This week marks National Volunteer Appreciation Week and here at the Atlanta Community Food Bank, that’s a big deal. Volunteers are important to us. Without them, our work wouldn’t be possible. We have volunteers who help us sort and pack food boxes in the Product Rescue Center, stock shelves on the Grocery Floor and Kids In Need, load food on to vehicles for our partner agencies, work in gardens, help with administrative tasks, distribute food at mobile food pantries, and collect food and funds at special events, just to name a few. Last year, more than 15,000 volunteers contributed 106,418 hours of volunteer time. That’s the equivalent of more than 50 staff people!
We appreciate our volunteers every day of the year. We are deeply grateful for every single one of you who have given your time and effort to help us feed our neighbors in need. Some of our volunteers have become like family. A week is far too short to fully express our appreciation, but we will certainly try!
Here’s what a few of our staff had to say about our volunteers:
"Our entire Agency Services Department no longer sees Mary Evelyn as a volunteer; she is treated like, and respected as if, she was on staff. She has been volunteering in our department for many years and due to her continuous dedication, critical “behind the scenes” work gets accomplished in a timely manner. We all value her time and effort and would like to say a million THANKS!" - Rudy S., Agency Services
“The Kids In Need Program has served a record-breaking number of teachers this year thanks to the support of our amazing volunteers! Kids In Need volunteers help us to sort product, stock shelves, greet teachers, orient teachers, check out teachers, record data and load teacher vehicles with much needed product to support children whose education is threatened by poverty. Thank you, KIN Volunteers!!!” - Barbara O., Kids In Need
“Volunteers brighten our day, remind us of why we do what we do, and help us understand how fortunate we are to have them. They smile, laugh, get dirty and have fun living out the mission of fighting hunger. Volunteers make us better in every way, we simply cannot not do this work without them.” - James J., Product Rescue Center
“I have to say thank you; observing volunteers on the Grocery Floor assisting and engaging with partner agencies and becoming a part of our staff as they are immersing themselves in the daily tasks has been incredible. Without your help, the refreshing of the Grocery Floor after every group would be difficult. I applaud you for your time, interest and belief in the ACFB and I thank you for selecting the Grocery Floor as your place to spend your time.” - Rafael S., Grocery Floor
“Thank goodness for volunteers generously donating their time! There are so many special projects that come up around the Food Bank that require extra hands. The Hunger Study is one such project that only comes around every 4 years. We had over 100 people share their time and energy to interview clients for Feeding America's largest data gathering project. We went to 110 sites within our 29 county territory, and had volunteers helping at every one. Without these volunteers, both ACFB and Feeding America would not be able to gather the amount of information needed to stay informed about the state of hunger both locally and nationwide.” - Alexis W., Hunger Study