As businesses close and jobs are lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic, new household sign-ups for the Richmond Food Bank Society have climbed by 49%.
At the outset of the pandemic, the food bank quickly moved to offer support that the community needed while adapting its operations to allow for physical distancing and extensive safety measures.
Grocery distribution hours were extended to 32 hours per week, and the food bank’s home delivery program quickly expanded to serve three times as many households per month.
“Volunteers have always been the lifeblood of the food bank,” Stephanie Shulhan, manager of volunteer operations, says.
“We do rely on people in the community who want to come forward generously to donate time and funds. Volunteers are essential as frontline workers as well as behind the scenes.”
The Richmond Food Bank Society provides food assistance, advocacy, and related support for community members in need.
Volunteers serve others without judgement and come from all different walks of life.
Currently, food bank volunteers work behind the scenes to pack hampers and sort food donations; work on the front lines to serve clients the pre-packed hampers; and deliver hampers of food to people’s homes.
Volunteer applications are continually accepted online, and the food bank will connect with you if they have a good match for your talents and schedule (space limitations and physical distancing allowing).
The food bank is currently looking for experienced and safe drivers who have a strong focus on serving vulnerable people and helping deliver food to those in need.
Shulhan also encourages anyone facing food insecurity to get in touch with the food bank.
“If you are struggling to put food on the table, please don’t hesitate to contact us and seek help,” Shulhan says.
“It’s been a rough year during the pandemic, and people who never expected to use the food bank have found themselves in a position where they’ve been food insecure, and it’s been hard to come forward. We are here to help anyone in Richmond who is facing food insecurity.”
To donate funds or time to the Richmond Food Bank or to get food assistance, visit www.richmondfoodbank.org.