Second Harvest Food Bank is a very special place. An icon, almost. And they do A LOT for the Central Florida community. We try to get out there for volunteer once every few months…if not more frequently.
“Second Harvest Food Bank relied on more than 37,000 volunteers last year whose hours totalled 120,000. It’s pretty incredible to see so many caring individuals pass through our warehouse throughout the year. Our various volunteer opportunities offer fun and unique ways for individuals and groups to contribute their time, talents and resources to help our neighbors in need.” – FeedHopeNow.org
Not too terribly long ago we scheduled a volunteer shift and asked our friends over at The Dinner Party Project to join us. Now in the past when we’ve been we’ve typically spent our shift helping sort through all of the donations – you know, packaging all of the “good” donations and getting rid of those that are either expired or open. Those are no bueno (although we’re certain the donations are greatly appreciated). This time ’round, though we helped prepare meals to be packaged up and delivered to schools in the areas. But let’s start at the very beginning.
Of course you want to first select a volunteer opportunity. Truthfully, volunteering at Second Harvest is pretty popular so shifts fill up very quickly…and far out. So if there’s a particular time or date you’re interested in offering up some time, you might want to do it sooner rather than later. You can check online for the open opportunities, or call the food bank directly. But once you’ve secured your shift, and the day finally arrives, the checkin process is fairly simple.
Once you enter the building you’ll find a quite impressive reception area, which includes a virtual check-in station.
And then walking through the warehouse:
The warehouse at Second Harvest is massive (you can request to take a tour). Upon entering you’ll notice hustling & bustling of employees and volunteers working to sort food, move food, organize food, pack good. Each time we’ve been there it’s been quite filled with activity. Like we mentioned we’ve sorted food on a volunteer shift before, and this warehouse is where that took place.
And as you move on through this part of the building you come to the kitchen, which is where we spent a few hours during our last volunteer shift. This is the kitchen area of Second Harvest, and where food assembly takes place. On this day we helped prepare healthy lunches for area schools.
Putting together food:
Of course in addition to volunteering there are numerous other ways you can help Second Harvest with their efforts: Giving food, giving financially, fundraising, supporting events, becoming a Brand Ambassador and becoming a Corporate Partner.
If there’s ever any question about the good Second Harvest does for the Central Florida Community, or if you should get involved (particularly this time of year), just take a look at this (yes – it’s touchy-feely) video featured on the Second Harvest website:
Second Harvest Food Bank
411 Mercy Drive
Orlando, FL 32805
Have you ever been involved with or volunteered for Second Harvest Food Bank?