By Anita Foster
Staff contributor, Tarrant Area Food Bank

When some people think about volunteering at a food bank, thoughts of sorting varieties of canned goods come to mind. And while Tarrant Area Food Bank does rely on volunteers to help with sorting millions of pounds of canned and boxed foods each year, that’s only one way to help. In honor of National Volunteer Week, we wanted to introduce you to some unique ways to volunteer.

1. Get your gardening on!

Yes, you can volunteer to work in one of our two outdoor gardens. Volunteers do everything from pulling weeds to planting and harvesting fresh fruits and vegetables that literally go from “garden to table” as we send them directly to food pantries for distribution. While you’re volunteering, you’ll also get expert tips to improve your home gardens!

2. Inspire healthy changes

It’s about more than sorting food at Tarrant Area Food Bank as we strive to provide high-quality nutritional education year round in our Cooking Matters program. Volunteer nutritionists, culinary instructors and assistants are always needed to help teach courses. Cooking Matters focuses on preparing healthy food, purchasing good foods on a budget, learning how to shop your grocery store to get the best results and so much more. If you have this passion, we need you!

3. Flex your Spanish skills

¿Habla español? We need you! In many of our programs, especially our nutrition programs, Spanish language interpreters save the day for many local residents learning to get healthy and stay healthy. Spanish speakers can also help at special events, food distribution locations and other areas that support the TAFB mission.

4. Hand out farm-fresh fruits and vegetables

Change your life for the better by helping us distribute healthy and nutritious food through our Farmers Market Nutrition Program. Volunteers in this program touch the mission right where it happens – with the family needing food. As a customer service volunteer, you’ll help families with their food selections and help them get their produce carried out to their cars. You’ll hear many stories and words of thanks when you volunteer in this area.

We hope you’ll consider joining Tarrant Area Food Bank as a volunteer. These are some ways to help, but there are many more. To learn more about the array of opportunities, visit our Volunteer page, find the place where you fit and start your volunteer story today.

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