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Dec 19, 2013 10:18 PM

Food Charities volunteer opportunites?

My company has gifted me with a paid week off to do something out of the norm. There are no restrictions just a suggestion I try to not to use the time as regular vacation, preferably do something that would help me grow as a person.

My thought was to somehow combine this with my love of food, learning about new places and giving back. I was hoping to find something similar to Habitat for Humanity. Somewhere where I could go away for a week and volunteer. I'd pay all my own expenses.

Anyone have any thoughts or suggestions? Thanks.

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  1. There are food banks and food kitchens in most communities. Or you could do as a co-worker does: she and her sisters prepare a ton of food once a week, drive out to areas where homeless are known to congregate, and serve until all the food is gone.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ricepad

      I was looking for a more immersive experience out of my normal routine. Going down to my local charity doesn't do that. That's why I was wondering about a habitat for humanity type experience but food oriented

      1. re: Jase

        I understand now what you're looking for, but just so you know, the vast majority of Habitat for Humanity volunteers are locals, working in their own communities.

    2. not sure if this fits your need your local Ronald McDonald House if you have one. They have many needs in the kitchen, providing meals, snacks, processing food donations, organizing the pantry, etc. It wouldn't be a 24x7 kind of assignment, but maybe there's something there for you. It's a heart warming place and there's very little "McDonalds" there, at least at the one I volunteer at. Well, there is Ronald, but not the rest of the corporate stuff. (I guess I'm saying don't rule it out just because of micky-dee!)

      1 Reply
      1. re: nojunk

        Thanks I didn't even think about that. I respect what they do a lot

      2. Do consider local community gardens (some might be church/religious tied-in). They might appreciate a week of physical help during early spring cleanup/prep, or help with market-garden sales in late spring/summer, or general education efforts (don't know if your week off is flexibly-scheduled).


          Are you familiar with the site Volunteer Match? They can help you narrow your search very quickly.

          1 Reply
          1. re: HillJ

            Thanks I will explore that link. I have tried looking at something like that before I think. But always helpful to have more sources.

          2. What a wonderful gift! And what an amazing thing for a company to do.

            ECHO is an interesting place. They have test gardens of tropical and subtropical food plants and a big focus on appropriate technology. They are religious based but don't push that aspect (as reported from friends who have visited).

            From their website:
            "Our purpose is to help those who are teaching farmers around the world know how to be more effective in producing enough to meet the needs of their families and their communities. "

            They do accept volunteers. Being Florida based I suspect they are used to volunteers who are vacationing or who are seasonal residents.


            2 Replies
            1. re: meatn3

              Thanks that does look interesting.

              I am very lucky to be given this opportunity by my company. They are very supportive of charitable efforts and community service. They put their money where there mouth is. Flexible time when possible, matching donations, high level support for projects, etc. they even have a budget set aside for ad hoc causes. The employee just has to present a compelling argument on how the cause will impact society and the community to get some of the budget.

              1. re: Jase

                Please try to update about what you eventually choose to do. I find this idea very inspiring!