Here are some ways that you can get involved as a volunteer:
Volunteer Opportunities have changed slightly due to COVID-19:
This is a weekly project at the warehouse. Fresh fruits and vegetables are bagged for distribution to households participating in the Senior, Homebound Delivery, and Choice Pantry programs. This activity requires standing; repetition of packing fruits and vegetables into bag; and lifting 10 lb. bag into a bin.
Bagging Nonperishable Foods
This activity occurs weekly at the Choice Pantry and twice per month at the warehouse. It requires standing; repeated lifting of boxes and cans into a bag; and lifting 10+ lb. bag into a bin or onto a shelf.
Choice Pantry Volunteering
Senior and Homebound Delivery Drivers
Deliver monthly food boxes and bags to homebound seniors and people who are homebound due to temporary or permanent disability. Drivers typically have one set route per month. A typical route is 4-6 houses relatively close to each other. Requires lifting 10-15 lb. boxes in and out of cars and safely navigating the delivery route in your own vehicle. Eureka, Arcata, Trinidad, McKinleyville, Fortuna, Rio Dell, & SoHum Routes.
Free Produce Markets
From late spring through fall we offer monthly free farmers’ market-style produce distributions in Eureka, Fortuna, and Southern Humboldt. Volunteers help set up the market, bag produce, keep tables stocked, help households select items, and assist with clean-up after the market. We are always looking for volunteers to assist with these monthly distribution events. The Eureka distribution has been operating as a drive-thru distribution during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Drive-Through Food Distributions
These include monthly Senior Program distributions, seasonal Free Produce Markets, and emergency distributions throughout the county. Households drive up, pop their trunks, and we load them up with food. This activity requires standing, being outdoors, and repeated lifting of 5-15 lb. boxes & bags. It may also including helping to assemble bags and boxes beforehand.
Local farms, orchards and community gardens are a wonderful source of donated produce through our Gleaning Program. Gleaning volunteers assist our Local Food Resources Coordinator with harvesting donated produce from farms, gardens, and orchards, as well as picking up leftover produce from local farmers’ markets. This is a great project for people interested in gardening, local food systems, and reducing food waste within our community. We set up gleans at family, community, or farm properties with produce to share and then check with our gleaning volunteers to see their availability. After harvesting, volunteers come back to Food for People with the fresh produce for weighing and tracking. Training and supplies are provided.
Do you have special skills you’d like to share? Carpentry, plumbing, welding, graphic design, event planning and playing live music are all skills we can utilize at the food bank for a number of special projects and events. If you have a way you’d like to contribute, please let us know!
Some tasks occur on a less regular basis and require groups of volunteers. These activities provide a great opportunity for your business, church, class, civic group, or youth group to lend a hand and work as a team. Just contact us to schedule a group volunteer event: