Food banks are an essential and indispensable part of the community. Countless people depend on its presence to obtain nutritious food and meals. Especially at a time when living expenses have skyrocketed through the roof, food banks are becoming more prominent in our society. According to recent data released by Food Banks Canada, 23% of Canadians report eating less than needed as a result of increasing inflation. However, food banks are unable to give back to the community without the support and help of volunteers.
One question many people ask themselves when deciding if they should volunteer is: “how can one person make a difference?” Never doubt your work at a food bank! Regardless of how little you believe you are contributing to the food bank, anything is greatly appreciated. Even helping to package a few food boxes can make a great difference in a person’s life.
Furthermore, when you volunteer, you are not only giving back to the community, but you are also benefiting yourself in numerous ways. Firstly, volunteering can improve your mental health. As a result of the pandemic, many people suffer “cave syndrome”. Cave syndrome is a non-medical term used to describe people’s fear of stepping back out into the real world following the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions. Consequently, people start to jeopardize their work careers, friendships and other relationships in fear of leaving the house. Volunteering can help motivate people to leave their houses and step outside their comfort zones. Sometimes all we need is a little push.
Additionally, volunteering can enhance one’s emotional health. During the pandemic, the number of individuals suffering from loneliness, depression, and anxiety has significantly increased. Volunteering can help you meet new people and give you an opportunity to socialize with others. Research has shown that positive social interactions can help decrease feelings of depression and improve our mood. Moreover, volunteering can give people a feeling of worthiness and a sense that they have a purpose in life.
Lastly, volunteering can help ameliorate one’s physical health. When you volunteer in a food bank, you are constantly moving around and doing various things, which can help you attain your requirement for daily physical exercise. Moreover, volunteering can help reduce stress. Doing service to others can give one a sense of meaning, which can have a stress-reducing effect. Reduced stress additionally decreases the risk of multiple physical problems, such as heart disease, stroke, and general illness.
If you want to improve your life and community, consider volunteering at the JRCC Food Bank. If you have any additional questions, contact us at 416-222-7105 x259.