Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma Welcomes Back Volunteers
Mike Seals - May 19, 2021 11:09 am
Limited-Capacity Shifts to Begin 1 June
(OKLAHOMA CITY) – May 19, 2021 – Beginning June 1, the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma will welcome the public back to its Volunteer Center. The limited-capacity shifts will be the first available to the public since the Regional Food Bank closed volunteer opportunities on March 25, 2020 in an abundance of caution due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Over the past 14 months we have felt the weight of the absence of our volunteers and we can’t wait to welcome you all back soon,” said Stacy Dykstra, chief executive officer of the Regional Food Bank. “Our volunteers make a tremendous impact in the fight against hunger in Oklahoma.”
Volunteer shifts will be available Monday through Friday. On Mondays, a morning shift will be offered while morning and afternoon shifts are available Tuesday through Friday. Shifts are limited to 30 people who must be 16 years of age or older.
To ensure the safety of all volunteers and Regional Food Bank staff, the organization is implementing the following steps:
- Because the Regional Food Bank is not requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination, all volunteers and staff are required to wear a mask while on-site.
- Volunteers will be allowed in one by one and greeted by a volunteer coordinator.
- The Volunteer Center staff will ask each volunteer several COVID-19 screening questions.
- Volunteers will receive a temperature check. Volunteers with temperatures of more than 100.4 degrees will not be able to volunteer.
- Volunteer coordinators will check in each volunteer for that shift and direct them to an assigned volunteer station.
- Volunteers will be social distanced while volunteering.
- Due to space limitations and safety precautions, volunteer opportunities will be limited to the Regional Food Bank’s Volunteer Center.
Between July 2019 and March 2020, 31,965 volunteers donated 81,452 hours of service which helped the Regional Food bank save nearly $2.1 million in labor costs. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Regional Food Bank hired temporary workers to sort and package food to maintain the work typically done by volunteers. In addition, the Balon Corporation provided up to 50 of its employees to work in the Volunteer Center and to assist with other work throughout the facility. In April 2020, an Oklahoma Air National Guard unit worked in the Volunteer Center for 30 days.
“We are so grateful to the companies and organizations who eagerly stepped in to ensure the Regional Food Bank was able to continue to meet the increased demand for food across the state,” Dykstra said.
Volunteer opportunities are currently available. Visit rfbo.org/volunteer to sign up.