This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and The Coca-Cola Company. All opinions are mine alone . Read on for 5 Things I’ve Learned from Volunteering at a Food Bank.
My husband and I plan monthly service projects for our student group. We have volunteered at many places over the past few years, but one place that we have returned time and time again is our local food bank. The food bank is a wonderful place for groups of any size to volunteer. I’ve learned a great deal about food banks in general; some of the facts surprised me.
For instance, do you know at what place your state ranks for food insecurity? A 2017 survey revealed that my state ranks as the fifth worst state for food insecurity! I would have never guessed this.
Many statistics about local food insecurity startle- and sadden- me. If you’ve never researched food insecurity statistics for your own state, I encourage you to do so. You may be surprised at what you find! I guarantee that, if you do, you’ll find a new place in your heart for your local food bank and the work that they do. I had preconceived notions about my local food bank prior to volunteering. After taking our group there are few times, I started sharing things that I had learned about the food bank with others. Here are 5 Things that I’ve Learned from Volunteering at a Food Bank.
1- Donation food is excellent, but monetary donations are great, too! Food banks can supply several meals for just $1! Our local food bank states that they can supply 7 meals for $1. That is definitely a lot more than I could provide for $1. While I donate canned goods and other healthy foods during collection periods, the food bank can stretch my dollar farther than I am able.
2- The stipulations for the food that they accept differs from food bank to food bank. Check with you local food bank if you are unsure on what they accept.
3- Some food banks collect non-food items. Many food banks will distribute personal care items and toiletries. I always thought of a food bank as only “food.” Check the website or call your local food bank to see if they collect personal care items and to get a list of their most needed items.
4- Food banks are there to not only feed families in need, but also to help families consume healthy meals. When donating food, I donate canned vegetables, proteins, unsweetened beverages and not junk food or sweets. For families in need, it’s important for them to receive a boxed well-balanced meal.
5- Donating is important, but volunteering is, too! Food banks rely on volunteers for everything from unwrapping pallets, stocking shelves, assisting with special events, and more. I am on an email list for our local food bank. Each quarter, I receive an email with their volunteer needs and how our group can help. I’m sure your local food bank will be delighted to have you on their volunteer list!