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Giving back to our communities is an important part of our mission at The Produce Box. It’s also important to our members! Many of you give back through us by buying Community Boxes or Hero Boxes. We also work with many local organizations to donate our leftover produce each week. Volunteering for these organizations is another great idea to help give back. Get your kids involved! Get those service hours for your teenagers! Get out in your community this month. It simply feels good to do good!
If you’re new to volunteering, it might be overwhelming or hard to find places to volunteer. That’s why we’re happy to share some volunteer opportunities from a few of our local partners in Raleigh, Greensboro, Charlotte and Wilmington.
Volunteering in the Triangle – Inter-Faith Food Shuttle
Inter-Faith Food Shuttle (IFFS) provides a variety of services to combat hunger in Wake, Durham, Johnston, Orange, Chatham, Nash and Edgecombe counties. From urban gardens to delivery services for seniors, our friends at IFFS do so much for the community. They provide a map on their website detailing which programs are in place in what counties.
There are many ways to volunteer with IFFS. You can help pick up food that would go to waste and bring it to them, work in the office, the warehouse or volunteer for special events! Here is their volunteer page with the volunteer calendar. You simply create a volunteer account with them, read an online handbook about their policies & programs and schedule your volunteer hours — all on their website!
Volunteering in the Triad – Backpack Beginnings
Backpack Beginnings offers several services to children in need in Guilford and surrounding counties. They bring backpacks full of food and comfort items for food-insecure and abused children. They use volunteers to run fundraisers, work in their warehouse, deliver food, hold food/supply drives and more. Backpack Beginnings is 90 percent volunteer run, and they are always looking for more help! The best way for people to learn more about volunteering with them is to go to this page on their site. Also, their events can be found here.
Volunteering in Charlotte – Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina
The Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina (SHFBM), based in the Charlotte area, serves nineteen surrounding counties in North and South Carolina. They provide food to over 700 charities in these areas including soup kitchens like Urban Ministries, emergency pantries like Loaves and Fishes, homeless shelters like Uptown Men’s Shelter and Center of Hope, senior programs, and low-income daycares. They distribute 54 million pounds of food and other household items from their warehouses annually. As you can imagine, they need a lot of hands to keep things running! Here’s how you can help at their warehouses:
- SHFBM is open for volunteers 17 + years of age, Monday & Saturday 9- Noon, Tuesday thru Friday (2 shifts) 9am-Noon and 1pm-4pm. Tuesday & Thursday evening 6-8pm. *Please note that no one under 17 is permitted to volunteer during the weekday shifts.
- Min. Age at SHFB is 13 years. Youth ages 13 – 16 years with a parent or an adult 21+ years of age can volunteer on Tuesday or Thursday evenings 6-8pm or Saturday 9-12noon. Youth Groups must have 1 adult (21+) per 4 youth. Since you will be working warehouse with fast moving equipment, these rules were placed by their board of directors for safety reasons.
- Age 13 and under – The 3rd Saturday of each month from 1-3pm, they offer a backpack packing event. Ages 16 and under must be with an adult 21+. The event fills up quickly but the system does have a wait list. Families are also welcome to volunteer at any of their mobile pantries which are also listed by school on the online calendar.
To sign up, click on “Give Time” at their website and then Register to Volunteer in 2018.
Volunteering in Wilmington – Nourish NC
If you’re in the Wilmington area, Nourish NC is an excellent charity where your time can be donated. They have several programs to help children in need. They distribute food to supplement school lunches over weekends and breaks and hold markets where kids can use a “Nourish Bucks” to buy fresh produce. But it takes over 5,000 volunteer hours to make all those programs happen. Here are some ways you can volunteer:
- They are celebrating 10 years of fighting child hunger on September 22nd. That’s a big anniversary! You can sign up to volunteer at the event here.
- Here is their Most Wanted list for food drives if you’d like to host one.
- You can pack “Snack Packs” in the comfort of your own homes, churches or workplace!
- There’s also their neighborhood food collection network, Little Red Wagon.
- And of course you can always DONATE!
Phew! Now what?
We’ve give you great resources from a few of our partners for volunteering in many communities in North Carolina. So now click on the links and find out how you can help in a way that works with your schedule. (Or do a small bit of research and find a food drive or food pantry closer to your home.) There’s a lot of need and you can do a lot of good with just a little of your time. Now go out there and make the world a better place!