Originally posted in the Vacaville Reporter: Because of support from a generous community, the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano has been able to increase the amount of food we distribute to people at risk of hunger.
We receive financial support from individuals and corporations, which helps us fuel our trucks and keep the lights on. We also have an outpouring of support with community food drives that add variety to the bulk items we purchase.
One of the most essential pieces of the support puzzle is the volunteer force that has answered the call to serve.
More than 50,000 volunteer hours are given to us each year — the equivalent of 25 additional staff members. Volunteers serve on our Board of Directors, help with office and fund development tasks, and help sort food. They help with food distributions and touch every program we run.
We have volunteers who hold doctoral degrees and volunteers who are developmentally disabled. Volunteers come with their Scout groups, their faith communities, their service clubs and their fellow workers. Some volunteers come once a year, some are here every week (or more).
Volunteers are important to us because they become our best advocates in the community. Volunteers have hands-on experience with our work, so they can speak with authority about what we do. They see us gather food, they see how effectively the Food Bank operates, and they see the people we serve.
Volunteers do hands-on work and know the commitment we have, as an organization, to our mission.
The Food Bank could not survive without the time and energy volunteers give.