It’s Friday afternoon and the warehouses at Second Harvest are bustling with activity.
Two teams of volunteers roll up their sleeves and line up down rows of food, watching the approaching pallet jack dragged by their teammates. As it is pulled past them, they check off inventory sheets and load up the specified boxes: 10 cases of green beans, 15 cases rice, 30 cases tomato sauce. Next stop: 10 cases peanut butter, 14 cases flour. At the end of the line is a “wrapper”—a volunteer who, sometimes dizzily, runs circles around the packed pallet, wrapping it in plastic to hold the food in place.
These volunteers are filling huge food orders for Second Harvest partner agencies, who will come pick up the food to bring back to their home communities across Northwest NC to distribute.
This food is sent to regional food banks, such as Second Harvest, and we, in turn, prepare it for our on-the-ground partners across the 18 counties of Northwest NC that we serve.
This is where our incredible volunteers come in. Volunteers play a pivotal role as this food moves from farmers' fields to food banks and back out to families that need it the most. TEFAP foods are shipped monthly to Second Harvest Food Bank, and it is the heavy lifting and coordination of our volunteers that is integral to making this system work.
Are you looking to volunteer for Second Harvest? Help us build TEFAP pallets! It’s a great opportunity for team building and large groups– and because you have to be able to lift 25 to 30 lbs at a time, it’s also great for your core strength! Click here to contact Tammy DeCicco, Second Harvest’s Volunteer Coordinator, to learn more and schedule.
Like the idea of supporting both American agriculture AND food insecure families? Help Second Harvest as we advocate for programs such as TEFAP in a strong Farm Bill this year! See all of Second Harvest's Advocacy Priorities and sign up for our Advocacy Alerts here.