Welcome Heather!

Welcome Heather!

Our *first ever* Volunteer Manager!

Please join us in officially welcoming Heather Marinelli as our newest staff.

Heather has volunteered with Second Chance Foods since our beginning and even helped make the first meal in our kitchen, carrot ginger soup, in 2017. Food justice, reducing waste, and environmental sustainability are causes close to Heather’s heart and the principles she practices in her daily life. That’s why she knew she wanted to be involved when Second Chance Foods was founded. 

"I knew Martha, Jean, and Alison through homeschooling and [food justice]. I was concerned about it, but when they decided to do something about it, it was so inspiring. The activism spirit was there, but the model was also so innovative and accessible to get involved in; I knew I wanted to help do whatever I could to support these women and this mission." - Heather 

Volunteering As a Way of Life

Giving back as a family

Over the years, Heather has brought friends and family to volunteer with us and loves introducing people to the benefits of helping others, including her cousins and mom, but especially her kids. As an avid volunteer since her teens, Heather has always sought opportunities to involve her kids in volunteering. However, when she started her family, it was hard to find the right experiences. She wanted her kids to feel connected to their actions and experience the paradox of “the more you give, the more you receive.” Heather loves the time she spent volunteering with her family at Second Chance Foods and the connection it brought to her kids’ understanding of food waste. “They hear it from you, but to see it is different. The kids were able to see how much food would have been wasted, but also felt like they made a difference. Because we took the time to help, someone will get to eat a delicious meal and that’s something even kids understand.”  

"Second Chance Foods was so welcoming of our family helping (in the beginning before some of our new age restrictions); I loved getting the kids involved. Gleaning green beans on the farm was my favorite, and the kids loved experiencing the 'behind the scenes feel' of a commercial kitchen. They also got a kick out of the adults being humbled in hairnets." -Heather

Prioritizing time

Heather knows it can be hard to find time to give back when you have an active family or life. But, for her, it was necessary to prioritize it. She recommends anyone interested in making volunteering a part of their life carve out time to make it happen. “It’s hard when you have a busy schedule, so weekly wouldn’t be possible, but one day a month, we knew we could commit to. It’s different for everyone; maybe it’s every other month or twice a year. It is important to set that goal as a priority and make it happen. Because the good that comes is so much greater than the time.” 

From Volunteer to Coordinator!

"My favorite thing is to inspire someone to give up their time freely and to witness the joy that comes from giving; that's why I am so excited to take on this new role!" -Heather

Heather previously worked as a nonprofit professional before becoming a Peace Corps volunteer and has always made volunteering a central part of her life. Heather’s experience, passion, and dedication to food justice are why we’re so grateful to have her join our team! Volunteers are the heart of Second Chance Foods, and we could not have such a growing impact without the commitment of all our volunteers. We know that Heather will enhance our work by supporting our volunteers in new ways, from broader recruitment, training, retention, and appreciation! (because they deserve all the recognition). Heather is excited to combine her passions and encourage volunteerism and loves meeting all the volunteers that have made Second Chance Foods happen over the years. We’re so touched that after her first week, Heather shared that was astounded and moved by learning even more about all the people involved in Second Chance Foods. 

"Driving home from the kitchen, I was bursting with joy, pride, and all the feelings because of what we're doing! I've had such a good time seeing what everyone is up to and how they're volunteering, participating, contributing in their own unique, beautiful ways." -Heather

More About Heather

This whole organization is run on passion and purpose! I am astounded by the many ways Second Chance Foods makes a difference in our world. As a volunteer from the beginning of 2016, I believed in the goodness of the mission and have seen good people doing good work for a good cause. There’s nothing better!

All five of my kids were born in Putnam Valley, NY, but I have roots in Arizona and Illinois. We homeschooled some kids some of the time until 2023 and spent so much of that time outdoors. I am a service nut and love that I get to help connect people to projects in this role as Volunteer Coordinator! Before starting our family, my husband and I served as Peace Corps Volunteers in Bolivia, SA, and I have worked in the nonprofit world from the beginning of my career – realizing early on that our greatest gift is our time and talent.

Beets! This vegetable transformed my outlook on using whole food from the root to the green. I get excited if I see beets in the recipe or on the menu.

Home things like birthing, breastfeeding, cloth diapers, gardening, homeschooling, hiking with kids, or the insanity of kids’ sports.
I also love to travel! Ask me about studying abroad, living abroad, working abroad, or volunteering abroad.

Heather thinks it’s always a good time to start volunteering!

"Volunteering with Second Chance Foods is a place to do good work and be a part of an authentic community of people. There are so many different ways we know you'll find a meaningful connection. Even if you've never volunteered before there is a place for you and a way to get involved using your gifts, talents, and time - just ask me how!"

Volunteer shifts range from a few hours to half or full days. You can wash dishes, help cook, sort produce and pack boxes, deep clean, harvest produce (between June and October), or even sign up to be on-call for when we need extra help. View our current volunteer opportunities and sign up here! You can also contact Heather at Volunteer@SecondChanceFoods.org with questions about the available shifts or other ways to get involved.

From All of Us at Second Chance Foods, Welcome to the team, Heather!

Are You Also New to Second Chance Foods? Take a look at our About Us page for bios on our board leadership and staff. 

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Contact Us

Looking for food?

Though we wish we could nourish everyone in need, Second Chance Foods does not directly distribute meals or groceries to individuals at this time. We utilize existing programs in the community and supplement their food with our meals and groceries. If you or someone you know is in need of assistance, please refer to our resource page here for our partnerships and local options.

Mailing Address:

P.O.Box 93
Carmel, NY 10512

Kitchen Address:

120 Marvin Ave Brewster, NY 10509

*please note we do not keep "hours" at the kitchen at this time. If you are looking to donate food please contact Kathryn@SecondChanceFoods.org or call 845-723-1302


General Questions please contact Associate Director Stephanie Purcell 845-723-1311

Volunteer Questions contact Volunteer Coordinator Heather Marinelli 845-723-1309

Contact Form

Second Chance Foods is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

EIN# 81-0996695