I recently decided to start volunteering in my spare time, so I got in contact with my local food bank and here's what happened.
I thought as I've been given so much this year, it would be really nice to spend my spare time over the Christmas break to give something back. I'd heard about volunteers being needed at my local food bank so thought I'd get in touch to see if I could help out.
I arrived at 9.30am to a storage unit in South London and met the lady who runs it outside. She explained to me what happens and how the organisation runs. It turns out there are 13 million people living below the poverty line in the UK and everyday people go hungry due to being made redundant, an unexpected bill or an unfortunate situation. Food banks provide a minimum of 3 days worth of food to support people. In 2014 - 2015 food banks fed a massive 1,804,604 people nationwide and 396,997 of those were children.
I volunteered with the Trussell Trust who partner with communities, churches and multinational stores to provide foodbanks nationwide. There are currently 420 in the UK with plans for one in every town.
I was then led into the storage unit which was wall to wall boxed food. We had to sort through the donations and put them into groups by date. It's amazing what people are willing to donate, from tins of beans, to bags of rice, custard, biscuits, soup, you name it!
Once the donations had been sorted into date groups, we then labelled them to make them easier to pack into see through boxes on shelves. All items must be in date, unopened and of good clean condition.
We spent just over two hours sorting through the food and I feel like I only scratched the surface on what this amazing Charity offers. Not only do they give people who need help, hope but they also supply food for the homeless and give to the women's refuge.
I will be returning next week and I hope to become more involved. It's something I will continue to do even once I move and really would encourage everyone to volunteer! Even if you only go for two hours once a month, you really are making the difference to someone's life.
Have you volunteered before?
Until next time,