Let’s talk about volunteers

Volunteers | Comments Off on Let’s talk about volunteers | Sep 1, 2013

It’s that time of year again – school is back in session after summer break. If you are a nutrition program coordinator, you are likely already working hard, digging out old menus from last year, coming up with some new meal ideas, ordering food and supplies, and ensuring that your space is all ready to serve kids. You may also be wondering about volunteers: who is going to do the dishes, help kids serve themselves, shop during the week, keep track of finances, help with grant applications and reporting, and complete the many other varied tasks that go along with running a nutrition program?

Kitchen Sink

Finding and keeping committed volunteers can be a challenge for any program, yet it can also be the foundation of long-term success. This month we will be featuring volunteer resources and ideas here on our website, as well as Facebook and Twitter to help get you started on the right track, so make sure to follow us. Topics will include recruitment, engagement, retention, appreciation, and of course, stories.  In the meantime, take a look through the quotes below from child nutrition programs around Manitoba about their volunteers:

Volunteer at Collicutt School

“It is amazing how this program runs so smoothly, I owe this all to my volunteers who help it run that way.” (Ruth Betts Community School) 

“Many students who have gone on from our school to middle school are returning and volunteering for the program because of the positive relationships that they have built here.” (Hampstead School)

“Our goal last year was to increase volunteer participation. We now have 1 to 2 consistent volunteers that assist in preparing a snack on a weekly basis.” (John M. King School)

“Our local grocery has become a large part of our organizing committee and the daily maintenance of our program.” (Morris School)

“The fire hall helps us with our school garden by watering and weeding it through the summer.” (École Leila North Community School)

“The majority of our volunteers are retired seniors who offer supportive, intergenerational environment to our students, and an integral social aspect of our breakfast program.” (Radisson School)

photo: A Collicutt School staff member has fun cooking breakfast each week, with support from student volunteers.