Monday, November 27, 2023

San Diego Food Bank Volunteer

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Find The Opportunity That Best Fits Your Abilities

San Diego Food Bank Volunteer Orientation & Safety Video

You do not need to have any cooking abilities to become a soup kitchen volunteer. Preparing food, serving food, and cleaning up are some of the opportunities available. If the soup kitchen has a food pantry, you may be able to help take inventory or collect donations. Anything you can do will make a difference. In 2011, more than 5 percent of U.S. households received assistance from a food bank one or more times.

Many of the available opportunities do not require any training. When training is needed, someone will be glad to work with you. United Way of San Diego County has a volunteer opportunities that your entire family or group can become involved in. When you can work together as a family or group, you may find even greater rewards from the time spent together.

There are many ways to find volunteer opportunities. Some schools and retirement homes run soup kitchens at different times of year. Also check with local community centers, churches, homeless shelters, and food banks.

Inspired By The Starfish Story

One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy hurriedly picking up and gently throwing things into the ocean.

Approaching the boy, he asked, Young man, what are you doing?

The boy replied, Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I dont throw them back, theyll die.

The man laughed to himself and said, Dont you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You cant make any difference!

After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said, I made a difference to that one.

Loren Eiseley

We all have the power to create positive change in the world, yet sometimes it can feel overwhelming, especially when the goal is to help end hunger through food rescue. The Starfish Story is a reminder that each and every life we touch matters. All actions, big or small, make a difference.

Volunteers Like You Are Essential To Providing Food For Our Neighbors In Need

Our volunteer opportunities range from our sorting room, warehouse, curbside and mobile distributions, community kitchen, garden and farm, and more. Donate your time as an individual, group, or company all abilities and ages welcome.

COVID-19 NOTICE:Masks and temperature checks are now optional in San Antonio Food Bank facilities, including indoor and outdoor operations. We will continue thorough cleanings at all of our volunteer locations before, during, and after volunteer shifts. If you feel sick, please reschedule your visit for the safety of yourself and others. We will continue to monitor the virus within our community and make revisions to our policy accordingly.

Don’t Miss: Northern Illinois Food Bank Mobile Pantry

The Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank

The Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank helps people of all ages in need. Their continuous mission is to provide nutritious food to those in need, advocate for the hungry, and educate the public about hunger-related issues. This organization specifically aids people who are unable to provide food for their own families.

Do you want to help San Diego families in need?

You can help by volunteering at the Jacobs and Cushman San Diego Food Bank, where you are asked to do many different tasks. Projects for volunteers at the food bank may include:

  • cleaning and packaging fresh produce for distribution

  • inspecting, sorting, boxing, and labeling food donations

  • assembling food packages for their many food programs

Put Gratitude Into Action: Volunteer Opportunities


Put Gratitude into Action: Volunteer Opportunities for Families

If youre feeling thankful for everything you have this season, consider sharing the gift of your time with others. Whether feeding the hungry, cleaning San Diego beaches, helping at a charitable fun run or volunteering at a local organizationpeople need your compassion and support. Here are family volunteer opportunities throughout San Diego County.

Read 41 Random Acts of Kindness to get ideas on how to make the world a better place anywhere, anytime!

Feeding San Diego, Sorrento Valley www.feedingsandiego.orgLearn about volunteer opportunities, tour the facility and try several ongoing volunteer projects. Opportunities include gleaning, sorting and packing produce, supporting large-scale drive-thru food distributions, calling to thank donors and more. Register in advance online. For more information, call 858-452-3663 x100 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Visit the United Way website for ongoing volunteer opportunities.

Oside Turkey Trot, Oceanside osideturkeytrot.comFamilies with kids of all ages are encouraged to hand out water and cheer on the 10,000+ runners/walkers on race day. Older kids can help with pre-race activities. All volunteers can register online. Volunteers must wear a mask during their shift.

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What It’s Like To Volunteer At A Food Bank

Every volunteer experience is a little different. Here are some things you might do as a volunteer:

  • Sort and pack food: You can keep the shelves stocked by assembling food boxes for distribution.
  • Assist at mobile pantries, drive-thru pantries, and no-contact distributions: Help your neighbors feed their families.
  • Deliver meals: With many communities sheltering in place, you can help ensure our most vulnerable neighbors have the food they need while staying safe.
  • Glean and garden: Volunteers collect food left in the fields after harvest or help tend the food bank or food pantry’s community garden.
  • Volunteer from home: Some food banks have moved their volunteer shifts online and are asking volunteers to help fundraise or spread awareness.

Your safety is a top priority. The Feeding America network follows all Center for Disease Control and local guidelines for sanitation, hygiene, and social distancing to ensure staff and volunteers are safe. This may include masks, additional handwashing stations, gloves, reduced group sizes, and other safety precautions.

About San Diego Food Bank


9850 Distribution Avenue, SAN DIEGO, CA 92121, US

Mission Statement

Established in 1977, Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank provides food to people in need and connects the people we serve to a range of health and human service providers. We advocate for the hungry and educate the public about hunger in our community.


The San Diego Food Bank feeds, on average, 320,000 people per month, and we rely entirely on our volunteers to inspect, sort, and package tons of food for distribution every day.Volunteer projects include:–Cleaning and packaging fresh produce for immediate distribution.–Inspecting, sorting, boxing, and labeling food donations.–Assembling food packages for our Senior Food Program, Moms & Children Food Program, Food Assistance Program, and our Food 4 Kids Backpack Program.

Recommended Reading: Food Banks In Saginaw Mi

Food Bank Volunteer Opportunities

  • Shoppers who will go into grocery stores, purchase food in bulk, and deliver it to the pantry. The pantry will reimburse AUTHORIZED purchases.
  • People who will sort, inventory, and shelve food donations.
  • People who will assemble bags of food at the pantry.
  • People who will visit the pantry one day each week to record temperatures for the refrigerator and freezer and initial the pest control log.
  • People who will take the test for the San Diego County Food Handlers card who will agree to be on site while food distribution is going on.
  • People who will commit to a shift to distribute food. These people should contact Maureen for days and hours.
  • People to create fliers, print, and distribute them.
  • People who will pick up food donations in the Hillcrest parking lot and deliver them to the pantry.
  • Volunteer As Much Or As Little As You Can

    Team KFMB volunteers at the San Diego Food Bank

    A soup kitchen volunteer will normally work a four- to five-hour shift. The days and hours will depend on the organization running the service. You can volunteer the amount of time that is comfortable for you and your schedule. If you can only make a commitment for one or two days a year, your help is still valuable.

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    Why Donate Food Through Feeding San Diego

    Cost Effective

    Your donations reduce or eliminate fees such as storage and handling and waste disposal, as well as other overhead costs. In addition, donating to Feeding San Diego provides a number of tax benefits as defined by the IRS.

    SB 1383 Compliance

    Senate Bill 1383 went into effect on January 1, 2022. In short, the law requires certain businesses to donate the maximum amount of edible food they would otherwise waste. Looking for a partner to comply with SB 1383? Get in touch todayor


    Donations like yours provide millions of meals for those facing hunger every year. Plus, donating food helps the environment! By diverting more than 27.2 million pounds of food from the landfill, we prevented 24,282 metric tons of harmful gasses from entering the atmosphere in FY21.

    Find Out What’s Happening In San Diegowith Free Real

    Before the pandemic, 9.2 percent residents in San Diego were considered food insecure, according to Feeding America, the nations largest domestic hunger-relief organization. The continuing economic fallout from the pandemic has swollen that number to 11.4 percent who are on the brink of hunger.

    Nationwide, more than 38 million Americans including 12 million children are considered food insecure, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    Also Check: Food Banks That Accept Food Donations

    Ending Hunger Through Food Rescue

    35 percent of food produced in the United States goes to waste. That means there is more than enough food available to end hunger. By partnering with over 600 food donors in San Diego County and over 225 farms and packing sheds throughout California, Feeding San Diego rescues high-quality food before it goes to waste.

    In 2021-2022, nearly 70 percent of the food we provided to the community was rescued.

    By diverting this food from the landfill, Feeding San Diego significantly reduces harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Learn more about Our Impact.

    In addition to rescuing and distributing high-quality food, Feeding San Diego helps individuals enroll in CalFresh . This program helps those in need purchase groceries for their families.

    Volunteer With Our Nonprofit Partners

    San Diego Food Bank

    The San Diego Food Bank partners with more than 500 nonprofits that distribute our food in the community. We encourage you to also volunteer directly with them. Use search term food on Hands on San Diegos website to find these opportunities.

    Please note this is ONLY a referral. Food Bank staff do not oversee these volunteer opportunities. Any hours completed will not be recorded or tracked by the Food Bank.Not all food related volunteer postings are nonprofit partners of the Food Bank.

    Read Also: Food Banks In Augusta Ga

    Want To Volunteer At A Food Bank

    Food banks, food pantries, and meal programs in the Feeding America network are continuing to do what they do best – provide meals to our communities. Volunteers are critical to providing food to everyone during this difficult time.

    Pledge to volunteer with your local food bank and find a volunteer opportunity near you.

    Volunteers Needed At San Diego Area Food Banks

    SAN DIEGO, CA Food banks and pantries in San Diego and other cities across the United States are in dire need of volunteers as the highly contagious omicron coronavirus variant continues to infect Americans.

    Its an unfortunate challenge as many food pantries already struggle with increased need as well as the rising costs of food and other goods.

    This need is closer to home than you may think. In fact, Encinitas is among places that have been profoundly affected by hunger in 2021.

    Before the pandemic, 9.2 percent residents in San Diego were considered food insecure, according to Feeding America, the nations largest domestic hunger-relief organization. The continuing economic fallout from the pandemic has swollen that number to 11.4 percent who are on the brink of hunger.

    Nationwide, more than 38 million Americans including 12 million children are considered food insecure, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    Food banks have experienced a 55 percent spike in usage through the pandemic, according to the latest Feeding America data, erasing a decades worth of progress toward ending hunger in the United States.

    Volunteers have always been a critical lifeline to food banks and food pantries, Kathryn Strickland, chief network officer at Feeding America, told Patch in a statement.

    “These people who are really part of the bedrock of our volunteer workforce, Theyve been doing this since March of 2020,” Hall told The AP. “It takes an emotional toll on people.”

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    San Diego Food Bankstop 5 Volunteer Rules

    Please wear comfortable, closed-toes shoes.

    Please arrive on time.

    Only children ages 11 and older can volunteer at the San Diego Food Bank warehouse, and all children ages 11 to 15 MUST be accompanied by 1 adult for every 4 children volunteering.

    All volunteers must be registered for the shift prior to arrival. We cannot accept walk-ins.

    Cant make it? Please give us a 24 hours notice, so we can fill your volunteer slot.

    Corner Market Reopening Five Days A Week

    Food bank pushes for more volunteers, monetary donations in San Jose

    Shopping By Appointment or Online Ordering for Curbside Pick-Up

    Starting August 2022, the JFS Corner Market will reopen five days a week. The Corner Market offers a wide selection of fresh produce and grocery items. Shop in person by appointment or order online for curbside pickup.

    To make your appointment or learn more about curbside pick-up call 637-3210 or contact us online.

    The drive-thru distribution at the Joan & Irwin Jacobs Campus will end on July 29.

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    Registration For Individual Volunteers

    If you are a first-time volunteer, you will be asked to create a login and password when you sign up for your first shift on our volunteer registration system. Please be sure to store your login information for future use. Once registered and logged in, select your shift, and a confirmation email will be sent back to you. For returning volunteers, simply log in, select a shift, and you will receive a confirmation email.

    As More San Diego Residents Turn To Food Banks To Get Through Hard Times Volunteers Are In Short Supply As Covid

    SAN DIEGO, CA Food banks and pantries in San Diego and other cities across the United States are in dire need of volunteers as the highly contagious omicron coronavirus variant continues to infect Americans.

    Its an unfortunate challenge as many food pantries already struggle with increased need as well as the rising costs of food and other goods.

    This need is closer to home than you may think. In fact, Encinitas is among places that have been profoundly affected by hunger in 2021.

    Recommended Reading: Second Harvest Food Bank Volunteering

    Creating An Optimized Program With Volunteerhub

    The Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank has been using VolunteerHub to optimize its volunteer program since 2009. As an earlier adapter of VolunteerHub, the San Diego Food Bank has been able to capture and leverage volunteer data for many years, creating an organized volunteer program with the ability to drive growth and reach program goals.

    The Food Bank uses many of VolunteerHub s volunteer management features including recruitment, registration , reporting, and communication capabilities.

    Some of the most valuable feature sets of VolunteerHub that align with the Food Banks goals are the ability to communicate with groups of volunteers via corporate partnerships, the access to volunteer program trends via reporting, and the ability for volunteers to create profiles and self-register when and wherever they want via an internet connection.

    The Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank also has high hopes for how they will use VolunteerHub in the future to continuously optimize the organizations volunteer program. These ambitions and optimizations of the future include integrating volunteer and donor data, enhancing communication, and fundraising.

    The backend features and support team are another component of VolunteerHub that the food bank leverages to keep the volunteer program growing and organized. VolunteerHub allows The San Diego Food Bank to access the data they need, whenever and wherever they need it.

    You Can Be A Soup Kitchen Volunteer

    Mike Laman

    Becoming a soup kitchen volunteer is both easy and rewarding. While many soup kitchens are known for events during the holidays, they do operate all year and help is always needed. Volunteering provides a simple way to give back to your community and LIVE UNITED. The gratitude on the face of just one hungry child or adult shows how much your help is appreciated.

    Soup kitchens provide wholesome food for many members of a community. The homeless, hungry, or disaster victims all benefit from the services offered.

    Also Check: Food Bank Of Santa Barbara

    Volunteering During A Pandemic: An Insightful Perspective From A Food Bank Volunteer

    The San Diego Food Bank and the North County Food Bank launched their COVID-19 Response one year ago to meet the increased demand for food assistance caused by the pandemic. When the pandemic reached our region in mid-March, the Food Bank went from feeding 350,000 people to over 600,000 a month almost overnight. That number included some who were seeking assistance for the very first time. Not only did the Food Bank have to pivot to distribute more food to those in need, but we also needed the help of volunteers more than ever before. Individuals like Jonathan Sison answered the Food Banks call for support.San Diego resident, Jonathan Sison, is grateful that he and his loved ones remained healthy but he knows others were not as fortunate. 2020 was a challenging year for many people all over the world and he shares that it was heartbreaking to see so many lives upended by the pandemic.

    Dedicating his time and energy to help the community became a priority but safety remained a concern. As much as Jonathan wanted to help, he did not know how or where. Jonathan was watching local news coverage on how the pandemic was threatening access to healthy food for hundreds of thousands of people here in San Diego as they faced the fallout of job loss. Jonathan immediately knew this is how he wanted to help. He began researching local food banks for volunteer opportunities and discovered the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank and signed up for a volunteer shift.

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