“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” – Aesop.
This week is volunteer appreciation week and we are always grateful for the people who reach out to us asking, “How can we help your organization?”
Volunteers assist us in various ways from helping us update pantry information in their neighborhood to locating food pantries that aren’t yet registered on AmpleHarvest.org so that local gardeners can find them when they have extra produce to share!
One of the volunteers we would like to shine a spotlight on is Clara. Clara has been helping us over the last few months locating food pantries in various states that are not yet registered on AmpleHarvest.org. We asked Clara a few questions about her volunteer time with AmpleHarvest.org and here is what she had to say:
How did you hear about our organization and why did you want to get involved?
I was looking to get involved with organizations preventing waste and increasing equity in the food system, and I found AmpleHarvest.org through researching these issues. I thought the program was super innovative without being too complicated (the best ideas often are!), and great for introducing people to the world of food waste in an accessible way, which really drew me to become involved.
What do you wish other people knew about hunger/ gardening /food waste or about AmpleHarvest.org?
I wish people knew that preventing food waste and making our world sustainable does not have to be super complicated. It feels like a lot of the discussion around sustainability in recent years has involved some expensive new technology or complex infrastructure. Not only are we overcomplicating things, but we are turning people off from the movement in the process — most people read the news and think “what do drones searching for water in overly-farmed areas have to do with me? What can I really do here?” Waste prevention can be as easy as turning to your neighbor and saying “what do I have that you need?” and filling in the gaps that way. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel, and anyone can be involved!
What has been the most interesting thing you’ve learned during your volunteer time with AmpleHarvest.org?
Most of my volunteer work has been searching for pantries in areas that are not well-represented in AmpleHarvest.org’s database and getting their contact information to enroll them in the program. One of the most interesting things I’ve learned in this process is there are so many groups out there fighting hunger and waste in their communities! It has been very inspiring to see how many communities are working to care for their neighbors.
Anything else you’d like to share about your experience?
I’ve had a wonderful time working with AmpleHarvest.org and I hope it continues to grow as more people learn about it. If you have just an hour or two in your week when you can donate your time here, do it! It is a rewarding experience that can be done remotely, and it feels great to be involved in this kind of work.
Thank you, Clara and all the volunteers who have helped us reach more food pantries and gardeners so far in 2022! Your time and effort will help us continue to build virtual bridges between gardeners and their local food pantries.
You can make a difference in your community too! If you would like to volunteer your time, please contact [email protected]