Volunteering at Second Harvest Food Bank Northwest NC

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The kid had some public service to complete as part of a school Beta Club requirement. It’s really hard to find volunteer opportunities for teens in our area. Luckily, Second Harvest Food Bank NorthWest NC has volunteer opportunities if your teen is accompanied by an adult.

They have a few evening spots for volunteers… those made the most sense for us. When you work with them to schedule your time they’ll let you know what times are available and what dates you can be waitlisted. Yes, you read that correctly, you can be waitlisted for some dates. That’s really a great issue for a nonprofit to have, isn’t it? I thought so! 

We arrived at the office and waited in the front waiting area. We were a little early so, I snapped this picture. 

Second Harvest Food Bank NWNC

A little time passed and we got checked in and told our assignment. We were assigned to “pallet building” located in an adjacent (green) building down the street. So, we headed off down the street without a clue of what we were getting ourselves into.

One tip if you are assigned to build pallets in the green building. If you see tractor trailers parked in the parking lot in front of the green building do not park in that parking lot until after they have moved them. If you try to park there while trailers are in the parking lot, you will be asked to move.

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Gathering in the “lobby” of the green building got a little cramped. But, we were ushered into the warehouse portion of the building where we got an explanation on what we were doing.

The long and short of it: Second Harvest Food Bank NWNC gets their food a variety of ways. One of the ways is via grants from various sources. These grants are used to buy certain foods in bulk.  This food is then distributed to various partner organizations.

Our job in building pallets was to build pallets of this food according to three pre-set partner agency sizes. Each size called for a certain amount of four food products.

Part of our volunteer team can be seen in the photo below. The pallet jack was operated by a Second Harvest Food Bank NWNC employee.

Second Harvest Food Bank NWNC Warehouse

Pallets were being “built” on both sides of the food pallets by volunteer teams. At the end of the line, the pallets were wrapped then, loaded by forklift onto other pallets. These double stacked pallets were then loaded onto the waiting tractor trailers (far left corner of the picture).

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We built 8 or 10 pallets in roughly 2.5 hours time, stopping once for a break.

Another tip. If you are volunteering in the evening, eat dinner before you arrive.

Quick Facts About Second Harvest Food Bank NWNC

  • In the fiscal year 2015-2016, Second Harvest Food Bank provided more than 25 million meals (30.6 million pounds of donated, purchased and prepared foods) for children, families, seniors and others through our network.
  • Together with more than 450 partner programs – community food pantries, shelters, soup kitchens and youth and senior feeding programs serving local communities in 18 counties – we help more than 300,000 neighbors in need each year, including 100,000 children.
  • With every $1 donated, Second Harvest Food Bank can provide 7 meals.

Consider a donation to Second Havest Food Bank, every dollar is a huge help. Click the image below to access their secure donation site.

Give to Second Harvest Food Bank NWNC
         every $1 donated can provide 7 meals



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