Volunteering at food banks is an excellent way for you to get active in the community and extend help to people in dire need. The volunteer work at local food banks is critical since more than 50% of the food programs rely entirely on volunteers, particularly during the pandemic when there is a high health risk for the volunteers and beneficiaries.
The COVID-19 pandemic has struck all establishments and organizations starting from the workforce affecting essential parts of business operations in providing products and services. There's a massive ripple effect that stems from the lowest to the highest point. Nevertheless, it doesn't stop the people organizing the food programs to find ways and do what's necessary to prevent thousands and millions of individuals from dying out of hunger. These volunteers help make many people realize that it does not take drastic measures to feed the needy, but, of course, with proper health and safety protocol in mind. By providing food and lending services, you can also help save a great deal of human life each day!
Becoming A Food Bank Volunteer
Food banks have been serving people in need and a vocation as a feeding program volunteer is a rewarding and fulfilling way to help out. To qualify for food bank volunteer work, you will need to be registered at the food bank. Depending on what kind of volunteer work you would prefer to do, you may need to go through some basic application steps. Special skills are not required to volunteer.
To apply as a food bank volunteer, you need to be prepared to fill out a basic application form that will ask about your experience, interests, and background. This information is used to help you find the most fulfilling position we have at the time. Because of COVID, Food bank organizers often interview the volunteers so that we can make sure we are following local guidelines..
Although you do not need any special skills… If you have any special interests or skills that may be of use to the food bank as there are various roles offered to volunteers with different kinds of skill sets.
How to Volunteer During COVID-19
Volunteers need to know several things before applying. Here are some tips to help.
One thing that food bank volunteers need to be aware of before signing up is what type of program they will be working with. The most common primary functions in food banks are the following:
Several different types of beneficiaries in the programs include seniors, children, pregnant women, families with little children, people with disabilities, low-income people, and others. Each of these groups has different requirements for volunteers. Some of these programs also require volunteers who live in certain areas or who work during certain hours. All of these requirements will be reviewed carefully before signing you up.
Another essential factor to consider when preparing to become a food bank volunteer during the COVID-19 pandemic is making sure we follow all guidelines to keep you safe, those around you safe, and those that we are serving safe. Especially since we come into contact with a large number of seniors.
As a local food bank volunteer, you will be contributing to a significant number of those in need within your own community. Food bank volunteers typically work at designated times so we can follow COVID safety conditions. Depending on your availability and the planned events for an entire month, food banks will surely have time slots available that will fit into your schedule.
Each branch might have different protocols on the volunteering schedule, so be sure to check with the organizers often.
Staying Safe From COVID-19 While Volunteering
Food banks are concerned about the welfare of volunteers working tirelessly to feed thousands of families in crisis amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This is why volunteers need to understand that they are also required to follow strict safety measures.
These guidelines are in place because the health and safety of volunteers are a top priority. They should guide volunteers on how to handle themselves while participating with response teams while taking care of their health and preventing exposure and spread of COVID-19.
One of the most common safety guidelines that food bank volunteers are required to follow is to wash their hands thoroughly before and after they handle any food. This is essential not only because of COVID-19 but also of the fact that many disease-carrying germs might get passed on to the food supply.
Another safety guideline that volunteers have to follow is to maintain social distancing at all times, wherever they may be assigned to do some volunteering work.
Furthermore, volunteers are required to wear protective equipment like face masks and gloves to decrease any risk of contamination. Fortunately, most organizations are stocked with PPE for volunteers if you do not have your own.
Volunteers are also advised to stay home whenever they feel even a little sick. It protects them, the people they're working with, and everyone they come in contact with. It's better to stay home than risk everyone's safety by going out.
A food bank is an organization established to provide services in feeding those who lack regular access to healthy food and the volunteers mobilize the programs to help make these goals happen.
Food bank volunteers have the opportunity to reach out to many people in the community and, more importantly, to make a huge difference in the lives of those experiencing the benefits of the pandemic response programs. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer at one of your local food bank organizations, you will become an asset offering significant help every time you roll up your sleeves to do some work.
Discover the different ways you can contribute to your local food bank during the COVID-19 pandemic. There might be volunteering opportunities and other possibilities to work along with other volunteers serving the community. If you belong in San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, and the Mother Lode Counties, visit Second Harvest Food Bank to get started!