Reducing food waste is everyone’s responsibility. The EPA Food Recovery Hierarchy prioritizes reducing food waste at the source and recovering food to feed hungry people above all other recommendations.
Michael Truitt, Director of Community Partnerships and Programs at the Freestore Foodbank, shares some important information about why food access points need your family’s volunteer support!
Why should people have a relationship with their local food access point like a food pantry or soup kitchen?
Food access points are often more than just a place in which food is served in the community. Many of our partners provide an array of services such as SNAP assistance, training, and education on how to handle and cook food, clothing, job training and open job postings. They truly are neighbors helping neighbors in many, many ways.
Are there things that prospective volunteers need to understand, especially as it relates to equity and justice?
The primary thing to understand is the experience of those we are serving. We serve a spectrum of individuals and families that range from homeless individuals who suffer with severe and persistent mental illness and substance use disorders, to families that work multiple jobs and struggle to make ends meet, to seniors whose job never provided appropriate resources for retirement, to those with severe medical conditions.
When working in this field, remember to treat everyone with dignity, grace, and respect.
What are some of the issues facing our food system this season?
Supply chain disruptions, for example frozen proteins are extremely difficult to come by. Additionally, many volunteers are seniors at the local level and still advised to stay home. As food distribution models change so do the needs of the food access point.
Are you ready to volunteer? Check out this map to find a food access point, pantry or soup kitchen near you: https://freestorefoodbank.org/all-agency-map.
Volunteer, get involved, and remember Wasted Food Stops with Us!