Grand Central Neighborhood Program/Main Chance



120 East 32nd Street

New York, NY 10016


For this site please contact the site supervisor listed below to schedule your service. Be sure to register your hours in GivePulse once complete. 


Agency Contact

Fayola Thomas, Volunteer Coordinator

212.883.0680 ext 308            


Nature and Purpose of Agency

The Grand Central Neighborhood Social Services Corporation (GCNSSC) is committed to providing immediate relief to NYC's  homeless population. Through our Main Chance Drop-In Center, we offer basic necessities (food, clothing, showers, and chairs for respite) and a range of social services including employment counseling, treatment referrals, and housing assistance.


Tasks Available for Students

Kitchen Services/Soup Kitchen – service-learning students are needed to work in the Main Chance soup kitchen seven days a week (Monday – Sunday) for lunch and dinner shifts. 


Time Requirements

Soup Kitchen Shifts:

Lunch Schedule – 12:00pm – 1:30pm.  Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday shifts available. No Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday lunch shifts.

Dinner Schedule – 4:00pm – 6pm.  Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday shifts available. 


Student Awareness/Special Instructions

  • No open toe shoes, tank tops, or shorts.
  • You must fill out a volunteer application prior to serving at Main Chance. You may obtain this form by emailing and send the completed form to Fayola Thomas

Agency Directions

Driving Directions

Head southeast on St Johns University toward Utopia Pkwy Turn right at Utopia Pkwy Slight left at Homelawn St Turn right at Grand Central Pkwy/Grand CTRL Pkwy S Rd Take the ramp on the left onto Grand Central Pkwy W Take exit 10E-W for I-678/I-495/Grand Central Pkwy/Manhattan Continue toward I-495 W Keep left at the fork, follow signs for I-495 and merge onto I-495 W Partial toll road Take the exit toward E 35th St Toll road Turn right at E 35th St (signs for 3 Ave W) Turn left at Lexington Ave Turn right at E 31st St Turn right at Park Ave S Turn right at E 32nd St Destination will be on the right

Public Transportation

QM1A - Direction: QM1A Midtown Manhattan [From Lake Success] Arrive 34th St & Park Ave. Walk to 120 E 32nd St

SB 2/5/19 

Grand Central Neighborhood Social Services Corp,

120 East 32nd Street, Between Park Ave. and Lexington Ave.

Volunteer Services Overview- Updated 10/16/17


Food Services:

Clients at GCN are served three meals a day and a snack; however, we only accept volunteers for our lunch and dinner shifts. Lunch service is from 12:00pm-1:30pm and dinner service is from 4:00pm-6:00pm. After a brief orientation session, this opportunity is open seven days a week and volunteers can come on holidays if they'd like to. Should you be between 16 and 17 years of age, you must be accompanied by an adult over 21. We unfortunately cannot accept your help if you are under 16 years old.


What To Do:

If you have not volunteered with us before, you will need to fill out our volunteer form and attend a brief orientation before your first shift whereupon we discuss the organization and the rules of the soup kitchen.


Important note: Due to the limited size of our kitchen, we can only take 5 volunteers per shift. Therefore, volunteers MUST be scheduled ahead of time. You are welcome to email or call us

on any given day and ask if we have availability for any of the two shifts. Do not show up to the soup kitchen without being scheduled. We also ask that you adhere to our dress code, which appears below.


Kitchen Dress Code & Conduct:

  • Closed toe comfortable shoes, you will be standing up during your shift.
  • Short or long sleeved shirt (no tank tops, skirt tops, short shorts, or revealing clothing)
  • Long pants and clean overall appearance.
  • All volunteers should arrive 15 minutes before their scheduled shift.
  • If you aren't feeling well on the day you are scheduled, please reschedule. The safety and wellness of you, our staff, and our clients, is our utmost concern.
  • Gloves must be worn at all times while handling food.
  • We always aim to treat others with kindness and respect; however we do ask that you refrain from conversations and direct physical contact with clients. Should you perceive any problem whatsoever immediately inform the kitchen staff.  


What To Expect:

When you arrive at the Mainchance building, 120 East 32nd Street, between Lexington Ave. and Park Ave., our security desk will sign you in, give you a name tag, and a staff member will take you to the kitchen. When you arrive in the kitchen, the kitchen staff will give you instructions on your tasks. For any concerns or questions occurring during the course of your shift, the Volunteer Coordinator is available by asking the kitchen supervisor or security. There are no special skills needed to help in our kitchen, the tasks are simple and straightforward. Your help is greatly appreciated by us and all of those who are hungry whom you will serve.

For all questions and concerns please contact Fayola Thomas

E-mail or call at 212-883-0680, ext. 308

8 People | 6 Impacts | 28 Hours | 631 Total Economic Impact

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