Food banks rely on donations and volunteers including, retirees, corporate partners, or student clubs. Funding and nonprofit voluntary workers nearly vanished with Covid-19 as hunger surged. If you think about it, nonprofits are in the resilience business, helping communities recover and rebuild. So it should come as no surprise that food pantries across the US are among the first to adapt. Feed America, and the national network of food pantry volunteers they support, are stocking up on face masks, breaking out the hand sanitizer, opening pantry pop-ups, and hosting drive-by food distribution days.
VolunteerCrowd found both remote and in-person volunteer opportunities. Food banks are watching CDC guidelines closely, using personal protective gear, and making sure volunteers are as safe as possible. It’s all about having options, so you can serve your community from the safe distance you choose.
We start with Clean out For Good with ThredUp and Feed America. Between now and June 30th, 2020, ThredUp will give $15 to Feeding America to help with its Covid-19 response for every donation kit that is ordered. Use the kit to selectively purge your closet and donate your gently-used clothing (no tears, alterations, or signs of wear). Go big by organizing a virtual Clean out For Good clothing drive with friends.
College students 18 and over who have solid writing skills can volunteer at Placer Food Bank surveying clients. Build your communication skills by speaking directly with the public. Contact previously assisted clients to inquire about customer service efforts and how CalFresh has impacted their families. This is a real-world experience for a variety of college majors – business, public administration, and health.
Students can help in more ways than one at the Laguna Beach Food Pantry. Organize a food drive, greet shoppers, sort donated food, stock shelves, or pick up grocery supplies. With minimal planning, food drives can be organized at any time of the year (summer, holidays, etc.)! Laguna Beach Food Pantry has donation forms, collection boxes, flyers, stickers, and posters to complement your food drive. Be prepared for Covid-19 screening before you volunteer and bring your own face mask.
This is family volunteering at its best. In the past warehouse volunteers as young as 8 have participated with supervision. Because of Covid-19, volunteers should double-checking the minimum age. Students typically sort fresh produce, package bulk foods, assemble grocery boxes for seniors, and sort donations from food drives. Because of social distancing, fewer volunteers are working in the warehouse. Volunteers can serve at the new pop-up pantries.
Operation Sack Lunch is starting with the basics, asking for donated Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) like masks, hand sanitizer, and non-powdered gloves, and towels. Student volunteers work throughout the day to provide thousands of meals to other nonprofits supporting women, children, seniors, veterans, men, and challenged populations of Seattle.