National Volunteer Month A Time to Thank Individuals for their Time
April is National Volunteer Month and Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, is celebrating the volunteers that support food banks and food-assistance agencies. More than two million people volunteer at a food pantry, soup kitchen, emergency shelter or after-school program in our country each and every month – that’s more than 100 million volunteer hours a year – according to Hunger in America 2014, a study conducted by Feeding America.
“Feeding America’s success depends on the generosity and commitment of our volunteers,” said Diana Aviv, CEO of Feeding America. “We are grateful to the more than two million individuals who contribute to the remarkable work of helping to feed the 46 million people in this country—including 12 million children and more than 7 million older adults—who turn to us for assistance every year.”
Volunteers help Feeding America’s nationwide network of 200 food banks in every aspect of their operation. Volunteer activities can range from gleaning produce from a farm; packing, sorting and distributing food; helping to staff an event; or providing a food bank access to specialized skills, such as carpentry, marketing or technology. Volunteers span all age groups and come from all walks of life – from celebrities, youth groups, corporate volunteer teams, fraternities and sororities, and individuals.
Marilee Maddin volunteers at Feeding the Gulf Coast, a food bank in Alabama, four days a week. She has found volunteering to be a real eye-opening experience. “I never realized how many individuals and families need help. And there are so many hungry kids in America,” she said. As a configuration manager for the United Space Alliance, Marilee helped configure payloads for space shuttle flights. Now, as a volunteer, she’s translated her experience to the food bank warehouse to increase safety and efficiencies. “I feel a sense of accomplishment every time I volunteer and I get up every morning and look forward to coming here.”
To find out how you can help in your local area, visit our web site at www.feedingamerica.org and go to the “food bank finder.”
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About Feeding America
Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of more than 200 food banks, 21 statewide food bank associations, and over 60,000 partner agencies, food pantries and meal programs, we helped provide 5.2 billion meals to tens of millions of people in need last year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; brings attention to the social and systemic barriers that contribute to food insecurity in our nation; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.