Volunteers Power Our Mission

Food for Life’s mission is powered by volunteers who believe that all people deserve GOOD nutritious food. Each year, hundreds of volunteers propel our organization forward, collecting, packing, lifting, or delivering rescued food. They help us fundraise and do outreach to share information about our programs and services. Before COVID 19, our volunteers were also an integral part of making special events run smoothly.

“Volunteers have made Food for Life,” says Donna Slater, Director of Impact and Research of the organization’s 25-year history of working with volunteers from the Halton community and beyond. “They make the mission happen!”

In a normal year, our volunteers contribute more than 50,000 hours of their valuable time to Food for Life. However, the pandemic has made volunteering challenging for many. It has also meant reworking our protocols to ensure the highest safety measures for our volunteers.

“Volunteerism has been the big challenge because everything we do relies on people,” says Graham Hill, Executive Director of Food for Life. Yet despite these obstacles, it’s volunteers who continue to make our work possible

“All through COVID, we’ve been standing strong, packing about 3000 bags in a week, every week. It’s all the volunteers that are making that happen!”

Donna Slater

“All through COVID, we’ve been standing strong, packing about 3000 bags in a week, every week,” says Slater of the volunteer-packed fresh food bags that are delivered across Halton. “It’s all the volunteers that are making that happen!”

Many of Food for Life’s volunteers are recruited through word of mouth. “You bring someone in, and then they bring in a friend or a cousin,” says Slater. In safer times, we host families, church groups, co-workers looking for a team-building opportunity, and high school students collecting their volunteer hours. “Volunteers are at the crux of what we do,” says Slater.

Food for Life provides meaningful and rewarding volunteer experiences for people of all ages. Some have many hours to give, while others can donate as little as an hour per week or month. Volunteering at Food for Life is an opportunity for community members to engage with neighbours, hear their stories, or meet other volunteers with a mission of providing food to those who need it most.

“When you think about us as an organization, it’s all about people power,” says Slater. “I always tell my volunteers, ‘It’s not us that makes things happen in the community. It’s you guys with your boots on the ground.’ They’re working with the people daily, coming to the food programs, listening to their stories, supporting them the best they can.”

Slater adds that many Food for Life volunteers have been active in the organization for multiple years. “It’s quite something that we’ve been able to come along this far on the backs, and with the support of, our volunteers who make it happen,” she says.

To learn more about volunteer opportunities at Food for Life, visit https://foodforlife.ca/volunteer.

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