2012 Volunteer Handbook

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1 2012 Volunteer Handbook One hungry neighbor is one too many...

2 388 Upper Oakwood Avenue Elmira, New York phone: fax: web site: The Food Bank of the Southern Tier is a charitable organization that solicits, stores, and distributes donated food and grocery products pursuant to grocery industry and appropriate regulatory standards. These products are distributed to charitable human-service member agencies, which, in turn, provide the products directly to individuals in need through various programs. Steuben Schuyler Tompkins Proudly serving Broome, Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga, and Tompkins counties since Chemung Tioga Broome Flow of Food to Hungry People FOOD IS ACQUIRED THROUGH A VARIETY OF CHANNELS Distributors Growers Manufacturers Processors Retailers Federal Commodities Wholesale Food Purchases FOOD IS DISTRIBUTED Through our network of over 160 Member Agencies (food pantries, soup kitchens, senior programs, etc.) and Direct Service Programs including the Mobile Food Pantry Program and BackPack Program FOOD REACHES THOSE IN NEED Children Seniors Working Poor Homeless Individuals with Disabilities Unemployed A Regional Agency of

3 Table of Contents Welcome to the Food Bank of the Southern Tier 2 About the Food Bank of the Southern Tier 2 Get Involved 3 Volunteer Opportunities 3 How to Schedule Volunteer Opportunities 4 Volunteer Policies 5, 6 Volunteer Form 7, 8

4 Welcome to the Food Bank of the Southern Tier We could not operate the Food Bank of the Southern Tier without the help of so many committed and faithful community volunteers. You or your group can help in so many ways. Any amount of time, commitment and enthusiasm helps fight hunger in the Southern Tier. Please read through the enclosed materials and complete the necessary forms at the end of this handbook. You will need to bring these forms with you the first time you volunteer. About the Food Bank of the Southern Tier In operation since 1981, the Food Bank of the Southern Tier distributes food and food-related products to people in need through a network of more than 160 hunger-relief member agencies including food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and other non-profit organizations. The Food Bank also has a number of direct service programs that fight hunger including the BackPack Program and Mobile Food Pantry. Located in Elmira, NY, the Food Bank is a regional agency of Catholic Charities and a member of Feeding America. The Food Bank serves the six counties of Broome, Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga and Tompkins. Fact sheets are available with additional information about the Food Bank s programs and service area. To learn more, visit the Food Bank s website at or call

5 The Need is Great, But You Can Help! Each week, over 11,000 individuals visit a hunger-relief member agency served by the Food Bank. In 2011, the Food Bank distributed nearly 7.5 million pounds of food to neighbors in need across Broome, Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga and Tompkins counties. In 2011, Food Bank volunteers donated more than 30,000 hours of their time to help fight hunger. Volunteer Opportunities Warehouse Volunteers Common volunteer activities include repackaging bulk food for distribution to neighbors in need and assembling bags of nutritious, kid-friendly food items for the Food Bank s BackPack Program, which distributes packs of food to children at risk of hunger over weekends and school breaks, when free and reduced priced school meal programs are not in session. Bulk Food Repack: BackPack Program Repack: Monday-Friday: Every Thrursday: Each 2nd & 4th Saturday: Year Round September - April 9:00am-12:00pm or 1:00pm-3:00pm 4:00pm-5:30pm or 6:00pm-8:00pm 9:00am-11:00am Food Bank Garden May - October Volunteer to work in the Food Bank s 20 raised garden beds. Help us grow fresh vegetables to supply soup kitchens, food pantries, and other emergency food programs in the Southern Tier. Anyone can participate, no experience necessary! Organize a Food or Fund Drive Community support is a vital part of our effort to help feed the hungry. Host a food or fund drive at your business, school, church, or special event. Contact us to learn more about how the Food Bank can leverage your dollar donation. Advocate Follow the Food Bank on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. Sign up for our monthly e-newsletter by visiting Donate Financial donors help support the Food Bank of the Southern Tier s hunger-relief efforts. 3

6 How to Schedule Volunteer Opportunities Whether you are available during daytime hours, evenings or weekends, we can match your time and talents with a volunteer activity. Please note: We do not accommodate requests for Court Mandated Community Service. Contact the Food Bank Volunteer opportunities must be scheduled in advance. Please contact: Darlene Bachman Volunteer Coordinator Phone: x4043 Fax: Complete a Volunteer Form All first-time volunteers, 16 years of age and older, and volunteer groups should complete an application. The Food Bank of the Southern Tier is responsible for accurately reporting all volunteer hours. The following form can be found at the end of this handbook: Volunteer Information Form (The volunteer application can now be completed on our website at When You Arrive Bring your completed volunteer form with you the first time you volunteer. Volunteer parking is available in front of the Food Bank s main entrance. Please sign in at the reception desk. Proceed to the Volunteer Lounge. You can wait there until your volunteer shift begins. Earl Leonard, Production Manager, will get you started! 4

7 Volunteer Policies The safety of our volunteers is our number one priority. The following policies have been developed to ensure a safe, productive and rewarding volunteer experience at the Food Bank. Volunteers Eight Years of Age and Older are Welcome Volunteers must be at least eight years of age to volunteer in the Food Bank s working warehouse. Children under the age of 16 years must be accompanied by an adult with a 5:1 child to adult ratio for groups. Appropriate Clothing Clothes may get dirty when working in the Production Room. It s a good idea to dress in layers according to the weather. Loose jewelry is not recommended as the Food Bank of the Southern Tier is not responsible for lost or damaged items. Lockers are available in the Volunteer Lounge for your personal items. Closed-Toe Shoes Wear sensible closed-toe shoes (no sandals) when working anywhere in the Production Room. Sneakers or boots are recommended. No one wearing open-toe shoes will be permitted in the Production Room or warehouse. Be Alert Keep eyes and ears open at all times, watching and listening for forklifts, pallet jacks and other equipment used in the Production Room or warehouse. No climbing on equipment or running. Mechanical Equipment Do not operate mechanical equipment without direction from the Production Manager. Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age to operate equipment. No Food or Drink Permitted in the Production Room Please leave food or beverages in the Volunteer Lounge and be sure to clean up after yourself. Records Every volunteer is entered into a volunteer database to track volunteer hours. Please notify the Volunteer Coordinator with change of address, phone, , or other information, as needed. Report Injuries Immediately report any injuries and/or unsafe conditions or practices to the Food Bank Production Manager or a nearby Food Bank staff member. Food All of the food in the warehouse is for distribution to our hunger-relief member agencies and their clients. Anyone who takes food from the Production Room or warehouse will be immediately asked to leave and will not be permitted to return. 5

8 Volunteer Policies, cont. Cleanliness All staff and volunteers working with food should wash their hands before starting their volunteer task, after using the bathroom, after taking a break, or after coming into contact with a cleaning solution such as Clorox. Smoking Smoking is not permitted anywhere inside the Food Bank of the Southern Tier. Please smoke in the designated smoking area outside. Harassment Harassment is taken very seriously. Volunteers need to work in a safe and welcoming atmosphere. If you experience or detect any instances of harassment, sexual or otherwise, please report it immediately to the Food Bank Production Manager. Staff Instructions All Food Bank of the Southern Tier warehouse employees are trained to comply with a detailed set of safety instructions. While you are volunteering, you will be provided with specific directions pertinent to your volunteer task. Please follow all employee instructions and ask a warehouse employee for assistance if needed. Suggestions Each volunteer is encouraged to review and evaluate their volunteer experience. The Food Bank strives to utilize volunteers efficiently and in a way that creates the most positive outcome for both the volunteer and the Food Bank. There is a suggestion box located in the Production Room for new ideas, suggestions, and/or concerns. Childcare Childcare is not provided for volunteers during volunteer service. Parents wishing for their school-aged children to work alongside them when volunteering must receive prior permission from the Volunteer Coordinator. All volunteers need to be at least 8 years old. Inclement Weather In the event of inclement weather, including but not limited to, snow, ice, rain or sleet, please use your best judgment. You are not required to report to the Food Bank if you do not feel safe traveling. All volunteer activities at the Food Bank are canceled if schools in Chemung County are closed due to inclement weather. In some cases the Food Bank may close due to inclement weather. If you are unsure, please call the front desk at to determine if the Food Bank is open. Should a policy violation occur, the Food Bank of the Southern Tier reserves the right to terminate volunteers. 6

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