It’s volunteer recognition week and we’re celebrating our beloved volunteers who play such an important role in the Filling in the Blanks Weekend Meal Program. We serve up to 3,000 children weekly and we are so grateful for the helping hands of volunteers who help us pack and deliver meals each week.
There are so many reasons to volunteer to support your community, so we spoke with a few of our volunteers to learn more about their motivation and how volunteering during the pandemic has impacted them:
Senator Duff: "I volunteer with Filling In the Blanks because it’s the right thing to do. Food insecurity to me, especially with our youth, is very troubling. There is plenty of food and we need to make sure we are not leaving the most vulnerable hungry. Since I was very young, my family instilled the value of volunteering for the greater good. Helping the community and making a positive impact was always core belief. It feels good to help others. What surprised me however, was the number of people who need help and they are from all walks of life. Many people are living only a paycheck away from serious problems, whether not being able to afford food, rent or even lifesaving prescription drugs."
Aimee Mueller, Parent Volunteer: "At FITB, I have the opportunity to be involved in one of the things I love the most, helping children and families. I hope that by volunteering to provide a meal to children helps alleviate some stress for families. I am inspired every time I am in the FITB warehouse. When I see all the volunteers and the amount of donations ready to be packed, it reminds me of all the good in our community."
Rob Knechtle, Grace Community Church Youth Pastor: "I grew up in Connecticut and love this state. There’s lots of financial disparity in this state, and I hope that in some small way we can address needs and help lift people up through the FITB feeding program. Volunteering at FITB has been an outlet to help out in the community, to create friendships and meet people. To see kids and people in Connecticut being helped by this food program is very rewarding. To see a smile or a family helped out is what this is about. Jesus tells us to love one another and one of the ways of doing that is through taking care of our neighbors, of meeting a hunger need."
Jeremy Stewart, Student Volunteer: "My parents introduced me to FITB a few years ago to help give back to the community and volunteer. Of course, my younger self didn't want to go because it was just packing and I was too ignorant to understand how impactful one singular bag really is. Now I've been doing it for years and it gives me a sense of helpfulness giving back to the community. Volunteering definitely made me more conscious of what others are going through and even a little more selfless. When I got to give the [Weekend Meal Bags] to the students, seeing them smiling and happy just made me so happy."
Maria Fata, Parent Volunteer: "Volunteering can change someone's life in a positive way. So many families struggle trying to make ends meet, even more now during the pandemic. Knowing that I can help children get food into their tummies is so important and rewarding. Whether I was helping pack meal bags, deliver meal bags, donate school bags or sort through hundreds of toothbrushes/toothpaste, I knew that everyone that steps up to help at FITB is making a difference in a child's life."
If you’d like to get involved, there are many ways to volunteer with us! We schedule small, socially distanced groups of volunteers at our warehouse to help pack and deliver meals, and we also welcome you to host your own food drive for essential items. We are also in need of virtual volunteers on social media to help raise awareness for our work and the issue of local childhood hunger. Visit our volunteer page to learn more – there’s a way to help that works for everyone