Food for Thought Blog

National Volunteer Week

April 15th, 2018Stories

"Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart."

Elizabeth Andrew

Last year, more than 2,000 volunteers donated their time to help those in our community in need of food assistance.

National Volunteer Week is our chance to celebrate and thank (again and again!) each of you, our volunteers, for donating your time to The Food Bank of Waterloo Region. It is no stretch to say we wouldn’t be able to achieve our mission – of distributing food to over 100 programs and agencies – without you.

As volunteers, the way you help The Food Bank is endless. From operational tasks, including food sorting, customer service, order picking and transportation to brand ambassadors at events and helping the community understand the importance and value of their food and fund donations to office support, you play a key role in ensuring everything runs smoothly.

The time you give, selflessly, out of your busy lives to fight hunger in our community is appreciated and valued every single day. Thank you.

In the day-to-day tasks, it can be easy to forget just how big of an impact you have and who you are helping: your neighbours.

A woman recently called The Food Bank asking about food assistance, as many people do each day. She was very hesitant and said she never thought she would be calling, asking for help. Previously a donor to local food programs, her and her family had fallen on difficult times, with her working part-time due to an injury and her husband being walked off his job of 10 years. After discussing her options and giving her information about where she could receive food assistance, letting her know she could receive a hamper the same day from one of our agencies, House of Friendship – Emergency Food Hampers, her mood was instantly lifted. She was so grateful to have a backup plan for a few weeks and it was wonderful to end our conversation with her feeling positive and hopeful.

This is who you help. Each of you works diligently behind the scenes in the warehouse and in the community to ensure neighbours in need receive the food assistance they need, giving them hope through a challenging time.

Every day 215 families and individuals receive food hampers and 2,000 community meals are served in Waterloo Region. And every hour of volunteer time helps The Food Bank distribute food to 32,640 individuals in our community who need it.

How many volunteer hours does it take to get it all done? 24,000 + hours! That’s the equivalent to 12 full-time staff!

We really couldn’t do it without you. Thank you.

We look forward to continuing fighting hunger together.