Volunteer service is an important part of who we are. Each year, we’re compensated for 12 hours of personal volunteer service and an additional 8 hours of paid Community Service Leave with coworkers. We recently got together to give back to our Richmond, VA community for a few hours. We volunteered at FeedMore, a nonprofit organization specializing in hunger-relief, “dedicated to providing neighbors in need with healthy meals and hope for a better tomorrow.”
Working in a community kitchen is a humbling experience, and a great way to engage team members in activities that are directly benefitting society. When we arrived, we watched a short introductory video. FeedMore has 100 full-time employees, and over 200 volunteers each day, working three different sessions throughout the day to optimize output and efficiency. With at least 1 in 5 children hungry in our country alone, FeedMore helps fulfill a direct need in the Metro Richmond area. They manage a Meals-on-Wheels program, a food bank, and a community kitchen with an after-school snack program for kids.
So how did our team contribute? We dished up healthy food on Meals-on-Wheels trays to be delivered later that day, we packaged bread and butter to accompany meals, assembled boxes for packaging, and sorted and counted milk boxes and fruit for after-school programs.
Since we make our own products at Rivanna, we’re accustomed to working with teams and production lines. We understand that it’s not always easy to keep everyone engaged and contributing, particularly when people are new to a task and may need some supervision. The FeedMore team, both staff and volunteers, have obviously worked hard to refine their processes so that even “newbies” like us had well-defined job responsibilities, clear and helpful instructions, many laughs, and, at the end of the day, a real sense of accomplishment.
During our day at FeedMore, we saw many volunteer “regulars” – those whose name badges were waiting for them on the corkboard, who knew their way around, and who were clearly happy to be there. We spoke with people of all ages and abilities who had been volunteering every week for years. It’s no wonder: FeedMore’s volunteer program is efficient and organized, and it supports volunteers so that, whether they are coming every week or just for an occasional few hours, they feel that they are really making a difference for local families. We look forward to spending more time there and strongly encourage others in Central VA to consider FeedMore for their next volunteer event. Contact FeedMore directly to find out how you can best fit their needs. If you’re not in RVA, check out another Feeding America partner. Highly recommended!