Respect & Tolerance

  • Be respectful of everyone present.
  • Try to just listen.
  • Be as respectful to those receiving services as to those who are working.
  • Remember that your conversations should have:
    • No shame/blame/judgment.
    • No swearing or inappropriate language.
    • No name calling.
    • No sex talk or drug talk.
    • Try not to personalize comments that may seem negative.
  • Keep all conversations you have with clients as well as information you might overhear confidential.
    • In sharing about your experiences in Open Kitchen, don’t use names of clients or other identifying information.
  • If you become aware of a situation in which a guest intends to harm him/herself or another, alert a coordinator and together make a report.
  • Don’t initiate conversations about religion with guests.  If a guest brings up a religious topic feel free to respond but keep your focus on what the guest brings up.


  • Maintain appropriate boundaries with clients.
    • Don’t give guests rides.
    • Don’t give guests money.
    • Don’t make arrangements to help guests on your own (with housing, jobs, etc.). If you have a particular concern please bring it to the attention of one of the coordinators.
    • Don’t make arrangements to meet with guests outside of Open Kitchen.
    • Don’t answer personal questions or share personal information.
    • Refrain from initiating physical contact of any kind. Many people are not comfortable with being touched.
    • Don’t get talked into things: If asked to do anything that you are not sure about, always ask one of the coordinators. Do not rely on what other volunteers or guests say.
    • Honor the volunteer guidelines. If your needs are not being met, please contact a coordinator for other alternatives.

General Responsibilities

  • Stay on task: Feel free to chat while you work, but stay attentive to your duties and any children for whom you are responsible.
  • If you choose not to finish a shift or are unable to do so, let the coodinator know that you are leaving.
  • Please put away cell phones, except for emergency situations, during the meal preparation, service, and cleanup.
  • If there are any conflicts during your time at the soup kitchen, please direct the issue to a coordinator.
  • Please remember to sign out before you leave.
  • Please do your very best to volunteer from beginning to end of your allotted time/duty.
  • Do not take items that do not belong to you.
  • All kitchen staff are responsible to the kitchen manager.
  • We are a smoke free facility; if you need to smoke, please observe the 25 feet rule (find the tent in the parking lot), and remember to properly dispose of your cigarette butts.

 Kitchen Volunteer Duties

  • Prepare ingredients.
  • Assemble soups and sandwiches.
  • Prepare coffee.
  • Prepare dessert trays.
  • Adhere to proper kitchen procedures in order to maintain a safe and clean cooking environment.
  • Pay particular attention to Charity Food Donation Guidelines and Safe food handling guidelines.
    • Adhere to proper hand washing technique.
    • Avoid Cross Contamination, the transfer of microorganisms from 
one surface or food to another, which can cause food-borne illness.  Cross contamination occurs when…
    • Raw contaminated ingredients are added to food that receives no further cooking.
    • Raw food touches or drips fluids onto ready-to-eat food.
    • A food handler touches raw food and then touches ready-to-eat food.
    • Surfaces and equipment are not properly cleaned and sanitized before touching ready-to-eat food.
    • Cleaning with contaminated wash rags.
    • Examples of cross contamination violations:
      • cutting raw chicken on a cutting board and then cutting vegetables on the same unclean and unsanitized cutting board or with the same unsanitized knife.
      • not cleaning the multi-use sink after rinsing raw chicken or other raw foods.
  • Be aware of the food danger zone.
    • Do not let frozen food thaw at room temperature.
    • Hold hot foods at 135 degrees F or higher.
    • Hold cold foods at 41 degrees F or cooler.
    • Cool cooked foods from 135° – 70 ° within 2 hours and from 70 °- 41° within 4 hours.

 Set Up Responsibilities

  • Set up tables and chairs.
  • Decorate tables with centerpieces.
  • Set up buffet with plates, bowls, silverware, napkins, glasses, coffee cups.
  • Set out coffee service items.
  • Set out trivets and serving utensils.
  • Set up banners, sign-in tables, sandwich boards.

Greeting Responsibilities

  • Welcome guests.
  • Remember to let guests initiate any physical contact.
  • Help guests to sign in.
  • Show guests where they can put their belongings if they choose.
  • Show guests to the buffet and help them get seated.  Help persons with special needs and families with children.

Serving Responsibilities

  • Buffet servers stand behind buffet line and serve food to patrons.
  • Drink servers pour drinks for patrons.
  • To Go portions can be served at 7pm if there is food left over and if guests provide a container.

Floater Responsibilities

  • Wipe tables off with bleach water and rag once guests leave table.
  • Refill items on serving line as necessary.
  • Fill in for servers who are eating or need to take a break.

Dishwasher Responsibilities

  • Rinse dishes completely.
  • Compost food scraps.
  • Run dishes through the dishwasher.
  • Return dishes to cabinets/drawers.
  • Hand wash items too large for dishwasher.

Clean up Responsibilities

  • Properly package, label, and store leftover foods for freezer or next meal.
  • Gather remaining aprons, napkins, rags and place in laundry basket.
  • Wipe tables with bleach/water solution.
  • Stack chairs.
  • Sweep floor.
  • Mop floors as necessary.