With so many people struggling to make ends meet these days, it's important to find ways to help out the needy. One way that people do this is by donating time. If you're interested, there are many different ways that you can help out by volunteering at your nearest local food bank.
What Are The Functions of Food Bank Volunteers?
There are several things you can offer if you are willing to volunteer at a food bank. Volunteers help out with organizing inventory, preparing emergency food boxes, and even ensuring that the work area is sanitary. For example, you might be asked to sort donations, wash and sterilize tables and equipment, deliver food supplies, or assist with fundraising efforts. More strenuous tasks include loading and unloading trucks, emptying shelves, and preparing the food for distribution to the different agencies connected with the food bank. Or, if you require less labor intensive duties you can clean storage areas, you will truly be spreading the benefits of your volunteer work. Plus, you will be helping co-volunteers provide better services to more beneficiaries in the area.
Food bank programs are also often looking for people who can volunteer at their events. If this interests you, all you need to do is sign up for volunteer opportunities at your local food bank and you will be given the training you need to work several functions.
Why Volunteer At A Food Bank?
The number one reason people decide to volunteer their time at a food bank is that they love helping people. By feeding thousands of hungry people every day, you will truly feel a sense of fulfillment knowing that you were able to ease the suffering of many individuals fighting poverty.
There are countless benefits to serving those in need, especially in the winter months. These benefits don't necessarily just apply to food pantries. Volunteering opportunities are certainly one way that many people aim to lend back and help their own community. One thing's clear: the demand for this service has really skyrocketed during the recent COVID-19 epidemic.
So why should you consider volunteering at a food bank?
The main reason behind the importance of food banks is their impact on the community. The food distributed to the recipients has nutritional value and even other personal necessities are provided. They typically don't have very much in the way of grocery money, so they rely on donations to meet their basic needs.
Since food banks are operated by volunteers, the work here is incredibly valuable to the people you will be serving.
How to Volunteer At A Local Food Bank
There are indeed many different ways that you can give back to the community. If you are thinking about making a difference, why not consider volunteering at a food bank? It sounds like a huge accomplishment to many, but it is also one that many people overlook.
Support local food bank programs in your area. Second Harvest Food Bank helps over 35,000 individuals in need each month in San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, and the Mother Lode Counties. Visit here to donate, volunteer, and find out the latest news about our cause!
Our team at Second Harvest believes in being a positive force for change in the world. Everywhere we show up, we’re deeply committed to bringing hope, delivering education, and caring for one another. So, we’d like to invite you to join us on social media. We’ll make it worth your while, we promise!
Here’s what you can expect from us on each platform—and why it’s so important to us to see you there.
Follow Second Harvest on Facebook
If you already use your Facebook to connect with friends and family, then why not use it to stay connected with your local community? Click over to check out our Facebook page: Second Harvest Food Bank of San Joaquin & Stanislaus Counties. You’ll receive occasional updates about the work we do in your community.
You might be surprised by how much you can learn about food and being a good neighbor. We share inspirational quotes, photos from our team in action, and actionable information for people who may need our services. There’s also a chatbot on our Facebook page that can respond to questions 24/7, so people can get the answers they need at any time of the day, even if our team isn’t on the clock.
To be honest, following us on Facebook allows us to reach more people, even if you rarely interact with our posts. By following us on Facebook, you might be the key to helping a hungry person discover our services.
We’re @fightinghunger on Twitter
Come hang out on Twitter with us! We love connecting with new people and sharing resources. There are some powerful stories out there related to food insecurity and community assistance. We share the best ones with you over on Twitter.
By following Second Harvest on Twitter, you’ll be the first to know about urgent food drives and other calls for volunteers. We also post brief educational resources so that you can educate yourself about hunger in your community while browsing the news on Twitter.
Join the feast and join us on Instagram
We’ll admit that Instagram is our favorite social media platform. Why? Because we get to connect directly, person-to-person, with our entire community! There’s a seat for everyone at the Second Harvest table, and the feast is ready for you.
Follow Second Harvest on Instagram and hear from the people who make our work possible. You will get to know the names and faces of our valued community partners, such as the Ceres SDA church, Savemart, and Wide Horizons. Our goal is to make you smile while showing you how powerful it can be to take action on food insecurity.
Pinterest & YouTube
We’re everywhere! Check out our Second Harvest Pinterest page, where we highlight the beautiful fresh produce and amazing people who make our organization work. If you’re ready for some amazing video content, then join us on the Second Harvest YouTube page. We’ve curated a collection of videos from Feeding America and other national leaders in fighting hunger to help people get involved. You can also find behind-the-scenes videos from our team, as well as real stories of hunger to get you motivated to take action.
We hope you’ll consider following us on social media! Your presence can truly make a big difference in our ability to help people. If you’re interested in getting involved yourself, check out these suggestions. Thanks for being a part of our community!
Welcome to our food bank! If you are thinking about donating or volunteering with Second Harvest, then you may want to know what our daily activities are. We rely on our volunteers to help us with a variety of tasks, from sorting to administration and intake. You may not be doing the same thing each time you volunteer unless you specifically request it.
It takes a lot of work and goodwill to deliver food to hungry people in San Joaquin and Stanislaus Counties. And the need is dire. But we love every minute of it, thanks to our amazing team. Here’s a peek behind the scenes with a food bank volunteer. If you’re interested in getting more involved, please check out our Volunteer Opportunities. We’d be delighted to have you.
Mornings at the Food Bank
At the top of the day, the most important task is to sort all the food donations. Volunteers play a big role in helping with the sorting! We typically receive a variety of items from donors, such as canned goods, dry goods, and fresh produce. You might spend the morning working alongside other volunteers to sort donated items into categories.
It may not seem very exciting, but this is actually the most important part of the food bank! Once the food donations have been organized properly, then we can begin to assemble bags for our clients. Well-sorted items are the key to ensuring that everyone gets a nutritious, well-balanced bag.
Afternoons in the Food Bank
If you’re interested, you have several options for spending your afternoon with Second Harvest. You could take a shift in the intake area, supporting our administrative staff with filing or phone calls. Sometimes we get walk-ins who need help in understanding our services. If you have special language skills, this is the perfect spot for you.
On days when we organize an event, we need volunteers to take tickets, tear down tents, and help with other set-up tasks. More extroverted people may also enjoy helping with our Mobile Fresh distribution. You’ll be carrying bags to clients’ cars, handing out flyers with nutrition education, and helping people find what they need.
Don’t worry—we host orientations for all our volunteers so that you’re prepared for any questions.
Outside the Food Bank
You can often find Second Harvest trucks and staffers out in the world, and that includes our amazing volunteers. Special events are a great way to get involved. We sometimes host raffles, food drives, or other live benefits that could use the support of a few volunteers.
We also welcome volunteer drivers who have a clean driving record. If you volunteer as a driver, you’ll take our vehicles around the city, picking up and dropping off food. This type of activity is especially helpful during the holidays. Listen to festive music on the radio and enjoy the satisfaction of delivering gifts to people in need!
If you’d like to learn more about volunteering with Second Harvest, please check out this page. We welcome groups and individuals for one-day or regular volunteer opportunities. Thank you for sharing your time and energy with us!