Volunteering for Hounds?
- pane Feb 14, 2007 10:10 AM
I’ve been thinking of doing some more volunteering lately, and it seems like something food-related would be enjoyable to me. Are there any hounds who volunteer with food-related organizations? What do you do?
I’m thinking more along the lines of educating kids or families about healthy dining choices, less Food Bank-type prep work (I spent 8 hours bagging frozen chicken breasts for a San Francisco nonprofit—wonderful work, but not what I’m seeking).
I volunteer at a community center that does that but for classes on nutrition, they get a registered dietician to volunteer to teach. Being in the fitness industry, I know a lot about nutrition but I understand that they want to guarantee that they're not just getting someone who has a lot of heart but not knowledge to teach. They do have helpers in the class and the place I volunteer asks people to put together cooking packages (measuring cups, spoons, etc. ) so people can have the basics to start cooking at home. Try www.helping.org for ideas.
type in your zip code and a list of volunteer opp's will result
if you know the specific name of a charity, you can try "by name" searches as well
still no luck, contact your local Volunteer Center or United Way to inquire about local food-related volunteer positions.
two opp's that quickly come to mind: volunteering for a culinary school (tech school) or hotel that has a large fundraising/event following and may seek an intern.
If you are in the San Francisco area, contact Mary Risley at Tante Marie's Cooking School. She started Food Runners, one of the great ideas of all time for food-related volunteering.
Meals on Wheels -- not glamorous, but necessary. When it had a volunteer assistant program, I was one for Boulder's Cooking School of the Rockies (now Culinary School of the Rockies). That involved prep work, assisting chefs, serving -- and absorbing much of what was taught in hands-on and demo classes. Not a charity benefiting the needy or hungry, but volunteer work nonetheless -- and lots of fun.
The delivery aspect is important, too. In some cases, the Meals-on-Wheels delivery driver is the only human contact a shut-in has over the course of their day. There have been occasions here where our Meals-on-Wheels driver has found someone ill, or fallen, or something, and gotten them the care they need. (We've also had a couple of occasions where it's the Meals-on-Wheels driver who find a person who has passed away, too.) Years ago when I delivered in Wichita, there was a gentleman who was extremely lonesome after the death of his wife. I learned to arrange my route so I went to his house last, so I'd have time to visit with him.
My own dream volunteer job would be teaching folks how to make decent food from non-convenience-food ingredients, especially people who need to eat frugally. There's a woman in my church who just retired after years as the hospital dietician, so she might be able to help me in that area, and hopefully get some basic curriculum guidance from the extension service.