After work, house chores, and other responsibilities, you may not feel like you have time to fit anything else into your busy schedule. Although you are busy, there are many benefits to volunteering at a food bank that are well worth the time it takes. Nearly a quarter of Americans over 16 find time to volunteer, averaging 52 hours a year. Joining this force of good to help others can also end up helping you.
Touch the Lives of Others
One of the most obvious benefits of volunteering at a food bank is the opportunity you have to enrich the lives of others. The work that you do directly helps those in your community struggling with food insecurity. While volunteering, you can see the variety of people that use the resources provided by the local food bank and observe the results of the time you spend. The gratitude you can see from those who depend on food banks can touch your heart as well as theirs. Knowing that you contributed to making sure someone has food on the table is sure to make you feel good.
Improve Your Physical and Mental Health
Another benefit of volunteering at a food bank is that it can improve your physical and mental health. Volunteering may reduce blood pressure which can help prevent heart disease and lower the risk of a stroke. Those who spend time volunteering also report a better overall physical condition than those who do not.
Volunteering can also reduce stress and increase positive, relaxed feelings that help with depression and anxiety. Spending time helping others can contribute to a sense of accomplishment or sense of purpose which adds to your overall positive mental state.
Expand Your Career
Volunteering at a food bank can even expand your career. Volunteering can expand your social network and your professional connections. Meeting new people while volunteering can be a great way to make new connections outside your current circle. You will meet a variety of people from different backgrounds that can be valuable friends and members of your network. You can also use this volunteer experience to learn new skills and further develop skills you already have such as organizational and social skills.
Your free time is precious, but setting aside some time for volunteer opportunities can provide many benefits that make the experience more than worth the effort it takes. Taking the time to fight hunger can greatly help the food bank, those who utilize the food bank, and the volunteers that help the food bank function. From improving the lives of others to expanding your professional network, the benefits of volunteering at a food bank are expansive.
The One Initiative unites C.R England and England Logistics in the fight to end childhood hunger. Learn more about work of the One Initiative at oneagainstchildhoodhunger.com.