The New Year brings new opportunities to volunteer at God’s Storehouse, a non-profit local food pantry that feeds thousands of people in our community.
The organization has been serving individuals and families since 1987.
“We couldn’t do the important work we do in our community without our amazing volunteers. “But as the program expands and needs grow, more volunteers are always needed,” said Storehouse executive director Karen Harris.
Assistant Director Rachel McKinney oversees the Volunteer and Malcolm Huckabee Backpack Program.
“As 2023 approaches, I expect the volunteer situation to be similar to the struggling 2022. But with most people at the start of a new year, I am optimistic. “I think it’s great for recipients, but it’s hard for volunteers. You can’t catch students or people who work traditional schedules,” McKinney said.
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type of work
Volunteer jobs are diverse and suited to the capacity of many retired volunteers. There are jobs behind the desk and behind the food counter. Volunteers also sort food in warehouses, help with fundraisers, serve on committees, work on computers, and collect food donations.
“Right now we need the most help with logistics, van drivers to receive donations, and warehouse workers,” McKinney said. “Distribution is the delivery of products to recipients. Boxes of food, produce, bread, desserts and meats are placed in shopping carts. Van drivers are needed as an alternative to regular drivers. Ride together and learn routes and call them on when needed.Warehouse workers include sorting canned and produce, inventorying lines, assembling and taping corrugated boxes, and more.”
Most of the distribution roles require pushing, pulling and standing. The age limit is 12 years old with a guardian, 14 years old and above without a guardian.
God’s Warehouse is open for food distribution on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Thursdays from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Many of our volunteers have been with the organization for many years. Some have returned to volunteer after leaving for other demands of life.
A former professor of English at Averett University, Ann Garbet has volunteered for God’s Storehouse for over a decade. Her job is to check in customers so that their meals can be prepared.
“I love it,” she said. “I had a good friend who is now dead and enjoyed doing it. I also love my customers, some of whom I have known for years and consider to be friends.”
Retired from teaching in New York, Joan Jung is volunteering for the second time.
“This time I’ve been here for three months. Before that, I was here for four years. I had to come back—it’s so sweet!” she said.
She greets people, gives directions, and helps sort food in the warehouse.
Jimmy Tickle, retired Assistant Vice President of Workforce Services at Danville Community College, began volunteering in 2021, working as an interim warehouse manager and is now back in volunteering.
“I like giving back to the community and those in need,” he said. “Since retiring, I have had to fill gaps and help people. ”
Volunteer processes include meeting with McKinney, taking a tour, completing a short one-page application, signing and onboarding a release form, or learning about the various jobs available .
“‘Onboarding’ is usually done with an experienced volunteer and me. Help volunteers find their own “home” if possible. “If there are specific roles that need to be filled, I let them know,” she said. “But I like having volunteers in the right places. , has a positive impact on retention.”
In November, 98 regular volunteers logged 1,700 hours at God’s Warehouse. Twenty-one community service volunteers worked 276 hours and 12 groups volunteered.
A total of 1,466 households were served by God’s Storehouse in November, and 315 students from various public schools in Danville received weekend meals through the Malcolm Huckabee Backpack Program.
Over 1 million pounds of food have been received and 1.5 million pounds have been distributed in November 2022. In November, God’s Storehouse vans and trucks traveled his 1,564 miles to receive and distribute food.
If you are interested in volunteering or need community services for a scholarship, please email McKinney at [email protected].
For more information about God’s Storehouse, visit www.godsstorehouse.org or call 434-793-3663.