Volunteering is a big part of giving back to the community. It can be one of the most rewarding ways of giving back to the society as it’s usually a very hands-on experience. DEFINITION 6 had an excellent opportunity to volunteer at the Atlanta Community Food Bank through Technology Association of Georgia. The Food Bank receives food donations from various companies and people. DEFINITION 6 volunteered to sort, inspect, and package all of the donated food and supplies. After signing in and getting trained, we were divided into different groups that had three types of responsibilities. The first group opened all the donation boxes and put them in front of the second group. The second group’s job was to inspect and sort the donated items. Finally, the third group did more sorting and organizing of the donated items and put them back into boxes sorted by categories. The whole process was exciting for everyone. It was very organized and the supervisors gave great instructions while being engaging and fun. They also told a few touching stories about the impact made by the donations and volunteers. In addition to this fun experience, we learned a lot about the Atlanta Community Food Bank. The ACFB workers said themselves that none of this would be possible if they didn’t have volunteers coming in and helping them open donation boxes, sort through each of the donated items and organizing them into packages.
One of the surprising things we learned was that we had to throw away all of the chocolate – and there was a lot of chocolate. The simple reasoning for that was the absence of climate control in the shipping trucks.
I think this volunteering experience taught us about food waste, food donations, and the actual expiry dates of food items in our kitchen. It was overwhelming to find out how many pounds of food and supplies we sorted through and how many families we helped feed that day. To be specific, we sorted through 24,820 lbs of food and created 14,437 meals!
On top of the measurable results, experiences like this often serve as powerful awareness tools on global issues such as hunger, poverty, food waste, giving back, and community service.
DEFINITION 6 will go back there soon to volunteer again! Perhaps, some will go back on their own to volunteer and will bring their families and friends or tell others to volunteer. Meanwhile, I look forward to more volunteering opportunities like this one.