Helping our neighbor, PRISM, as needs increase

Food Box Packing and Distribution
We are are continuing to provide extra support to our neighboring agency, PRISM, to supply it with volunteers that can help respond to the growing food needs in the community. PRISM has moved to a new model of distributing food in pre-packaged boxes from its parking lot, as the number of people it serves has drastically increased. Dana is helping connect volunteers to PRISM. If you are interested in volunteering, contact Dana at to learn more. Read on for more information.

Hear what two JFCS volunteers have to say about their experience volunteering at PRISM:
“I have been a volunteer at PRISM for a couple of months. It has been an eye opening and rewarding experience working a three-hour shift one day a week. It is physical, but rewarding work. Boxes of produce need to be sorted and bagged. Pantry items need to be sorted, shelved and boxed. Damaged food needs to be composted. Grocery carts need to be filled and ready for pick up. It has been enlightening to see what it takes to run a food bank. My favorite part is driving home, knowing a child will have a healthy meal, while picturing the smile on their face imagining them eating dessert.” – Colette Jaffe

“Unfortunately the pandemic temporarily put a halt to my participation, but I plan on going back and have arranged to do so. My main volunteer job with PRISM was on Wednesday mornings driving its van to various supermarkets to pick up donated food and bring it back to PRISM to be sorted and distributed to needy families. When I fully retired back in November, I knew I needed to find some more volunteer work to fill in my days. I was a little familiar with PRISM and what it did and thought it would be a good fit for me and my interests. It gave me a lot of satisfaction knowing I was doing a small part in literally helping people put food on their tables.” – Alan Ingber

PRISM is looking for people who meet the following requirements

  1. Can do physically demanding work, including packing, lifting, and carrying heavy containers of groceries;
  2. Will commit to work one or two food shelf shifts per week for at least several weeks;
  3. Have no symptoms of infectious illness; and
  4. Are not in a high risk category for contracting COVID-19.


 Volunteer shifts at PRISM take place Mondays through Thursdays:

  • 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 12:30-4 p.m.


 Current policies regarding volunteers:

  • Groups will be limited to five people or less
  • All volunteers must be 15 years or older
  • Current PRISM volunteers will have first choice of days and shifts


Safe Environment Guidelines:

  • PRISM is following CDC and Minnesota Department of Health guidelines
  • If you have cold or flu symptoms, please stay home
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Use hand sanitizer when soap and water is not convenient
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or use your arm
  • Whenever possible, maintain a safe distance from co-workers
  • Stay informed by regularly checking Minnesota Department of Health’s website
  • PRISM is limiting access to its building
  • All volunteers and staff are wearing face masks


If you feel comfortable with what you read above and fit the requirements to help PRISM with its current needs:

  1. Please email if you are interested in learning more, as Dana is serving as the JFCS connector and keeping track of how many people we refer to PRISM.
  2. Next, complete the volunteer application found in this link: and Kevin will follow up with you.
  3. Once you are signed up with PRISM, you will contact Kevin for future scheduling. 


If you have specific volunteer-related questions relating, contact Kevin, PRISM Community Engagement Manager at Be sure to let him know you were referred to volunteer with them by JFCS.