Check out these summer volunteer opportunities for teens

Food bank volunteer unloading produce from truck
June 18, 2019
by Paul Morello

For teens, figuring out how to stay busy during the summer can be a challenge. 

Some teens may be too young to get a job, but too old to go to summer camp. And for those who are old enough for a job, transportation might be difficult. On top of that, finding a job for only two or three months can be tricky. 

So, what’s a good way to stay busy during the summer that parents will approve of and teens will enjoy? Volunteering at a local food bank or food pantry is a fantastic option. It will expose teens to some potential careers they might not have thought about, it’ll look amazing on their resume and volunteering will make them feel good too.

There are tons of cool (even by teen standards) ways to get involved at pantries and food banks during the summer. Check out a couple options below!

1.    Volunteer at a meal program for kids

Volunteers at summer meals sites often hang out with younger kids and help serve breakfast or lunch. And here’s a plus: lots of summer meal sites are outside, so teens won’t be missing out on the sunshine – and might be more open to trying it out because of that.

2.    Help out at a food pantry

There’s a lot to do at local food pantries. The most common volunteer activity is handing out food to hungry people during pantry hours. But, most food pantries also need help from teens once or twice a week unloading, organizing and stocking the food they receive from a food bank delivery truck. This is a great way to help out a pantry if you’re nervous about volunteering for the first time.

3.    Start a summer food drive

Food banks always need quality, shelf stable food, but during the summer, people don’t really think about doing food drives. Encourage your teen to do a summer-long food drive and collect food from each friend (or ask everyone to donate online) every time they have a sleepover or get-together. They can share their progress on social media and encourage others to do the same. Then at the end of the summer, teens can donate the food to a local pantry or food bank.

Ready to get started? Find your nearest food bank and ask which volunteer opportunities they recommend for teens. They’ll be able to give you all the information you need to get your teen volunteering and staying busy this summer in no time!