Volunteer Opportunities

1055 Wendell Avenue, Schenectady, New York 12308-2807
Relating the resources of the churches to the needs of the city

The Schenectady Inner City Ministry (SICM) is an ecumenical partnership, founded in 1967, of 54 congregations (15 denominations) for ministries of social service and social justice.  Individual programs operate at differing locations and times. 

SICM Food Program:

Emergency Food Pantry, 839 Albany Street, Schenectady, 346-4035; foodpantry@sicm.us
The Food Pantry provides emergency food to people of Schenectady County who are in need. In 2013, the pantry served a record 52,033 individuals, up from 50,469 in 2012.  A total of 468,297 meals were served in 2013, up from 450,684 in 2012.
Over 130 volunteers were involved in the program, donating over 15,000 hours.  The SICM Food Program needs volunteers to:

-greet guests/file cards
-intake/interview guests
-pack groceries/repack bulk items
-work the produce counter
-distribute food at service window
-help load/unload food items at pantry
-sort food
-organize a food drive at your organization
-input computer data
-plant/weed/harvest at community gardens
-lobby/advocate special events

The pantry is open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday each week, from 9:00 AM until capacity is met, and also on the last Thursday of the month for Mass Distribution.  Occasionally help is needed on other days, as well.  Consider working during your school vacations or if you have mornings free.  Volunteer once a month, once a week, or whatever fits your schedule.


The annual CROP Walk is a celebration to fight hunger locally and overseas, and SICM is a lead organizer for the event.  Walkers find sponsors for a financial pledge.  The event is held the first Sunday in May.

Summer Lunch

SICM serves free lunches in parks and various church lawns during the summer, to children and youth from infancy through age 18.  We served over 65,000 meals to hungry kids in 2014.  In Schenectady, 80% of our children now qualify for free or reduced rate lunches when school is in session, and too many of these kids would not have regular meals during the summer break. That’s where SICM and our tremendous teams of volunteers step in.

Last summer SICM served children and youth at 23 locations across the city, including at several of the city’s parks, including Steinmetz, Quackenbush, Jerry Burrell, Central, Hillhurst, and Wallingford.  Lunch was also provided at two of the city’s municipal housing locations: Yates Village and Steinmetz Homes.  Our church sites included Faith United Methodist Church (Eastern & Brandywine), Trinity Lutheran Church (Central State Street cluster, Furman Street), Friendship House (955 State Street), Mt. Olivet (Strong Street), Faith Deliverance Tabernacle (Ostrander St.), and two new church sites:  Christian Empowerment Center (Chrisler Ave.), and State Street Presbyterian Church (Catherine and State Streets).   Our remaining sites are: the Schenectady Public Library (Clinton St.), and the Hamilton Hill Arts Center (Schenectady St.)   Also new last summer was a site at the Schenectady Museum (miSci) on Nott Terrance, as well as two mobile units that traveled to 12 different locations around the city.

In 2013, we averaged serving more than 1,100 kids a day, and that number jumped to 1,500 a day in 2014. Over 650 volunteers from 66 congregations, non-profit groups and businesses served the meals and interacted with the children.

If you are interested in volunteering for the Summer Lunch Program, please contact Rachel Curtis at 374-2683.


AIDSWalk, last Saturday in September, Washington Park Lakehouse, Albany
A walk to remember the people we have lost, and with hope that the services offered in the Capital District will support the people currently living with HIV/AIDS, as well as to provide information and motivation to stop the spread of HIV.  This community effort provides funding opportunities for many AIDS service organizations in the area, including the Schenectady Damien Center. 


High school and college youth may participate in summer internships at SICM, working in a variety of areas and programs, including Summer Lunch and the Emergency Food Pantry. Often interns are sponsored by local SICM congregations.  For more information, see the Summer Programs tab under SICM Programs on the sidebar, or contact Janet Mattis at jmattis@sicm.us or 374-2683.  Applications and position descriptions are usually posted to the website in February.

Download this page as .doc

Executive Director, Rev. Phillip N. Grigsby                      Phone 518 374-2683 / Fax 518 382-1871
E-mail:  revphil@SICM.US                                                   Website:  www.sicm.us