Volunteering is for Everyone
(3 Minute Read)
By Meghan Franklin
Until I started working here, I didn’t realize how much team work it takes to keep the food bank operating every day. It really takes an army of passionate, hardworking, team oriented people to come together and feed our community. I have been blown away by the sheer volume of volunteers that make up the majority of the Food Bank team. We have different volunteer teams each morning and afternoon, Monday through Thursday. From stocking shelves, to making hampers, sorting and packaging food, and greeting guests at the door or the distribution window, our volunteers are really the MVP’s that keep the blood pumping through the veins of how to food bank operates.
Volunteering here, really is for everyone! We have people who have been with us a short time, or people who have been volunteering for years. We also have people who are retired, university students, stay at home parents, people who are new to Canada, and individuals with special needs, just to name a few. Working at a place that is so inclusive of people who are in all different walks of life feels so great! Even though we are all different, we all have the same common goal – feeding the hungry. It makes for a really fun and unique dynamic when so many ideas, perspectives, and life experiences come together to make a difference in our city.
Recently, I’ve gotten to know Todd – he’s talkative, friendly, and has a passion for power-lifting. He also happens to have down syndrome. Back in September, Todd won 4 gold medals at the Special Olympics Nationals in Halifax. He earned them in the dead lift, squats, bench press and overall title.
Todd is part of the ‘Say Yes’ program, which is a Food Bank initiative for adults with intellectual and developmental delays. The program provides opportunities for community inclusion through volunteerism. ‘Say Yes’ also provides an afternoon ‘Drop In’ club what Todd goes to, where he loves to play video games against Huw-the program supervisor. When Todd is at the food bank, along with his regular tasks, he also rides along with Huw in the Senior Delivery van to deliver hampers to seniors with mobility barriers. The seniors love talking to Todd when he’s there to drop off their food. Todd is kind, funny, and has so much to offer to the team here.
Our volunteers inspire me. When I walk into the room, and see them smiling and laughing together while they work, it reminds me of why I am here. Have you ever thought of volunteering at the food bank? There’s a place for you here! All we require is that you be over the age of 16, have a positive attitude, and be available on week days. If you can lift over 50 pounds, that’s a plus! Help be a part of feeding your community. For more information, contact Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org.