Students and Families

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Getting Started

Volunteering with your family or as a group is a great way to gain a shared sense of accomplishment and it’s fun! To get the most out of your experience, discuss these topics before volunteering:

  • Why do you volunteer?
  • What issues are important to your group?
  • What type of work does your group want to participate in?

How to get involved as a group or a family?

Because of the nature of the volunteer assignments that are performed at Second Helpings, many onsite tasks are unsafe for children under the age of 16. To accommodate families who are interested in serving this mission, we have scheduled a family-friendly volunteer shift on the third Thursday of each month. The tasks listed below are student or family-friendly activities for volunteers of all ages. To schedule your visit, contact our Volunteer Services Manager, Adriane Rios: or (317) 632-2664 ext. 131.

We ask that all family activities be supervised by a parent or guardian.

Other ideas to support Second Helpings:

Pasta Drive

Second Helpings uses hundreds of pounds of rice and pasta in a single week. A pasta drive is an easy and affordable way for everyone to help fight hunger in our community. It’s a great activity for children to learn how to get large groups, such as an entire class or school, involved in giving.

If you would like to do a food drive for Second Helpings, please Download our Food Drive Toolkit.

There are also many ways of raising money to purchase pasta or other wish list items for Second Helpings.

How to get the whole family involved:

Start off with a brainstorming session. Think of the best places to have the collection drive. What would be the best items to collect? Decide who you need to contact to get the proper permission to host the drive. Have everyone help sort and collect. When the food drive is finished, contact Second Helpings to schedule a time to bring in your donations, weigh them on our scales, and stay for lunch and a tour.

Landscaping and Herb Garden

Come help us keep the outside of our building in perfect shape. These are great activities for families that like working outside.

We rely greatly on volunteers to help us with these two very important tasks. The herb garden provides the Hunger Relief kitchen with fresh herbs and aids the Culinary Job Training students in learning how to use these fresh ingredients. Landscaping keeps our community beautiful.

Getting your group or Family Involved:

Discuss as a group what the mission of Second Helpings is and what we are trying to achieve. Please contact Adriane Rios, Manager of Volunteer services at to find out when we need gardeners and landscapers. We also welcome you to join us for lunch to thank you and so you can share your experience.

Van Washing and Cleaning

Come spend a half day at Second Helpings and assist with the upkeep of our Food Rescue vehicles.

These two volunteer tasks are vital to help maintain clean, sanitary facilities and equipment. Van washing is a perfect outdoor activity for families with kids of all ages. If you like cleaning inside, join us for a day of vacuuming, window cleaning, and other general activities.

How to get the group or family involved:

Discuss the mission of Second Helpings as a family, and what we are trying to achieve. Please contact Adriane Rios, Manager of Volunteer Services to find out when we need van washers and cleaners. We also welcome you to join us for lunch after your volunteer shift to share your experience.

Save, Donate, Invest, Spend

Save as a family for Second Helpings (or charity of choice) or teach your child about personal finance.

How to get the whole family involved:

Collect pocket change: Collect loose change in a jar, and when it is full, have a family discussion on where to donate the money. Remember, it only takes about $1.20 for Second Helpings to prepare and deliver a meal AND send a pound of bulk produce to a local pantry – every little bit helps.

Matching gifts: This is a great opportunity to teach about matching gifts. If your child has an allowance or other spending money, encourage him or her to donate a portion to a charity of choice and offer to match the amount donated – doubling their impact!

If you donate as a family to Second Helpings, we invite you to contact us to set up a time to take a tour and have lunch.

Other Family and Youth Activities

There are many ways to get involved around Indy or even globally. Be creative and focus on your family’s interests.

Teaching Children about Hunger & Nutrition:

Sesame Street’s Hope Against Hunger and other resources on nutrition.

United Way:

Take a look at the United Way of Central Indiana website to find even more age-appropriate activities.

Plant a Garden:

Grow vegetables for Second Helpings or a local food pantry. (Be sure to check with pantries first, as not all can handle fresh produce. Visit Ample Harvest to connect with pantries able to collect fresh produce.)

Share your celebration:

Scale back your birthday or holiday celebration and donate the extras to an organization that your children select or adopt a family through one of the many organizations that sponsor families during the holidays.