I have volunteered with Food Finders for a number of years working closely with all levels of the organization. They are close to my heart because they serve a fundamental need-hunger. This organization has grown significantly over the years, but especially under the the current director who is driven to meet the needs of the ever increasing numbers of needy families. She has surrounded herself with a like minded team. Whether working with the volunteer manager or one of the route drivers, they are dedicated to the Food Finder's mission. The director and her team are constantly finding and implementing new and better strategies to procure and distribute food, as well as methods to teach subjects such as nutrition and health. This is an outstanding organization operated by an outstanding group of individuals dedicated to wonderful cause. Thank you Food Finders
I am the pastor of Congress Street United Methodist Church in Lafayette and we partnered with Food Finders a year ago as we set-out to open a food pantry at the newly re-opened Oakland Elementary School. It's been a wonderful partnership for free or very reduced-cost product for our pantry.
Our team from work went over to help with packaging of food for distribution and It was a well organized system. The facility was clean, well kept and the staff was very nice. It is a pleasure to say that we helped with such a great outreach to our community.
Food Finders Food Bank (FFFB) offers a variety of areas for anyone to help, which is part of what makes it a great organization. I have had many opportunities to sort and label food for distribution with my team from work, which is great for team building for any work group.
I also reached out the them to see where my sons Cub Scout group could help. FFFB helped identify about a half dozen areas/Projects that they could help our community outside the FFFB facilities since they were to young to be in one of their facilities.
Our scouts were able collect food donations totaling over 400lbs the last couple years. The food drive for our scouts has become a great tradition for our entire pack.
Our scouts also made laundry detergent for FFFB, which is needed for several FFFB clients in our local area on a monthly basis. The scouts had to first collect plastic bottles for the detergent which aligns with our efforts to teach the scouts about the importance of recycling. Our den was able to produce 234 bottles of detergent for FFFB. We now plan to expand this to our entire Scout Pack in the future.
The opportunities that FFFB has provided for our scouts has helped educate them on the importance of helping out and giving back to our community. The scouts learned that there are a variety of ways they can help as an individuals and the importance of giving back to their community. They also experience first hand how big of an impact they can make when they team up to help others.
Food Finders has been a great help to our campus ministry. They opened their doors to us on a Sunday morning so that we could "Workship" there; volunteering to repackage food, then staying for worship. We have also hosted a Food Finder's Mobile Pantry in the parking lot of our church. They are able to provide hands -on volunteer opportunities for our students, while sharing the political and social reasons why there are so many food insecure people in our community.
I have now volunteered for a number of days at Food Finders. I find this organization is very well organized and managed with the focus on delivering food to where the need is.
I am proud to say I volunteer and work with this organization.
This week I had the opportunity to dedicate some of my time at the local Food Finders Food Bank, Inc. in Lafayette, IN. Food Finders is responsible for distributing food not only to Tippecanoe county, but to fifteen surrounding counties in Indiana as well. The program is funded by the United Way, grants, foundations, corporate sponsors, USDA, and private donors. These organizations help Food Finders distribute more than 7 million pounds of food annually to non profit organizations that work to alleviate hunger throughout North-Central Indiana. They do this through a variety of programs. The Agency Partner Program is responsible for providing the single largest source of food for over 160 hunger relief agencies such as soup kitchens, food pantries, and shelters. The mobile pantry outreach program has a “farmers market” style distribution. Food Finders takes a truck load of food across the central 16 counties to efficiently reach the Hoosiers who need it most. The Senior Grocery Program provides for seniors who are in need and have special dietary restrictions. This helps if they are unable to utilize certain food resources such as pantries and soup kitchens or if they have mobility issues. Another helpful outreach initiative is the Backpack Program. Shockingly every 1 out of 5 kids in Indiana alone struggles with hunger. Even with free or reduced lunch programs, these children have no food on the weekends. This program dedicates a backpack of food so the children have something to eat between Friday afternoon and Monday morning. Food Finders is responsible for over 4,000 backpacks each week. A majority of these programs are not possible without the help of volunteers.
Walking in to Food Finders Food Bank, Inc. I was not aware of the impact a single person can make in an organization such as this. First, I was introduced to a few staff members and about 8 other volunteers ready to make a difference. My assignment for the day was to package Pinto beans from a large 2000 lb. sack, into smaller 2lb. portion sizes where the bag was then sealed and placed in a box ready to distribute. Before I began, I had to apply a disposable hair net, gloves, and even an apron. Although, the task was as easy as dividing and weighing this mass of beans into small 2lb. packages, I still felt that what I was doing could potentially be making an impact on someone’s life. By the end of the day I was solely responsible for about 100 bags of Pinto beans ready to be sent to people in need.
By participating in this service learning activity it opened my eyes to not only the hunger issues of the world, but the very issues that are happening right where I live. I am now aware that 20% of children in the state I was born and raised has issues getting one of the main necessities of life. This not only deeply saddened me about my fellow Hoosiers, but it also brought to light how important this issue is globally. If children in the United States are having trouble eating, I can only imagine the trouble this issue is causing on a global scale. I am thankful I never had to grow up with such a tragedy, but now I am aware the impact this holds with the rest of the world. I am thankful that I had an opportunity to make a difference even if it was only 100 bags of pinto beans. I hope that some day the people of the world can take a few hours out of their week to volunteer for a good cause like Food Finders.
I've volunteered here many times in the past few years, helping in both a warehouse and distribution setting. I always have a great experience. The instructions are very clear, the work is not too physically demanding, the people are very nice, and I always feel appreciated.
Signing up is easy (every time you sign up, you are committing to one day, one time, it is easy to cancel if you need to, and you can sign up for as many events as you want), and there are so many options for time slots and activities. There really is something for everyone.
I would recommend volunteering here to anyone. I have brought several of my friends along with me, and all of them have enjoyed the experience, too.
The first time I signed up to volunteer I did not know what to expect. Everyone at Food Finders is so genuinely nice and accommodating! The experience makes you want to keep coming back to volunteer again and again. Its a wonderful organization and I am so happy to be able to volunteer on site and look forward to meeting new volunteers each week. Food Finders makes the process of volunteering so easy. It's such a rewarding feeling to know you are helping others.
We have volunteered at several kinds of the activities with our children too: the organizers are always very helpful, organized and friendly. It makes the work of lifting and sharing easy and effective. We are so grateful to them each and every time. It is safe and friendly for families to get involved in the community.
Please keep up the great work.