bin of broccoli with text saying welcome melissa and a round image of a women smiling.

Welcome Melissa!

From Volunteer to Volunteer Coordinator

Please join us in welcoming Melissa Paladino to the team!

We’re so excited to introduce you to our newest team member, Melissa Paladino. Melissa is a retired art teacher who first volunteered with Second Chance Foods in 2018. She brings a love for volunteering and a passion for the Second Chance Foods community. Born and raised in the Hudson Valley, she loves that we address both food insecurity and food waste. Melissa joined us last week and immediately started welcoming new volunteers and identifying new ways to improve the volunteer experience from sign-up through the end of their shift, and beyond. We can’t wait to see the meaningful connections she makes with our current and future volunteers!

"I am most looking forward to being a part of the Second Chance Foods community - in all its different forms. I am grateful to be working alongside a phenomenal female team of hard-working, intelligent, kind hearted, dedicated women. Establishing relationships with our AMAZING current volunteers is not only a priority of mine, but also a perk of the job! I am excited to welcome new volunteers into our organization and have them find a way they feel happy & fulfilled within the SCF community." - Melissa

Finding Community Through Volunteering

Melissa left teaching after 20 years to spend time and help take care of her father, who was ill. After his passing, she knew her mom needed something more in her life, and because her mom and dad had a long history of volunteerism, she knew volunteering would bring them community and meaning. Not long after, Melissa and her mother started volunteering at the Brewster Food Pantry. Over a few months, she saw her mom make friends and find community at the Food Pantry. It was a wonderful experience, but Melissa was looking for something more “hands-on” and remembered the other organization she saw, Second Chance Foods! Melissa started volunteering with us and loved it. She even brought her daughter to the kitchen, creating three generations of volunteers! Her daughter also enjoyed helping in the kitchen but loved being able to take the food scraps to feed the chickens.

“Volunteering at SCF was fast paced, fun and fulfilling. It was never the same day twice. We were always prepping, cooking & baking different things… all while chatting with one another & listening to great music. A couple volunteers were regulars, but there were always new volunteers to work alongside. It made it interesting. I mostly did cooking days in the kitchen, but we also did some pickups & deliveries as a family and I loved to come in on the weekends & organize the pantry. The feeling of fulfillment - of helping people in our community and our environment, becoming friends with fellow volunteers and carrying on a family legacy of service to my community was, and continues to be, my favorite part of volunteering at Second Chance Foods.” - Melissa

Helping Others Volunteer

We’re so glad Melissa found us and can bring her past volunteer experience into her new role. Melissa hopes to help all volunteers at Second Chance Foods find the perfect role that fits them best.

“Even within SCF there are multiple volunteer jobs: Gleaning, Prepping, Cooking, Packaging & Labeling, Dish Washing, Sorting, Packing, Delivery/Pick Ups and Cleaning/Organizing. And ALL the jobs are an integral part of getting nutritious food to those in our community who need it while also making a positive impact on our environment." - Melissa

More About Melissa

Community. I am passionate about Second Chance Foods because of the community it is… and the community it serves. The people involved with Second Chance Foods are passionate about rescuing healthy food that would otherwise end up in the landfills. We are also passionate about getting that nutritious food and the meals we prepare to those in our community that need it. Helping our environment and the food insecure simultaneously while working alongside like-minded people is inspiring!

I was born & raised in the Hudson Valley and have been back for eighteen years now after being away for twelve. I taught visual art in public schools for over twenty years. I still do my own art and I love to cook, volunteer, hike, entertain, travel & flower garden. My husband & I have three children and a lab mix named Cooper. From a young age my parents instilled in me the importance of helping others. For as far back as I can remember they were very involved with volunteering in our community and church. And as soon as I was old enough, I tagged along and helped where I could. Volunteering has always been a part of my life and when our children were old enough, we made it a priority to make it a part of theirs. I am proud to say my daughter and mother are still involved in community service to this day. We are three generations of volunteers!

Oh, this is a tough one as there are so many yummy ones! I love broccoli – especially roasted or in a broccoli salad. In the summer, an ear of fresh picked sugar sweet corn and a salad is the perfect meal. And this might be a little wacky, but onions are definitely a favorite. Sautéed, grilled, raw, fried, pickled, roasted or caramelized. And of course in soup. Have you ever had a stuffed onion? Yum.

My kids, my dog, travel, cooking and making art with kids.
women wearing red handkerchief around neck smiles at camera in front of a white background and small cactus

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

Interested in learning more about us ? Take a look at our About Us page for bios on our board leadership and staff. 

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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 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