priority. All volunteers are asked to wear masks, which can be provided upon request. We also have hand sanitizer, gloves and other protective measures in place to ensure safety.