How to Serve Well When Volunteering at a Soup Kitchen for the Homeless

Many individuals support homeless shelters and soup kitchens through volunteer programs. Volunteers serve the food, stock or sort supplies, and provide administrative support. Volunteers need to approach the work with the right attitude.


    • 1

      Attend the organization's volunteer training sessions. These sessions will explain exactly what that organization needs and what it wants a volunteer to do.

    • 2

      Wear appropriate clothing. This means long pants, or skirts that fall below the ankle, and no shorts. You must wear a sleeved shirt and shoes with toes. These are health department requirements since you could handle food. Avoid wearing jewelry or anything "showy." This is a matter of sensitivity since you will work with people who have next to nothing.

    • 3

      Arrive on time for all scheduled sessions. Punctuality is a vital part of this effort since the shelters rely so much on volunteers being available and ready to work.

    • 4

      Be willing to work. Do not take the attitude that since there is no pay involved, your best effort is not necessary. Always be willing to help out the shelter as needed.

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