Adam Bookspan became an invaluable volunteer with Treasure Coast Food Bank’s Home Delivery Program, dropping off food to the homes of people who were at high risk during the pandemic. Lori Bianco is a regular participant at monthly Friends and Family Volunteer Days. And Deb Neufeld frequently helps at Mobile Distributions, where she’s inspired by the gratitude displayed by those in need of food.
They were among the many volunteers recognized by Treasure Coast Food Bank as Hunger Heroes during Volunteer Appreciation Month in April.
“Our volunteers are part of the heart of Treasure Coast Food Bank,” said Judith Cruz, President and CEO. “When the need for food doubled because of the pandemic, they helped us staff the front lines through mobile distributions and reach those individuals who couldn’t leave their house with home deliveries. There’s simply not enough thanks that we can give them.”
Prior to the pandemic, volunteers donated an average of about 46,000 hours of time per year, the equivalent of 24 full-time positions. It’s the gratitude they feel from people in need that keeps them coming back.
“There are many people who need the food bank,” said Lori Bianco, who began volunteering about 10 years ago as part of a team from Fort Pierce Utilities Authority, a major supporter of Treasure Coast Food Bank. “I know that if I was in need of the food bank, it would be available to me, and that makes me feel good.”
Deb Neufeld echoed her comments.
“I realize that there are so many of our neighbors who are hungry,” she said. “Mobile distributions bring me the most joy because I get to see my community, and they express gratitude every time.”
There are many volunteer opportunities available at Treasure Coast Food Bank. To learn more or sign up, visit stophunger.org/volunteer/.
ABOUT TREASURE COAST FOOD BANK
Treasure Coast Food Bank is the only food bank and largest hunger relief organization on Florida’s Treasure Coast, providing the community each year with millions of meals valued at more than $50 million through robust programs and in partnership with 400 charitable organizations in Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, and Okeechobee counties. In addition to emergency food distribution, Treasure Coast Food Bank operates a full roster of direct service programs that not only solve the immediate problem of hunger, but help individuals and families gain long-term food security, better health outcomes, and self-sufficiency. Treasure Coast Food Bank is a member of Feeding America, the nationwide network of 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States. For more information on Treasure Coast Food Bank, call 772.489.3034, log on to stophunger.org, visit our Facebook page at facebook.com/tcfoodbank, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/tcfoodbank.