Why Volunteerism is Critical

April is Volunteer Appreciation Month and the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County will be shining a spotlight throughout the next several weeks on our amazing volunteers, who enable us to do our work to battle food insecurity throughout the county.

Annually, we engage over 2,000 volunteers in nearly all aspects of our work. We rely on these generous team members to ensure that we are able to serve 1 in 4 community members.

Every day, at both our North and South County warehouses, regular volunteers join us to help sort and crate donated food, assist our agency partners in their daily shopping, and drive or ride along as our Operations team goes to area stores as part of our Grocery Rescue food recovery program. Many of these volunteers have been around for years and commit multiple mornings a week to helping out with our daily operations, effectively doubling our Operations workforce.

The Foodbank also boasts a multitude of community programs, including educational programs such Food Literacy in Preschool (FLIP), Kid’s Farmers Market (KFM), and Teens Love Cooking (TLC), in which volunteers educate local kids on nutrition. We rely on bright, dedicated, and engaged volunteers to ensure that the next generation has a healthy foundation.

Our Picnic in the Park (PIP) program, which serves kids free lunches throughout the summer at multiple sites countywide is completely powered by our volunteer base, as is our Brown Bag program, which provides low-income seniors with food staples and fresh produce at 16 sites and through a home delivery program.

These are just a few examples of the many ways our amazing volunteers power our work and enable us to widen our community impact. We will be highlighting ways to get involved with our work throughout this month through this blog and our social media channels.

If you are looking for ways to get involved with the Foodbank as a volunteer, please visit our volunteer webpage (https://foodbanksbc.org/give-help/volunteer/) or email us at volunteersb@foodbanksbc.org.