How Your Time Impacts Our Mission

Roast Beef Night!

DESK is powered by a corps of dedicated volunteers who prepare food, set up the dining room, serve meals, clean up, operate our weekly pantry, stock our shelves, transport donations, and assist with a variety of administrative tasks and fundraising efforts.  With a limited staff, we cannot do it without our amazing volunteers … and that’s how we like it!  When more people meet and interact with those in need, we are building community.  When volunteers shake the hands of our guests and give them a smile and sympathetic ear at dinner, we are forming connections.  The path to recovery, health, and equity is paved with understanding.


Volunteer Opportunities

Those interested in signing up for a single volunteer opportunity can schedule a time to help out through or by contacting us at [email protected] or by calling (203) 624-6426.

Click to View Volunteer Opportunities on

Scheduling through is easy.  Simply click on the button above or go to  Then review the open dates and times listed and choose the option that’s right for you.  There is no need to sign up for an account.  You will receive a confirmation email and reminder 48 hours ahead of your scheduled day.

If you are interested in signing up for regularly recurring dates (usually weekly or monthly), please contact us via email at [email protected].

Prior to your scheduled volunteer opportunity, you should download and fill out the Volunteer Release and Waiver of Liability form.  When you arrive at 311 Temple St. in New Haven, parking is primarily on-street.  The entrance to our kitchen is through the stairwell to the basement on the north side of the building (to the left when your facing the building).  Knock on the door, and you’ll be greeted by our Evening Coordinator and Chef, Meagan Howard.

If you need documentation as part of a community service program or court-appointed hours, please be sure to notify us about this via email at [email protected].

A Few Rules

Southern Connecticut State University’s Muslim Student Association, helping to paint DESK’s dining hall for their service event.  The event was a community service event at SCSU called, “The Big Event”.

DESK is committed to the health and safety of both our clients and our volunteers.  Please consider the following when signing up to volunteer at DESK:

  • All volunteers must be at least 12-years of age, and those who are under 16-years of age must be accompanied by an adult.  Anyone under 18-years of age must have a waiver form signed by a parent or legal guardian.
  • All volunteers must wear closed-toe shoes.  No exceptions.
  • Those who are working with food, either in preparation or serving, must wear a head-covering of some type.  (Close-fitting hats that contain hair are acceptable.) We can provide head-coverings, if needed.
  • Volunteers working in the kitchen or pantry cannot be current clients.  Former clients must wait 30 days from last date-of-service to volunteer in either the kitchen or pantry.
  • We cannot accommodate court-appointed volunteers whose service is related to any kind of theft infraction.

For more information.  Contact [email protected] or call (203) 624-6426.