Updated: Dec 3, 2021
In the blink of an eye, summer has passed! Our food bank has been bustling with activity all summer long, thanks to the tremendous success of our Summer Feeding Program and walk-up pantries at our warehouse. As demand for food continues during the pandemic, we couldn’t do what we do without the time and contributions from our wonderful volunteers! With school starting back up, we want to feature and thank a very special group of students!
Volunteer Feature: Ridgewood School Students & Staff
One of the best parts about being a food bank is that we get to engage with the future generations of our community and inspire youth to take action against hunger by providing opportunities for students to participate in service. For the last ten years, students and staff from Ridgewood School in Springfield have volunteered at Second Harvest Food Bank, finding various ways to make a tangible and direct impact on our community.
Ridgewood School students and staff members have helped Second Harvest in many aspects, from distributing items at mobile pantries and volunteering at our Empty Bowls fundraisers, to sorting donations and packing emergency and senior boxes. When Ridgewood School won a grant from Sodexo, they used that money to plant fruit trees at Second Harvest Food Bank. Students also keep Second Harvest in mind when they are not physically at the food bank, collecting donations at Ridgewood School and raising money for Second Harvest at school events. In fact, Ridgewood students started out by collecting food items at school each year for Second Harvest, and they wanted to extend their support with more direct volunteering opportunities.
“Volunteering at the Food Bank aligns with the school's values because among the school's mission and values is to promote leadership and instill citizenship in students while also encouraging them to make an impact in the community,” said Dan Metzger, the Math and Social Studies teacher at Ridgewood School. “The Food Bank provides a great opportunity for students to accomplish these goals.”
True to their youthful spirit, students sometimes compete to see who can fold the boxes the fastest, since nothing motivates students more than a little bit of friendly competition. They often set a goal for the number of boxes that they can fill in a particular day, trying to reach a certain number. These creative motivators turn their volunteering experience into a fun one!
According to Dan Metzger, “Students have frequently expressed how good they feel after volunteering at the Food Bank. They often say that they feel productive after filling boxes and that they are making a difference. They also really enjoyed interacting with people when they used to volunteer at the mobile pantries. When students were not able to help for a year during the pandemic, they often mentioned how much they missed going to the Food Bank to help others.”
That sentiment goes both ways, as we missed seeing the students at Second Harvest! We are so happy to welcome Ridgewood School students back to our facility as they resume sorting and packing boxes for us.
We are grateful to have so many staff and students who regularly volunteer and work hard at Second Harvest Food Bank over the years. We are thrilled to be such a big part of their community and have the chance to instill a love for our neighbors in the students, while educating them about hunger through direct service experiences. If anything, we at Second Harvest Food Bank are inspired by all the students that take the time to volunteer with us!
Current & Former Ridgewood School Students Volunteering at SHFB!
Recognizing August Volunteers
Thank you to every individual and group who volunteered with us in our warehouse or at our county distributions this month!
A very special thank you to:
Barb Kauffman Group
Bundy Baking Solutions
Choice Properties Real Estate
Citizens Federal Savings & Loan
Clark County Democratic Party
Covenant Presbyterian Church
Jamie Errett & Family
Middle Urbana Missionary Baptist Church
Vonnie Eubanks Group
If you are interested in volunteering at Second Harvest Food Bank, we would love to have you! Whether you want to help distribute food at our mobile distributions or spend two hours sorting donated items in our warehouse, we have available volunteer opportunities to match your interests. Sign up now by visiting our VolunteerHub for individual volunteers and groups. Once you make an account, our Volunteer Manager will send you a volunteer application. So don’t wait— spread the word and sign up on VolunteerHub now!
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