Volunteer Opportunities for Kids, Teens and Youth Organizations

It’s a question we hear a lot. How can my children volunteer at the Pan-try? We applaud the kids (and parents!) who want to get more involved!

Holliston students at Miller, Adams, and Holliston High School are en-couraged to participate in the many food drives that are conducted in the Holliston schools each year. Programs like “March Mail” at Placentino, “Project 351” at Miller and “Battle of the Classes” at Holliston High School all benefit the Pantry. Students who seek to become more involved these programs are encouraged to join the leadership groups (e.g. Student Council) that help organize and promote the food drives in the schools.

Here are a number of additional opportunities for children to volunteer for the Pantry as early as age 5. Groups like Brownies, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Sports Teams, Religious education groups etc. may also work together to participate in these initiatives as well!

“Food for Friends”: Neighborhood Food Drives
Ages: 5 - 18

Your child can make a big difference by organizing a “Food For Friends” neighborhood food drive. Any type of non-perishable food donations are very welcome at the Pantry. Kids might also ask neighbors to consider donating items that children especially like including: goldfish, peanut butter, fruit snacks, taco shells, pretzels, apple sauce, granola bars, juice boxes, etc. Children can post signs and distribute flyers for mailboxes with the date of the food drive and requested items. We encourage kids and families to get creative with their food drive to engage kids and make your drive successful! Perhaps a child wants to set a goal of “number of items collected” or a “total weight” of food items to collect. Parents must accompany kids help collect food items, otherwise a drop-off bin at a central location in the neighborhood works well, too.

We do ask that you contact us at the Pantry to let us know that you plan a food drive so that we can add your Food Drive to our calendar on our website.

Older students may want to make this into a larger project, for example, a middle school or high school student could arrange for a year-long monthly food drive in their neighborhood.

Kids can help “quality check” all the items by looking at expiration dates and ensuring that expired items are discarded. *Adult Pantry Volunteers always double-check expiration dates of all donated food items.***

Parents and children can deliver collected items to the Pantry during open hours (see website). Please call us at the Pantry to schedule the time for your delivery so that we can be prepared. If the Pantry is not open, you can place items in the large plastic bin outside the Pantry. Please contact info@hollistonpantryshelf.org if you need collection bins, or need help picking up a particularly large collection.

Become a “Birthday Bag Buddy”
Ages: 5 - 18

Many of us take for granted that we will celebrate family birthdays with a cake and a party. Unfortunately, many families in Holliston struggle to meet basic food needs, and there is no room for Birthday celebrations in the budget. Children as young as 5 can make a meaningful difference by assembling a “Birthday Bag” for Pantry patrons. Birthday Bag content may vary slightly, but typically include the following items:
• Birthday Bag or other container to hold supplies
• Cake Mix
• Frosting
• Table Cover
• Plates
• Cups
• Napkins
• Plastic utensils - Forks, Knives, Spoons in one package
• Candles
• Banner
• Small Party Favors
• Invitations

Birthday bags can be made at a cost of $15 or less per Bag if you visit a local “Dollar Store”.

Some families choose to donate the funds to help their child purchase items to assemble a Birthday Bag. Other families work with their chil-dren to raise the money through collections, lemonade stands, or bake sales. One particularly generous and meaningful gesture is to ask guests for your own child’s birthday party to bring a birthday bag in lieu of a gift. Groups like Brownies, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and religious educa-tion groups are especially encouraged to work together to assemble more than one bag!

Older children may chose to make this into a larger personal project, perhaps setting a goal of assembling 12 birthday bags (one per month) over a year-long period.

Bags can be delivered to the Pantry during open hours.

Become a “Pantry Kid Philanthropist”
Ages: 5 - 18

The Pantry Shelf not only relies on food donations to stock our shelves, we also rely on financial contributions so that we can purchase grocery items such as milk, eggs, meat, cheese, produce, cereals, pastas and so much more. Children can become “Pantry Kid Philanthropists” by raising money to donate to the Pantry. It’s a great way to teach children about the importance of charitable giving.

Here are some ideas for ways kids can raise funds and become “Pantry Kid Philanthropist”:

• Bake sale
• Car Wash
• Neighborhood/Place of worship collection
• Lemonade Stand
• Tag Sale
• Donate a portion of their own allowance or earn money through special household tasks/jobs
• In lieu of gifts for a child’s birthday, request a donation to the Pantry.

Parents and children can deliver the monetary proceeds to the Pantry during open hours or mail it to the Pantry.

Older children may set a fundraising goal for a 12 month period. During that period they can conduct multiple fundraising events to reach their goal.

“Student Pantry Shift Worker”
Ages: 16 plus

Once a student turns 16, they are eligible to apply to work a weekly or bi-weekly 2-hour shift at the Pantry on Monday and Wednesday evening between 4 - 6 pm. This is an excellent opportunity for responsible, kind, compassionate and mature teens to have meaningful hands-on service experience directly serving neighbors in need. Applications for these positions are available each year September 1st. Applications are emailed to all Holliston High School(HHS) Juniors and Seniors through the guidance department. Applications are also available at the High School Guidance Department. After reviewing applications and inter-viewing all applicants, Holliston Pantry Shelf will select up to 6 students for these positions (4 shift workers and 2 alternates/subs). Holliston teen residents attending other schools may request an application by emailing keelykrantz@gmail.com.

“Pantry Student Board Member”
Ages: 16 plus

Each year, we select two students from the Junior class at Holliston High School to serve a two year term as Student Board Members. This opportunity is ideal for students that have proven leadership abilities and are able to demonstrate a sincere commitment of ser-vice to the Pantry. These students will attend all Board Meetings, and serve as a liaison between the Holliston Pantry Shelf Board and the Holliston School System, organizing and executing food drives and special fundraising events. Applications for these positions are available each year September 1st. Applications for this po-sition are sent to all Holliston High School (HHS) Juniors through the guidance department.


Grocery Items

If you wish to contribute food items, you may drop them off in the black bin located to the left of Pantry's entrance or bring them by during the operating hours (Monday-Friday 10 A.M. to 2 P.M. and on Wednesday nights from 4 P.M. to 7:30 P.M). All items are welcome. Since the Pantry owns refrigerators and freezers, it accepts perishables.

We are always in need of the following items: Toilet Tissue, Paper Towels, Pasta Sauce, Canned Chicken, Canned Tuna and Canned Pasta.

Monetary Donations

Monetary donations are also welcome. You can drop them off at the Pantry or mail them to our P. O. Box 6662, Holliston, MA 01746.

You can also donate online via the link below.
Now accepting PayPal!

Become a Volunteer

Another way to donate to the Pantry is to give your time. You can volunteer for the Pantry in several ways; volunteer for weekly shifts during our hours of operation, become a member of the Food Crew, be a driver to pick up groceries or be a Pantry Pal. Pantry Pals is our group of volunteers who assist us during one-time activities or special events such as the Souper Bowl. Please call or stop by the Pantry and ask for an informational pamphlet if you are interested in helping us. Alternatively, send an email to the address at the top of this page. Please refer to the section above for the best ways to volunteer your time to the pantry as of today. We appreciate your support.