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Many Volunteer Opportunities Available at Foodbank of Santa Barbara County

The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County is in need of volunteers to help collect and distribute food, lead and assist in all of its after-school programs, help package food in its warehouse, promote the Foodbank in the community, and collaborate with the agency to increase efficiency and organization.

The Foodbank is offering local organizations the opportunity to adopt or sponsor one of its programs, which would include managing the program and recruiting volunteers to run the program. We will work with you to create rewarding volunteer opportunities, internships and group activities. In appreciation of your help, we are more than happy to write a letter of recommendation for you.

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To receive the Foodbank’s monthly newsletter, click here and enter your e-mail address in the “Join Our Mailing List” section.

The Foodbank’s volunteer opportunities are as follows:

» Promote the Foodbank on social media. Help spread the word about our Foodbank by promoting on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.

» Use Charity Miles. The free app empowers you to earn money for charities while walking, running or biking — every day. Select “Feeding America” as your charity and then the Foodbank gets funds based on the ZIP code linked to your Facebook account. As you walk, run or bike, the app will track your distance and you’ll earn money for your charity — 10 cents per mile for bikers, 25 cents per mile for walkers and runners, all up to $1 million courtesy of our corporate sponsors.

» Promote Charity Miles. Help us promote the use of Charity Miles in our community. Contact schools, colleges and businesses to educate them on how to use Charity Miles. You must have an iPhone or Android to be able to demonstrate how the app works.

» Have a bake sale, car wash or any type of fundraiser and donate the proceeds to the Foodbank.

» Have a food drive and donate the food to the Foodbank.

» Volunteer at a food demonstration for our Healthy School Pantry from 1 to 6:30 p.m. April 11 and May 9. Inventory food demonstration supplies, pick up food for demonstration and shop for ingredients, help prepare food in certified kitchen, bring prepared food to the Healthy School Pantry, assist with food demonstration, clean up, including washing dishes and returning food, demonstration supplies plus gift card back to warehouse, report any issues to the health education and evaluation manager. Help prepare foods, assist with food demonstration and/or clean up afternoons for two hours or up to six hours.

» Hunger Study Survey volunteers. We are looking for 20 adults to travel to our recipient sites in South County for one or two full days per week for a commitment of at least one month from April 15 to Aug. 30 to survey recipients of our programs. We are looking for bilingual (preferably), outgoing individuals who are comfortable approaching people they do not know to ask them to take the survey. You will be provided with a tablet, so computer skills are necessary. You must have reliable transportation. The required eight-hour training will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 9. Food will be provided.

» Promote the Foodbank on Earth Day. Help man our booth at the Earth Day Festival April 20-21 at Alameda Park. We need volunteers from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days. We will split this in shifts from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 2 to 6 p.m. Please be familiar with our mission and programs by visiting our website to learn more about how we help our community.

» Picnic in the Park volunteers. Help distribute food to and entertain kids from June to August from around 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday at various locations throughout South County. You can help as many days per week as your schedule allows.

» Letter Carrier’s Food Drive. From 2 to 6 p.m. May 11, the U.S. Post Office will be picking up food donations for the Foodbank. We need 10-plus volunteers to transfer the food from the mail trucks to the Foodbank trucks at both Patterson and Anacapa post offices.

» Grocery Store Food Drive — Teams of two to three people are needed May 11 to stand outside the grocery stores to ask for food and financial donations.

» Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce Business Expo — Volunteers are needed to help set up and take down booths at Earl Warren Showgrounds on May 29.

» Marketing intern — Develop relationships with local businesses and schedule a day where they give the Foodbank a certain percentage of sales as a donation.

» Community promoter — Promote the Foodbank in our community by manning a booth at a community event or fair, meeting with, speaking at and/or delivering fliers to local businesses, schools and organizations.

» Computer programmer/website — Help create a website for posting and signing up for volunteer opportunities. This can be done remotely over a period of a few months.

» Computer programmer/database — Help create a program that allows the local nonprofit organizations that we provide food for to input data into a database versus faxing in hand-written forms. This can be done remotely over a period of a few months.

» Administrative assistant/receptionist (warehouse, 4554 Hollister Ave.) — nswer the phones and help with invoicing from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Mondays and Fridays. This is a long-term position.

» Data entry specialist — Create a spreadsheet to track volunteer hours and enter those hours on a weekly basis. Enter information from volunteer applications into our volunteer database. This can be done remotely.

» Shopping assistant (warehouse, 4554 Hollister Ave.) — Help our agencies, the local nonprofits that we provide food for, with their weekly grocery shopping. You must be able to lift 35 pounds, be able to stand the entire shift, be able to stand in the refrigerator/freezer for long periods of time, and be outgoing and friendly to our agency shoppers. We have openings Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. We would like to fill these spots with as few people as possible. This is a long-term position.

» Distribution site leader — Visit and monitor our distribution sites to ensure compliance and generate reports. Bookkeeping and reporting experience preferred. Bilingual preferred. Must have own transportation. Commitment of six months on the first Tuesday of each month from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., the third Tuesday of each month from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., the second Saturday of each month from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m., and the first Wednesday of each month from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

» Backyard Bounty Program — Help harvest crops from local farmer’s fields or trees who, in turn, donate these crops to the Foodbank. These gleaning opportunities are typically held on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and are great team-building events.

» A group of 12 for our Brown Bag Warehouse Assembly Program — Package two- to eight-pound bags of canned and boxed food the first Wednesday of each month from 8 a.m. to noon at our warehouse at 4554 Hollister Ave. It would be nice to have the same group be responsible for this project every month, but we can schedule multiple groups on a rotating schedule.

If you are interested in helping in any of these areas, call community leadership coordinator Melissa Howard at 805.967.5741 x112.

— Melissa Howard for the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.

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