Volunteer Safety Protocol

At a time when families and communities are hurting, JRA is providing more nourishment to individuals experiencing food insecurity than ever before. The economic impact of the pandemic has created a food security crisis and has placed hunger relief agencies at the front lines. Pre-pandemic, 1,000 volunteers would come to JRA’s warehouse in Northeast Philadelphia on one Sunday each month to pack and deliver food. As the pandemic swept across the region, our services were adapted to include social distancing protocol, new safety measures, and a modified Food Distribution to limit the risk of exposure for clients and volunteers. Today we are supporting the Greater Philadelphia region by delivering 15 lbs. of free food and hygiene products to 6,400 low-income individuals, monthly. We are committed to doing whatever it takes because no one should go to bed hungry. 

Volunteerism is critical to the core mission of JRA. We expect all volunteers to self-screen prior to reporting to a scheduled volunteer shift. If you have any symptoms, are feeling unwell, or if you have been exposed to someone with Covid-19 please refrain from volunteering at this time. 

We encourage everyone to follow the guidelines from the CDC website. JRA's clients depend on volunteers to deliver food to their homes. JRA has initiated safety procedures that are outlined above, including procedures in the warehouse while volunteers are packing food and implementing a drive-through pick-up model deliveries and a "knock, drop, and go" policy at recipient homes. Since volunteer opportunities are regularly changing, please visit our volunteer page for up to date information. 

JRA Safety Requirements for Volunteers and Staff Members

  • ​All volunteers and staff must wear a face mask.
  • All volunteers and staff must wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If a handwashing station is unavailable, wear gloves or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • All volunteers and staff handling food or other supplies in the warehouse will be provided with gloves.
  • All volunteers and staff will maintain social distancing of at least 6-10 feet apart while working in the warehouse. 
  • All volunteers and staff must wear closed-toed shoes while working in the warehouse. 
  • All volunteers delivering food will receive verbal and written safety instructions when picking up a delivery route. 
  • Personal protective equipment in the form of masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer will be made available to any volunteer packing or delivering food. 
  • All volunteers attending a packing shift at the warehouse will be asked to wash hands and/or use hand sanitizer upon arrival, at which point they will participate in a safety orientation. 
  • Additional hand sanitizer dispensers will be placed in several areas for use in the warehouse. 

Information updated as of August 27, 2020.

Our Commitment to the Community

JRA services are delivered monthly by volunteers via a no-contact drop-off. The food assistance includes a monthly supplemental box of kosher pantry staples and fresh produce (from October through April) delivered directly to your door. A supplemental bag of kid-friendly items is provided for families with children age 18 and under. To be eligible, you must have a household income with 150% of the Federal Poverty Level and live within one of the zip codes that JRA services. You must complete an application to be considered for our services. Find out more on our Get Help page. 

​If you are seeking immediate food assistance, please find follow this link to a map of the City of Philadelphia's food distribution sites. Here, you can locate food sites, student meal sites, senior meal sites, and outdoor meal sites located in your area. No ID or proof of income is required for the sites. Find out if you are eligible for additional benefits by BenePhilly at calling 833 - 373 - 5868. Operators can help register you for benefits such as SNAP, Medicaid, PACE, CCIS, CHIP, LIS, PTRR, and Homestead Exemption. Translators are available. If you need assistance enrolling in SNAP, please call the SNAP hotline at 215 - 430 - 0556.

Safety Information and Resources

In response to the evolving Covid-19 pandemic, we have implemented a number of measures to reduce the risk to both our recipients and our volunteers. In the warehouse, these measures include requiring volunteers and staff to wearing face coverings, practicing social distancing, frequently washing hands, and enhanced cleaning procedures. We have also implemented a drive-through pick-up model for all deliveries and a no-contact "knock, drop, and go" procedure at recipient homes. We continue to monitor the spread of coronavirus and follow the guidance of experts in public health, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Public Health in the City of Philadelphia. 

Food Assistance