Is volunteering allowed by New York State?

Yes! Just as grocery stores are essential infrastructure, so are food pantries. And food pantries can’t operate without volunteers. By volunteering you will be saving lives and staying within government guidelines.

How can I stay safe while volunteering? 

Our partner organizations have strict guidelines in place to ensure the safety of volunteers. Personal protective equipment like gloves will be provided onsite as needed, and social distancing will be practiced whenever possible to minimize face to face contact. 

Additional precautions include utilizing smaller groups of volunteers, reducing direct interactions with the general public, and ensuring that volunteers are able to maintain adequate distance from one another.

If you have your own hand sanitizer, we recommend bringing it along with you to help conserve the organization’s supply.

What is the best way to get to the volunteer opportunity?

We recommend following the latest guidelines from the public health authorities regarding specific travel methods. See here for the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s guidance. 

Personally, we’ll be minimizing our use of public transportation and taxis and will be riding bikes, Revel, or walking whenever possible.

What opportunities are available?

We’ve partnered with non-profit organizations across the city who work in areas ranging from food banks to grassroots delivery collectives. You can choose what you’re interested in, and we’ll find the best match for you.

Who should sign up for volunteer opportunities?

If you are healthy, 18 or older, and at a low risk of complications due to COVID-19, we need you. Older adults & those with pre-existing conditions like heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease are at a much higher risk of becoming severely ill; if your immune system could be compromised due to any of these factors, you should stay home. 

If you’re experiencing any symptoms of illness, even if it’s just a cold, please stay home. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and sore throat. If you have any concerns about your health, please consult your doctor.

How do I sign up for volunteer opportunities?

There are two ways to RSVP:

  1. We’ll send you opportunities via text using the info you provided in your volunteer survey about your availability, vehicle (if any), and your zip code. You should get matches a few times a week. When you see a project that you’re interested in, you can click the link in the text to learn more. If you’re ready to sign up, just reply to us with the number of the project in the text, and we’ll confirm you for the project.

  2. Browse our listings and let us know which project you’d like to sign up for. Once you register with IIT, we’ll send you the link to our listings page, which contains most of the upcoming projects in our database. Each project has an associated ID. To RSVP, just text the project ID to 90847, wait for us to confirm you, and you’re good to go! Keep in mind that this is a manual process (we don’t have a robot doing it for us just yet) so it may take a bit for us to confirm you, especially if you send the RSVP after hours or over the weekend.

    Whichever way you RSVP, we’ll send a confirmation to you and the organization so they know to expect you. We’ll also send you a helpful reminder message on the morning of your project.

What if something comes up and I can’t make it?

We send RSVP lists to our partners nightly so they know how many volunteers to expect. If you have to cancel for any reason, please let us know 24 hours in advance so we can update the organization. We ask that you reach out to the organization directly if you must cancel with shorter notice.

Who is behind In It Together?

👋 We’re Lemontree, a New York City-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit. There are four full-timers and several part-timers working on our projects at any given time.

In the “before” times, Lemontree sold and delivered amazing & affordable family dinners to families across Brooklyn (See our Fox 5 interview here and read about us in Wall Street Journal here). 

With the onset of the pandemic, we’ve had to shift to different ways of making an impact. We launched In It Together in March of 2020, and in June, our Lemontree Food Helpline went live.