April is Volunteer Appreciation Month! Last year we had more than 16,000 volunteer visits with 40,007 hours donated. This is the equivalent of 19 full-time staff members. We can’t serve Delawareans in need without the support of committed volunteers!
While Carlos Vergara has only volunteered at the Food Bank for close to two months, he has already established himself as a leader in the volunteer room. This Appoquinimink High School senior volunteers at our Newark facility three to four times a week, so he has worked on a variety of projects and knows the ins and outs for volunteer packing and sorting tasks! Other volunteers frequently ask him questions and look to him for guidance.
Deeply concerned by the issues of homelessness and poverty, Carlos wanted to make a difference in his community. “I have seen a lot of homeless people, and I just don’t like to see them like that,” he says.
So, he went online to find places to volunteer that focused on these issues. Carlos found the Food Bank of Delaware’s online scheduling site, VolunteerHub, and signed up. He said it was “very easy.”
Carlos’ favorite volunteer activity is packing bags for the children’s Backpack Program. “We bag up the food and pack the bags in boxes,” he explains. “When the pallet’s full, I take the pallet jack and wrap the pallet and take it to where it’s supposed to go.”
Each week, volunteers like Carlos pack more than 5,000 bags with shelf-stable foods for children who are at risk of hunger over the weekends and holidays. Bags are delivered to schools throughout the state and are distributed by school officials on Fridays.
For individuals considering volunteering at the Food Bank of Delaware, Carlos urges them to look at the statistics. There is a great deal of poverty in our local communities, he points out.
“I like the feeling of being able to help out,” he says.
Interested in volunteering at the Food Bank of Delaware? Volunteer shifts are available during the day and select evenings and weekends. Volunteers ages 7-15 must be accompanied by an adult. To view available volunteer opportunities in both Newark and Milford, please visit www.fbd.volunteerhub.com.