Civic Engagement: How to Volunteer at a Food Bank
January 29, 2023
What is a Food Bank?
● A food bank is a non-profit organization that distributes and/or donates food to people in need.
● There are many food banks across the country, helping to alleviate hunger and the effects of homelessness or poverty.
● Food banks work directly with the community to ensure that those struggling with access to food can get either perishable or non-perishable food for free.
How Can You Volunteer at a Food Bank:
● There are different ways to volunteer at a food bank, but you can start by researching local food banks in your area.
● Once you find a food bank that you are interested in volunteering at, go to the organization’s website to learn more about the volunteer process; most websites have a page dedicated to volunteering/how to volunteer.
● Some food banks require that volunteers fill out an application or waiver in order to volunteer.
● If there is no page mentioning how to volunteer, check the contact information and email the organization’s program director or manager directly.
● Once all required documents have been filled out and submitted, confirm a date that you would like to volunteer at the food bank. If you plan on volunteering over the course of the year, contact the program coordinator to confirm your availability just in case.
● Once all the dates have been approved for you to volunteer, make sure to show up at the food bank location on time (at least 15 minutes before your scheduled start time.)
● If it is your first time volunteering with a food bank, become informed of all the operational procedures ahead of time and ask any questions you might have.
● Most volunteers at food banks sort and package food, assist in drive-thru pantries, or deliver meals.
● There may also be ways to volunteer from home including fundraising or spreading awareness for a particular organization.
Why is Volunteering at a Food Bank Important:
● Volunteering at a food bank is so important because they help populations of people who struggle to access food.
● Food banks might be short-staffed. Volunteers help to ensure that the daily operations run smoothly.