Guest Contributor | James Frame, FARSB Office Volunteer
My name is James. I have been retired for several years, and I am fortunate enough to volunteer at Feeding America Riverside|San Bernardino (FARSB) today.
Prior to becoming a FARSB Volunteer, I searched high and low to find an organization that directly served my community. I eventually found FARSB, whose main goal is to provide food to families who are unable to afford it by themselves. FARSB does this by distributing food to food pantries, soup kitchens, school programs, homeless shelters, and more. Their efforts really encouraged me to give some of my time to help feed my community.
While small, the staff here is mighty, and I came to appreciate their work rather quickly. From working in the warehouse to working in the office, everyone seemed determined to combat hunger in their local neighborhoods, and I admired that.
Today, as an office volunteer, I have the pleasure of offering volunteer clerical services at the front desk. The most rewarding part of my volunteer experience is handling calls from people who need help. It is sad knowing that many who battle with food insecurity often feel a level of shame when reaching out for assistance. My job is to ensure that they always feel safe and supported.
Among the many people that I have been fortunate enough to encounter, I recently took a call from a homeless man named Mike. Mike had faced a series of personal battles that eventually left him on the streets. As I learned more about Mike's situation, I realized he needed an emergency food box—a free box of food that FARSB keeps handy for community members seeking immediate assistance. During our call, Mike said that he would bike several miles to our distribution center to receive food that he could share with others who were also living in the same homeless encampment that he found himself in.
As we spoke, I shared free local food resource centers that could provide Mike with a more regular source of food. These ranged from farmers market style food distribution centers to small soup kitchens serving food in his community.
I thought about Mike as I enjoyed my evening meal that night. Somehow my dinner was a little more comforting knowing that Mike was probably eating too.
I often tell the staff and others here that I get a lot more out of volunteering than I put into it, and that is the truth. I am grateful for the privilege that is my life and especially grateful to help others enjoy a meal today, tomorrow, and for as long as they need it.
If you want to help your local food bank and give back to others in your community, consider joining FARSB’s efforts by hosting a food drive, becoming a volunteer, or making a donation. This supports food distribution programs here in the Inland Empire.
Food Drive: www.FeedingIE.org/food-drives