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!