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Volunteers: the beating heart of Foodbank WA

Posted 16 May 2019

With over 75% of the workforce comprising of volunteers, it is fair to say that Foodbank WA could not operate without people generously giving their time to this worthy cause.

In 2018, Foodbank WA was supported by 200 regular volunteers, 964 warehouse volunteers, and 524 community kitchen volunteers. In addition, each year the Healthy Food for All® team receive support from nutrition and dietetic student volunteers, who assist in the running of Food Sensations®.

Why our volunteers…volunteer!

Why or where someone chooses to volunteer is a very personal thing, and different people volunteer for different reasons. As part of National Volunteer Week 2019, we asked some of our regular volunteers about their experience of volunteering at Foodbank WA.

Steve & Bernie – Warehouse Volunteers

Steve and Bernie are two of Foodbank WA’s regular warehouse volunteers. When asked what drives them to volunteer, they responded with the following:

“We always knew we wanted to volunteer when we retired. We both have a very strong social conscience and for much of our working lives we supported charitable organisations…so Foodbank was a worthwhile and natural progression”.

When asked what they enjoy most about their role, Steve and Bernie said:

At the risk of sounding cliché – it really is all about the people you meet – staff, customers and other volunteers. [We are] constantly amazed at the sheer number of folk who give so much of their time and effort to help others and hearing about people’s extraordinary range of experiences”.

Steve and Bernie also commented about what they gain from volunteering:

“Being a part of something as vital as Foodbank is very satisfying. The bottom line is it makes you feel good and keeps you emotionally and physically connected with the community. The nature of our work also gives us a very vigorous workout twice a week!”

Daniel – Food Sensations Volunteer

We also asked one of our regular student volunteers, Daniel, to tell us about his experience of volunteering for Food Sensations. As a future nutrition professional, Daniel said that he volunteers to “know how people in the community respond to nutrition education messages”, and to gain experiences in “being able to interact with a range of people from diverse backgrounds on the topics of food and nutrition”.

When asked what he enjoys most about volunteering, Daniel said:

“I enjoy seeing the enthusiasm and thoughtful responses from children in the Schools Program, some of them know quite a lot about nutrition already!”

Daniel described how volunteering makes him feel:

“Volunteering gives me a great sense of purpose that I am actually able to help people who are trying to improve the quality of their life, and it makes me feel more confident in communicating the nutrition theory that I have learned with people in the real world.”

Finally, we asked Daniel what he would say to someone who has never volunteered:

“It is definitely something worth doing, not only to increase your experience for job opportunities, but to increase your confidence in communication and for your own personal growth.”

Thank you to Steve, Bernie, Daniel and to our many other volunteers at Foodbank WA for helping the lives of others. Your contributions do not go unnoticed.

Who are Foodbank WA?

Foodbank WA is a non-denominational, not for profit organisation, established in Perth in 1994. Foodbank WA provides a bridge of support between the food industry and community support agencies looking after Western Australians in need, many of whom are children. In 2018, Foodbank WA distributed 6.1 million meals to tens of thousands of people throughout the state.

In addition to the core business of providing food for hunger relief, Foodbank WA also has a Nutrition and Food Security (NFS) business unit. This includes the School Breakfast Program (SBP) and a suite of nutrition education and cooking programs called Food Sensations®, which are delivered by a team of nutritionists, dietitians and health promotion officers under the banner Healthy Food for All®. Through the SBP, Foodbank WA is able to provide breakfast to more than 450 schools and 18,000 students in WA each

Be Part of Something Bigger 

Volunteering is a fantastic way to give back to the community, and it gives you a sense of purpose and belonging. Whether it’s at Foodbank WA or somewhere else close to your heart, start thinking about how you could get involved in volunteering. If you are interested in volunteering at Foodbank WA, please visit our website.