How my foodbank volunteering began…
I’ve been volunteering bi-weekly at my local foodbank since February 2020. This came about from an article I was reading about foodbanks on New Year’s Eve 2019. As I read, I was inspired to look up where my local foodbank was. It turned out to be just a five minute walk from where I live. Even more serendipitous, it happened to be running a session at that very moment.
Putting on my coat, I walked over and was met by a lovely team of volunteers. I asked if they needed any volunteers and, as luck would have it, they were looking for help on Tuesdays. This worked really well with my freelance schedule and so I left my details.
Following an interview and filling in the required forms, I joined the Tuesday team. I’ve been volunteering 2.5 hours every other week since then. Quite often, those 2.5 hours are the most fulfilling hours of my entire week.
Over time, I hope that I am able to articulate the fulfilment that I get from volunteering in my freelance diary entries. I will also explain more about how our foodbank in particular works. Ours is a Trussell Trust foodbank, coordinated by the local church, but every set up is different. I’ve discovered, not least through my own naivety prior to volunteering, that there is a huge knowledge gap in how foodbanks operate. I hope that I can help to shed light on this in my diaries and inspire others to support their local services.
My intention is to highlight foodbanks as a service, and the different ways that the public support them. I will not be detailing specifics when it comes to service users, as their privacy is of paramount importance and which we agree to protect when signing up to volunteer. Therefore, I will not be using real names.
Instead, I will be letting you know lots about the donations we receive and how we put together parcels for clients. I hope that this can help broaden knowledge and understanding around food poverty.