Monday, November 8, 2010

Safari #16: Get Out, Give Back

There is only one thing at the top of my list this holiday season: getting out and giving back.  Fellow safari travelers, with this posting,  I hope to encourage you to do the same.  If you're not sure how, here's one idea to get you started.

The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) is the largest food bank facility in New England.  It acts largely as a processing and distribution center where donated food is sorted, boxed, and shipped for delivery to local soup kitchens, community centers, and religious organizations.  As a volunteer, you can work within the main distribution center sorting and packing food.  Shifts occur daily in the morning (9:30 to 12:00pm) and afternoon (1 to 3:30pm).

Before your shift, GBFB employees will provide you with all of the training that you need to handle and sort a wide range of non-perishable foods.  Training lasts about 15 to 20 minutes.  Charts and how-to sheets are also placed throughout the facility to assist you.

Last Saturday, I volunteered with 67 others and enjoyed every minute of it. In the short amount of time that we volunteered, my group sorted 4,869 pounds of food making a total of 3,752 meals possible for those in need.  The sad part is that we could have done much more.  Our shift ended 45 minutes early because we ran out of food.

If you're interested in helping the GBFB this holiday season (or at any other time), here's how:
  • Donate Food.  Using the GBFB's Virtual Food Drive tool, you can purchase food at wholesale price for donation directly into the bank.  You can also bring boxes of food directly Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 4pm.  Be sure to contact the Food Donations Manager to arrange a drop-off time.
  • Donate a Turkey.  During the holiday season, the FoodBank provides thousands of turkeys to shelters and soup kitchens in the community.  Turkey's are only $13.
  • Volunteer.  All you need to do is complete a volunteer registration form, and you're ready to go.
**Please watch for additional posts this holiday season to help you find ways to do more.

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