Volunteers are an integral part of our mission and we absolutely could not do what we do without them (because how could you possibly replace 100 volunteers a day?!). We strive to provide a variety of volunteer opportunities while taking into consideration the skills and interests of the individual. Whether it is preparing and packaging food, delivering meals, or visiting isolated and homebound clients, the work we do for our community has an immeasurable impact on the lives of the individuals we serve. Learn more about the local organizations that volunteer with us regularly and support us through in-kind donations. Check out which volunteer opportunities are currently available here at Meals on Wheels of Lancaster and find out what you can do to help us fulfill our mission to serve our community!

Volunteer Sign-up

Open Opportunities

Kitchen Aides

Purpose: Meals on Wheels of Lancaster is committed to fresh, nutritious, excellent meals. This means preparing significant volumes of food from scratch. We cannot accomplish this with only paid staff and require the generous time and effort of community volunteers like you.
Responsibilities: Many hands make light work! At Meals on Wheels of Lancaster, we deliver to an average of 450 clients per day. These meals are prepared fresh daily in our kitchen. As you can imagine, this wouldn’t be possible without the help of our many eager volunteers! To package & prepare large quantities of food, our kitchen relies on 15 or more individuals each day.

Depending on interest, time, and skill you can do anything from helping prep vegetables, to packaging fresh products like cole slaw or a fresh dessert, and helping fill bags for delivery.

General physical capabilities entail standing for at least one hour at a time; rotating, bending at the waist and/or hips. Prior kitchen experience is helpful but not required. Please wear long, loose fitting pants and close-toed shoes.
Time Commitment:
“Early Bird” Monday to Friday from 6:00 AM to 8:00 AM

This volunteer shift may involve packing cold bag contents & hot supper meals for meal recipients as well as working with some kitchen equipment or simple recipes. Cleanup is always a part of any kitchen role! This shift is ideal for 1-2 individuals.

“Packing Team” Monday to Friday from 8 AM to 11 AM

This volunteer shift will involve packing cold bag contents & hot supper meals for meal recipients in an assembly line fashion with 5-6 other volunteers from the community. It is a fun time to work as a team during our busiest time of day! Cleanup is always a part of any kitchen role! This shift is ideal for individuals or small groups.

“Prep Team” Monday to Friday from Noon to 2 PM

This volunteer shift will involve building small recipes and working with kitchen equipment. Cleanup is always a part of any kitchen role! This shift is ideal for small groups or individuals.
Location: Meals on Wheels of Lancaster kitchen at 1411 Columbia Avenue, Lancaster, PA 17603.

Drivers

Purpose: to deliver hot and cold meals to homebound neighbors who may be aging in place, recovering from surgery, or living with a disability. We want to ensure they not only have food but high quality, nutritional food delivered by a real person so they aren't all alone all the time.
Responsibilities: “Do you deliver?” Yes, yes, we do. Throughout Lancaster County we have, collectively, over 30 routes! This requires an average of 70 volunteer drivers to deliver meals on a day-to-day basis. Some of our volunteers enjoy delivering with a friend or a family member—these are our ‘visitors’. Together, our driving teams deliver an average of 900 meals a day. Incredible!

Requirements: Use of your own personal vehicle for deliveries. Please provide valid license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance at orientation. Use volunteer ID badge and MOWL signage on your vehicle when delivering meals.
Time Commitment: Permanent & Substitute Volunteer Shifts: Permanent Routes are available on occasion. Please inquire about routes that may be open on a weekly, biweekly or monthly basis. We are always in need of substitute drivers who fill in from time-to-time when a permanent driver is not available to deliver. Please inquire for more information!

Available Time Slots: Monday to Friday from 10:15 AM to 12:30 PM
Location:
Lancaster: Our main location at 1411 Columbia Avenue, Lancaster, PA 17603.

Paradise is a pickup hub location housed at The Factory Ministries.

New Holland is a pickup hub location housed at Trinity Lutheran in New Holland.

Christiana/Atglen is a pickup hub location at Latta Memorial Presbyterian Church.

Visitors

Purpose: Accompany a volunteer driver and carry meals from the vehicle to the client’s door. Some of our routes are in not-easy-to-park places such as the city of Lancaster and having a driver loop the block during delivery is helpful. Other routes may just be a long time on the road where it's nice to have someone along to chat.
Responsibilities: Sometimes we have people who can drive but aren't comfortable delivering and other times we have people in reverse. It's nice to be able to pair people together. Whether you want to bring your own driver, or you want to have us pair you off with a driver that lacks a visitor, this role requires no driving from you!

Many of our pairings come together like a husband and wife, or two stay at home parents who want to connect weekly between pickups and dropoffs in the life of children. This role tends to be a more social person, but often driver and visitors may trade off delivering so they both interact with clients.
Time Commitment: Monday to Friday from 10:15 AM to 12:30 PM

Permanent Routes are available on occasion. We are always in need of substitute visitors who can fill in as needed. Please inquire for more information!
Location:
Lancaster: Our main location at 1411 Columbia Avenue, Lancaster, PA 17603.

Paradise is a pickup hub location housed at The Factory Ministries.

New Holland is a pickup hub location housed at Trinity Lutheran in New Holland.

Christiana/Atglen is a pickup hub location at Latta Memorial Presbyterian Church.

Admin

Purpose: To expand the capacities of our limited office staff in identifying and producing the outcomes of our programs and the benefits to our recipients and their families.
Responsibilities: There is a wide variety of tasks available, most require familiarity and comfort with computers. That said, if you are more inclined to the phone, we can always use assistance in basic reception services. If you've ever worked in an office, or have interest in working in an office setting, we are able to help guide you through the particulars about our work.
Time Commitment: Our office staff works from 7:30am to 4:00pm every Monday through Friday. Thanks, to the invention of the cloud, though, we can also set you up to work on your own in evenings or on weekends.
Location: Meals on Wheels Office or from home depending on the project and access to internet.

More Than A Meal

Purpose: Meals on Wheels and Lancaster Downtowners are excited to launch a new initiative after having been chosen as one of United Way's Level Up & Launch grant recipients. Through this opportunity, we are hosting a pilot program called the More than a Meal program for one year (Aug 2022- July 2023). This is a collaborative initiative that will connect seniors aging-in-place in Lancaster City to available support and community networks - without duplicating services. We are looking for volunteers who are interested in providing services such as daily check-in calls, social visits, household and yard assistance, technology coaching and more! We will facilitate enriched volunteer opportunities to support a healthy, safe community.
Responsibilities: Responsibilities will vary. Some volunteer-based services that are offered may include:

Car transportation for person unable to drive

Light house work

Grocery shopping and delivery

Cooking and delivering meals

Yard maintenance and snow shoveling

Technology coaching and troubleshooting

Assistance with documents, forms

Simple household repairs

Personal visits for company and conversation

Dog walking and pet care

Reassurance Calls - checking in by phone

Health Buddies - medical note taking at appointments
Time Commitment: Time Commitment will vary. Volunteer orientations and general information sessions will take approximately 1 hour.
Location: Location will vary, although, the services provided will be concentrated in Lancaster City, PA. Volunteer orientations or general information sessions will be hosted at Meals on Wheels' facility: 1411 Columbia Avenue, Lancaster, PA 17603

Senior Food Box Delivery

Purpose: Meals on Wheels of Lancaster and Central PA Food Bank have developed a new partnership initiative. On a monthly basis, non-perishable boxes of food are provided to low-income seniors by utilizing a home-delivered model. We are seeking volunteers to assist us in delivering these boxes to seniors each month. The boxes contain goods such as canned goods, shelf-stable milk, juice, cereal and other nutritious foods. Generally speaking, these boxes weigh about 20-30 pounds each.
Responsibilities: Delivery boxes of non-perishable goods to seniors on a monthly basis (or as needed). Boxes are heavy. There may be multiple boxes on each route which may take up space in a personal vehicle.
Time Commitment: 1-2 hours
Location: Pick-up location will be at Meals on Wheels of Lancaster's facility: 1411 Columbia Avenue, Lancaster, PA 17603

Volunteer Spotlight