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West Orange Times & Observer Friday, Jan. 14, 2022 10 months ago

Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida searching for volunteers

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Volunteers play a critical role in the nonprofit's operation and help ensure that those facing food insecurity receive the assistance they need.
by: Annabelle Sikes Staff Writer

Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida is asking for the community’s help to fill hundreds of open volunteer shifts this month, including dozens of slots this week.

The food bank says it always sees a decline in volunteer help after the holidays. However, with the spread of Omicron this year, many volunteers have opted to stay home.

Director of Volunteer Services from Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida Mindy Ortiz said the pandemic has had an impact on the non-profit. 

"The pandemic continues to present challenges in recruiting volunteers, despite safety precautions like mask wearing and social distancing in our warehouse and production kitchen," Ortiz said. "Volunteers help sort through donations or prepare meals."

The non-profit is searching for hundreds of volunteers just in the month of January. Most shifts fall during the week-day but weekend and evening shifts are also available.

The food bank said volunteers play an essential role in the food bank’s operation and help ensure that all locals facing food insecurity receive the assistance they need.

"Volunteers help our mission by nourishing lives with all of the food donations that they help to sort and all of the meals that they help prepare," Ortiz explained. 

Volunteering can be a family affair with donation sorting shifts for ages 10 and up. It can also be a great team building activity for coworkers, school groups, sports teams or civic clubs.

The food bank distributes food through several feeding partners in Winter Garden.

Those who wish to get involved can visit Second Harvest's website here and click on the orange volunteer button to get started.

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Annabelle Sikes is a staff writer at the West Orange Times & Observer, Southwest Orange Observer and OrangeObserver.com. She graduated in May 2021 from the University of Central Florida with a bachelor's degree in journalism and a minor in sociology.  Her past...

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