You may have remembered me talking about 2nd Harvest Food Bank before. They are one of my favorite charities here in Orlando. Ever since I learned about what they do I’ve been looking for ways to help out. Recently a group of us volunteered at 2nd Harvest on a Saturday. They have volunteer shifts available Monday – Saturday so you are bound to find a date and time that works for you.
Volunteers have to be at least 10 years old with a chaperone in order to help out, 16 years old without a chaperone. They also now have a “Family Night” for families with children ages 5-9 years old. These usually take place every other month, on a Tuesday or Wednesday from 6pm-8pm.
Signing up to volunteer is easy! You just go to their volunteer page and pick a date and time that work for you. When you click on the date and time it will tell you the number of spaces available in case you are trying to get a large group in. Make sure to sign up as soon as you can as dates fill up soon! There are a lot of people that can only volunteer on Saturday, so those dates fill up the fastest.
Shifts are three hours with a 15 minute break in the middle. Most volunteer shifts have you working in their warehouse, so you have to wear close toed shoes. Also, keep in mind that you will be working in a warehouse and dress accordingly. You don’t want to wear long sleeves and pants during the summer or shorts and a tank top in the winter.
During our shift the group was split between two tasks in the warehouse – one group was working with frozen meat while another group, ours, was working on High-Five Kids Packs. Kids packs are ziploc bags full of ready to eat foods that are sent home with school aged kids on the weekends. 2nd Harvest started this program when educators came to them looking for a solution to providing weekend food for the neediest of their students. Students were coming to school sick and unable to learn because they had not eaten since their school lunch the previous Friday. The food packs contain a variety of kid-friendly items such as cereal, shelf-stable milk and juice, fruit cups and more.
We had a lot of fun volunteering and the three hours just flew by. We have all ready set up another Saturday to volunteer right before the holidays. I encourage you to look into volunteering in your area. There are plenty of non-profits out there that can use your help.