The Vermont Foodbank relies on the support of thousands of volunteers each year to gather and share quality food to ensure that no one in Vermont goes hungry. In fact, the number of hours our volunteers dedicated last year to helping advance the Foodbank’s mission amounted to more than seven full-time positions.
As the work of the Foodbank expands, so does the organization’s need for volunteers. With three branch locations (Brattleboro, Barre, and Wolcott), there are opportunities for volunteers to help closer to home. Following are a few ways volunteers are partnering with the Foodbank to make a difference in the lives of their neighbors throughout Vermont:
Last year the Foodbank distributed 8.2 million pounds of food, much of which was sorted and packed by volunteers during weekdays or at a Saturday morning Sort-a-Thon. On various Saturdays, groups and individuals join Foodbank staff to sort, repack, and fill food boxes at the Foodbank distribution center in Barre from 8 am to 12 pm. Together, we ensure that plenty of food is ready for delivery, come Monday morning. Volunteers also help the Foodbank distribute boxes of food to seniors across the state who depend on food assistance.
During the summer and fall, the Foodbank recruits gleaning volunteers who harvest produce from farms in the Lamoille Valley region and the greater Brattleboro area. In 2013, volunteers helped the Foodbank glean nearly 300,000 pounds of fresh local produce through the generous support of 68 Vermont farms. As winter settles in, farmers continue to donate root vegetables, which are sorted and packed by volunteers in our Wolcott and Barre distribution centers and then distributed to food shelves and meal sites.
Vermont Foodbank volunteers not only contribute to the cycle of distribution, helping us to sort, pack, and deliver food; volunteers also help with events that raise funds and raise awareness about the issue of hunger. In collaboration with businesses and individuals, the Foodbank participates in events and promotions—such as the Harpoon Point to Point, the Stowe Wine and Food Classic, and the Magic Hat Oktoberfeast—that succeed because of the time and dedication of hundreds of volunteers.
As the work of fighting hunger in our community continues, the Vermont Foodbank’s need for volunteers will grow. If you have a special skill or talent to share, consider contacting the Foodbank. We would love to have your support through volunteerism!