April is Volunteer Appreciation Month! We recently sat down with Sophia Riveros to learn more about this star volunteer!
FBD: How long have you been a volunteer at the Food Bank?
SR: Having started in the fall of my junior year, I have been volunteering at the Food Bank of Delaware for two years now.
FBD: What are your primary duties here at the Food Bank as a volunteer?
SR: As a volunteer, my primary duties are to organize and package food for the Senior and Children’s Nutrition Program.
FBD: What is your favorite volunteer activity at the Food Bank?
SR: My favorite volunteer activity here is tearing apart the cardboard boxes originally used to package the donations—asides from helping the Food Bank’s recycling efforts, this activity is great for relieving stress!
FBD: What motivated you to become a volunteer here at the Food Bank?
SR: Going into my freshman year of high school, I spent two weeks volunteering at the University of Delaware’s Garden for the Community, a source of fresh produce for the Food Bank of Delaware. After learning of the connection between the two organizations, I became interested in becoming more directly involved in the Food Bank’s efforts. When I was accepted into my school’s community service club, Students in Action, as a Service Leader at the end of sophomore year, I used the position to expand upon this interest. As a SIA Service Leader, I wanted to organize groups of Padua Academy students to volunteer at the Food Bank, an effort that I and fellow SIA leaders Lauren Pala and McKenna Rybaltowski continue to this day. We see it as a way to engage the Padua Pandas in community service whom may not otherwise have had the opportunity to do so. The shy student, the quiet student, the always-busy-after-school student—the Food Bank’s unique service opportunities enables each and every one to have a positive impact upon their community and, in turn, to positively impact themselves.
FBD: What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of volunteering here at the Food Bank?
SR: Don’t be afraid to ask for help! There is always a lot going on, so if you are ever confused about what to do, don’t hesitate to flag down a staff member or a fellow volunteer—everyone you see is here because they want to help other people, including you!.
FBD: What have you learned while volunteering here at the Food Bank?
SR: At the Food Bank, I have learned how to efficiently crack open a box (hint: use your body weight), and how to efficiently communicate with peers. I have learned how to take a step back and how to take the initiative to move forward. I have learned how to be assertive, how to be confident, how to be proactive, and how to be attentive, but the most crucial lesson I have learned from serving at the Food Bank has been the value of consistency when it comes to committing to a cause—in this case, local food insecurity.
FBD: What have you enjoyed most about your time volunteering here at the Food Bank?
SR: Asides from relieving stress, I have most appreciated my time spent learning and contributing to the programs that the Food Bank has developed to address local food insecurity, because food inaccessibility and, subsequently, malnutrition are causes that I care passionately about. By supplementing my volunteer efforts at the Food Bank with individual research, I hope to gain a better understanding of both problems in order to determine how to better address them.
Interested in volunteering alongside committed community members like Sophia? Sign up to volunteer in both Newark and Milford by clicking here!