On the eve of National Volunteer Week, FareShare has paid tribute to the thousands of people who volunteer each year with a video (see above).
FareShare rescues surplus food and cooks 5000 free, nutritious meals a day for charities with the support of 750 regular volunteers. Another 3000 secondary students and 3000 corporate volunteers help out in our kitchen each year.
“Volunteers are the heart of FareShare,” said CEO Marcus Godinho. “With our ratio of 50 regular volunteers to every staff member, we couldn’t exist without them. From the time we set out baking a few hundred pies a week, to cooking more than one million meals a year today, we have been entirely dependent upon volunteers.
“Volunteers drive the vans that rescue and deliver food, prepare meals under the guidance of experienced chefs, grow vegetables in our kitchen gardens and assist with a range of professional and administrative tasks.”
They include people at all stages of life – from students to retirees – with the majority finding time around their employment arrangements. Nearly two thirds also volunteer with other organisations.
Why do they do it? According to our April 2016 volunteer survey, the biggest motivation is the desire to give back to the community. Asked for their primary motivation, 42 per cent said they “felt very fortunate and want to help others who are less so,” 30 per cent were “motivated to help feed people who go without” and 18 per cent were “passionate about food rescue.”
Overall more than 99 per cent said they would recommend volunteering at FareShare where there are currently 350 people on the waiting list for kitchen shifts.
“Volunteering at FareShare is fun, rewarding and sociable,” said volunteer manager Rosie Kelly. “Most volunteer roles require no special skills and empower people to make a tangible contribution to tackling food waste and hunger in our community.”