Family volunteering provides an opportunity for intergenerational service, an opportunity to try something new with loved ones, and an opportunity to begin (or continue) a meaningful conversation about Jewish values. JFS Families Fight Hunger events offer families a chance to experience all of this while tackling food insecurity and making an impact in our own neighborhoods.
Families Fight Hunger volunteers spend their time directly helping our food bank at one of three events. With about 50 volunteers at each event, the age-old proverb has never been truer: “many hands make light work.” This year volunteers of all ages made an impact by:
- bagging over 3,000 pounds of dried food for the food bank.
- creating 485 kits for JFS clients.
- writing 128 advocacy cards encouraging and thanking legislators for their support of the federal food assistance programs SNAP and WIC.
Filling Specific Food Bank Needs
Created in conjunction with the JFS Polack Food Bank, these events are tailored to the food bank’s specific needs. Are our food bank clients looking for spices, which we frequently need? Can we create useful, holiday-specific items, like pumpkin pie kits? Are we low on everyday bulk items like rice, oats, and beans? And how can we leverage volunteers to fulfill these needs? Volunteers leave knowing their work filled a timely need for the food bank and the community.
Learning About Food Insecurity
Combating hunger in our communities isn’t a small task, and larger systems are at play. For each event, we integrate an education and advocacy component to get at the heart of food insecurity – what is happening at the federal or state level that is impacting individuals’ access to food? How might this affect JFS Food Bank clients and our own communities? And above all, how can we support programs that break down barriers for people facing food insecurity?
This work takes diligence, and we are fortunate to see both new and returning faces at each event. Though volunteers may enter through JFS doors for different reasons, we hope that everyone leaves with increased knowledge about JFS resources and skills about how to engage in responsible service.
Save the Date for More Family Volunteering Opportunities
If you’re interested in family volunteering, mark your calendar for our next Families Fight Hunger events on the following dates from 1 – 3 pm:
- November 17, 2019
- January 26, 2020
- April 26, 2020
If you are interested in additional volunteer opportunities, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Lauren Sewell, Outreach & Education Program Assistant