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My Enlightening Experience as a Food Bank Volunteer

By Michelle Wong

Contributing Author


This is the story of my experience volunteering at my local food bank that opened my eyes to the situation of hunger and food insecurity in my own community.


Amidst the growing number of food bank users only amplified by the pandemic, food banks continue to rely on dedicated volunteers to keep them running smoothly, helping to stock shelves and serving clients. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many households have been put into a dire financial situation. The number of food bank visits increased by 22% by June 2020 compared to the year prior, and that number grew to 51% by August (Daily Bread Food Bank, & North York Harvest Food Bank, n.d).


I stumbled across this opportunity prior to the COVID-19 pandemic while searching for ways to fulfill the required volunteer hours for my high school diploma. This opportunity certainly checked all the boxes of my criteria, with it being an eligible option for community service hours, aiding in poverty alleviation which piqued my interest, and being a unique opportunity that I had not heard any of my peers talk about.




My role as a volunteer was stocking shelves and organizing non-perishable goods. It was the first experience of mine of aiding a community organization dedicated to poverty alleviation, and it was a very positive experience for me. I genuinely enjoyed working alongside the other volunteers, who ranged from youth volunteers similar to myself to longtime volunteers who were part of the board of directors. There was certainly a sense of comradery between the group of volunteers, which created a very welcoming atmosphere throughout the building. This experience more importantly opened my eyes further to the situation of poverty and hunger in my community, as I saw with my own eyes the diverse range and number of people who relied on food banks to get by. Seeing the food bank’s clients, some who appeared to be parents, some elderly, and some young adults, inspired me to advocate for a change in poverty and hunger all around me.


Volunteering with my local food bank influenced me to continue looking for opportunities to aid in poverty alleviation even further, and not too long ago, I came across Rising Sun Food Drive Foundation and their blog writing internship opportunity. This opportunity allows me to educate and influence others in hunger and poverty alleviation, giving me a new role in the fight against these issues.






With the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, battling hunger and poverty requires your help more than ever. If you’d like to help in the fight against hunger with Rising Sun Food Drive Foundation, click here to learn about volunteering and here to learn about donating.


Bibliography

Daily Bread Food Bank, & North York Harvest Food Bank. (n.d). Who's Hungry Report

2020. https://www.dailybread.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Whos-Hungry-Report-2020.pdf



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