GREENFIELD — Volunteers are needed for Greenfield’s bi-weekly food distributions, as community members continue to show up in large numbers to the regular events.
The easing of pandemic guidelines has not ended the financial impact of Covid-19 on area families, which means people are still desired who can help get food to those in need.
To operate best, two car stations are needed with five volunteers each. Greenfield Community Science Workshop Director Jose Sanchez said those 10 volunteers are needed, but going up to 12 would allow the operation to run smoothly. The city currently has seven volunteers.
The city used to have a total of 15 volunteers, which Sanchez said has decreased over time as people deal with various circumstances that come up, whether seasonal moves, harvest work, school or schedule changes.
“In the past, we had the nice issue of too many volunteers, trying to get everybody involved,” Sanchez said.
Volunteers at the food distributions show up in the morning and repackage food by getting items from the delivery bins and putting them into smaller containers. These usually include three to five different items to be placed into vehicles in a no-contact method.
“The first thing that we have to make sure is that all that food is packaged in bags that we can put in people’s cars,” Sanchez said.
Other volunteer duties include directing traffic and helping those who show up on foot with carts, baskets or wagons.
“The perception is that it has gone down, but it’s hard to say because the Food Bank has been really active,” Sanchez said.
While each individual distribution site may have less total recipients, Sanchez explained the number of distribution sites has tripled as the Food Bank not only works with the city at the Greenfield Memorial Hall distributions, but also delivers food at the school sites.
Among the shifts that have happened over time, Sanchez said a change in perception has taken place about food handouts.
“The food that you get when you go to these type of distributions is something that everybody, regardless of who you are or what your background is, would be glad to have in their refrigerators or kitchens,” he said. “People are a little more open to receiving help, no longer feeling ashamed or embarrassed. We all understand at this point this is a pretty serious crisis and the idea of either giving or receiving help is something that has been normalized.”
The food distributions at Greenfield Memorial Hall take place every other Tuesday, with the next one scheduled for June 8, from 9 to 11 a.m. Those interested in helping can contact Sanchez at 831-540-9830.