#happylife: A volunteer opportunity for the whole family at Second Harvest

Giving back and serving your community — it’s important and crucial work.

Second Harvest in Spokane would love to see you help out this holiday season. The food bank is looking for people to help sort and pack food items into boxes that help feed local families.

Second Harvest distributes more than 31 million pounds of food every single year, but it takes a village to feed a community. They need your help in getting all this food out to local families in need.

It takes 6,500 volunteers — between the warehouse and the sort room — to keep a steady flow of food at Second Harvest.

The local food bank welcomes volunteers from all stages of life.

“We’re doing this for the people who are hungry who don’t have food,” said Marley Spencer, a sixth grade volunteer.

Spencer was on a group trip with her school, Spokane Montessori.She threw on a hair net and gloves with her friend, Mckenzie Fallon. As sixth graders, they’re already being of service to their community.

“It’s not as boring as it looks, it’s actually pretty fun,” Fallon said.

Kevin Miller, aka Hot Sox, to the Second Harvest family, is retired.

“I stood in line at food banks before and people wouldn’t take the product because they didn’t know what to do with some of it,” Miller said.

For the last ten years, he puts his time at the food bank – hosting cooking classes at The Kitchen.

“Everybody learns a recipe, makes a recipe, packs it up and takes it home,” Miller said.

His sister, Katherine Miller, is on a similar path. For six years now, she’s put her time and energy into giving back.

“You need to take care of the people in our community. They are short on food, and we need to provide it, and make sure they get it,” Katherine said.

Second Harvest not only makes sure the community is fed, but fed well.

“Everybody has a right to have a good healthy diet,” said Julie Humphreys, Second Harvest.

Forty percent of the food given away at Second Harvest is fresh produce.

“Cherry tomatoes, I mean this stuff is wonderful. It’s perfectly good and ready to go to people,” Humphreys said.

When you add the amount of whole grains and other nutritious ingredients they provide, it makes up about 70 percent of a wholesome diet.

“We’re not just giving people Top Ramen or mac-and-cheese. We are giving people in need good, nutritious food so that they can live a healthy lifestyle,” Humphreys said.

But it takes a village to feed a community.

“Just come down. If you’ve got time on your hands, come down. We can always use extra hands to take care of all this,” Katherine said.

“It really matters what you put into your body. Just because, folks that are using food banks are down on their luck, or they have low income doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have good, beautiful food,” Humphreys said.

For more information on volunteer opportunities with Second Harvest, CLICK HERE.

There are some age restrictions, however. Anyone aged 14 or older is welcome to volunteer and can do so without a parent. Children as young as nine can also volunteer, however, they need to volunteer with a parent. There are some exceptions during group visits. Be sure to check with Second Harvest before you go.

Second Harvest said they’re in need of more volunteer truck drivers this time of year. They’re looking for people at least 18 years old with a valid driver’s license to donate their time. These drivers would drop off donations to distribution centers and pick up food at drop-off centers.

Monday kicks off the 4 News Now Season of Giving food drive. From now until December 6, you can head to any Yoke’s Fresh Markets to purchase pre-bagged groceries to donate. You can also donate cash at the register or online to help fight hunger. Every dollar donated can provide five meals for a family in need.

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