To keep our volunteers, clients and staff as safe as possible during the COVID-19 crisis, we can no longer hold open volunteer shifts at Second Harvest for the foreseeable future. For more information, please visit our COVID-19 Updates.
Over 2,000 volunteers help the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest Pennsylvania carry out its mission each year. Time donated to Second Harvest helps to provide more food to more people. Some ways our volunteers help include:
Grocery Reclamation – Assorted donations of nonperishable food items, frozen food items, health aids, paper goods and other products are transported to the Grocery Reclamation Center (GRC) and need inspected to prepare these items for distribution to our partner agencies. Projects may include sorting, labeling and repackaging food.
BackPack Program – Each week, over 1,000 bags are packed and provided to income eligible children in participating schools. These BackPacks contain enough food for children to have something to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner over the weekends when a school meal is not provided.
Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) – Many low-income senior citizens in our area are faced with making difficult financial decisions each month. To help alleviate the stress associated with having limited access to food, SHFB provides boxes of supplemental food items to approximately 2,600 income eligible seniors each month.
Gleaning – Volunteers meet our staff at local farms to harvest fruits and vegetables. The gleaning season typically takes place July-October. This is a great volunteer opportunity for groups, especially if more than 25 volunteers are interested in helping out at the same time.
Office Work – On an as needed basis, volunteers assist in the front office with various routine office tasks such as filing and stuffing envelopes.
Special Events – Volunteers help the Second Harvest staff to coordinate and execute such special events as: The Letter Carriers’ Food Drive (Stamp Out Hunger), Erie News Now Holiday Drive-Thru Food Drive, and Tops Food for Families Food Drive.