Second Harvest Food Bank needs volunteers

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Second Harvest Food Bank, the area’s largest provider of food for food pantries across 18 counties in the area, is so desperate for volunteers the agency is paying temporary workers to help sort and inspect donated food for safety in order to keep from turning away partner agencies.

Second Harvest said Monday, it has not been able to fulfill all agencies requests because it can not get food processed quickly enough to meet increased demands in recent days.

“Everything that comes from the grocery store donations and food drives has to be inspected. Our goal is to get food to people but not poison them, so it’s an enormous effort to inspect all this food and pack it up in boxes so those pantries and soup kitchens can take it,” said Tomi Melson, Second Harvest Food Bank Director of Development.

Second Harvest is asking for corporate groups, church groups or even individuals who can give just a couple of hours to volunteer to consider helping sort and inspect food.

“It’s hard to pay people for that, that’s money we could use on food but in last week had to hire people to come help sort. Every dollar that we spend on something like that, is in our minds like, oh that could be a pallet of beans,” said Melson.

September is Hunger Action month and Second Harvest is working to increase hunger awareness. Second Harvest says 1 in 6 Americans do not know where their next meal will come from.

Volunteers help make sure all partner agencies get safe, consumable food they need in a timely manner.

If you or a group you are involved with are interested in volunteering call Second Harvest at 336-784-5770.

To find out more about Hunger Action month visit www.hungernwnc.org.