FLINT, Mich. (WJRT)- The Food Bank of Eastern Michigan is facing a very similar staffing issue as other companies.
And it couldn’t come at a worse time with the holiday season approaching fast.
More than 40 eager volunteers from Lapeer Intermediate School District lent a helping hand Friday to reduce a growing pile of boxes filled with food and other items.
It takes many hands to sort through donations before they can be sent to the many mid-Michigan charity and community outreach centers that will feed those in need.
“It feels really good knowing that you’re giving back to the community. Knowing that this food is going to go to someone that is going to help them. That is going to get them by. It’s going to give them something to eat,” said student volunteer Trent Ouley.
“To me it’s like compassion is everything. And I think with this little step of just coming here like during Thanksgiving or whenever, can really make a big change in the world,” added Lilly Weingartz, another student volunteer.
Unfortunately, there are less hands than usual from volunteers who assist food bank workers.
And that shortage is creating a back-log of goods.
Food Bank volunteer coordinator Keri Brack explained to me how the personnel shortage is affecting operations.
“The need is still there. However, it’s harder for us to get the product out without having volunteers in here.
Before the pandemic, up to 25 volunteers daily would assist with processing.
After? The numbers are way down.
“On a normal day - we maybe have five, six max. Some days we truly only have four people in here volunteering. So, our staff picks up,” commented Brack.
While more volunteers are needed to sort more than four million pounds of food each month - there is a bit of good news.
Donations are still strong heading into the holiday season.
For more information on how you can volunteer - you can visit www.fbem.org or call volunteer coordinator Keri Brack at (810) 396-0210
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