This week on the blog we want to talk about a couple who have dedicated their time and support to the charity for two years now.
Meet Tony and Julie, long-time volunteers at Bassetlaw Food Bank. They began volunteering in March 2020 during the first lockdown and, what was meant to be a temporary volunteer role, turned into a long-term commitment to the food bank!
Much has changed since the pair joined the team, “the Food Hub is a functional distribution warehouse now. There’s a lot of planning and preparation, in that sense it’s like a military operation” says Tony. Part of the work they do is sorting through the donations – this includes weighing donations, date checking, storing items by category and date and topping up the picking lane. He adds that “without the public’s donations we wouldn’t be able to do this.”
Julie is a whiz at picking and packing food parcels so that when they are needed all that’s left to do is make up the fresh bag and add in any additional items, like toiletries or pet food, that service users require. She notes that, except for fresh produce that is bought weekly, “everything in here is donated”.
It’s important to understand that anyone can become vulnerable to dealing with food insecurity, “it could affect any family at any time, things like job loss and redundancy can put people in a tricky situation,” says Julie. As a result of this she believes that support is vital from local organisations and companies.
In terms of their volunteering experience, Julie says that she enjoys the social aspect of the role. Tony agrees highlighting that “you get to meet a lot of people.” There’s a great atmosphere at the Food Hub amongst volunteers and staff which, alongside supporting people in need, makes the whole operation a rewarding experience!