Volunteering to Help Feed Local Families
In a country where people don’t think twice about a $5 latte or forgetting their leftover food at a restaurant, 41 million Americans struggle with hunger. A big part of the struggle with hunger relates to the uncertainties of daily life.
People in our community usually go hungry because of unexpected events, such as hospital visits, car repairs or the loss of a job. Circumstances like these can quickly push families into poverty. That’s where the St. Joseph Food Program (St. Joe’s) steps in.
The St. Joseph Food Program is an organization that distributes fresh food and non-perishable items to more than 5,000 people in our community. Network Health Director of Health Management Alice Parks first learned about the St. Joseph Food Program when she volunteered for the annual food drive at her church.
“I think volunteerism is kind of like voting, a civic duty,” Alice says. “We should really make an effort to make it happen for our community and for each other.”
Alice volunteers for the St. Joseph Food Program every other Monday, where she interviews people who are new to the program to make sure they meet eligibility requirements. She also re-interviews program participants every six months to make sure they remain eligible.
“The role I have as an interviewer can be heartbreaking at times,” Alice says. “People are very appreciative of the services St. Joe’s offers, and it’s always interesting and inspiring to hear their stories.”
“I enjoy that I get to meet and work with people face-to-face and that my small contribution of time makes a difference,” Alice adds “Every time I volunteer, I leave feeling grounded and grateful.”
The St. Joseph Food Program is always looking for volunteers. Click here for more information about volunteering opportunities.