Foodbank Volunteering: Introduction

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.

Freelance Diaries…

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.