Are you looking to be a part of the YMCA's cause-driven work that is creating a more healthy, food secure community? Are you passionate about food access or healthy eating? Do you enjoy working with kids and/or adults? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then we may have a great opportunity for you!
The support that volunteers bring to our programs is invaluable. Our team could not be more grateful for the passion and energy our volunteers share with us and the communities we serve. Below are the various ways you can get involved with the Nutrition Outreach Department.
If you would like to become a volunteer, please start with the link here. You will be contacted by someone from our team for next steps once you complete the online form.
December 2018 Volunteer of the Month
As a garden educator and home vegetable gardener, Lisa is always interested in new ways to encourage folks to learn more about the remarkable variety of vegetables that are available and how delicious they can be. Helping with the mobile markets have been a great fit for Lisa and we are so lucky for the great things she shares with our participants about healthy eating!
Past Volunteers of the Month
November 2018: Karlin Bohnert
October 2018: Allison Gurliacci
September 2018: Jayne McDonald
August 2018: Marilyn Miller
July 2018: Julie Hettiger
At our mobile markets we have volunteers help set-up the tables and crates of foods for participants to go through the line smoothly. Throughout the market, volunteers can help greet folks, discuss the different types of foods available and how to prepare them, help weigh out the food, and assist participants in carrying bags to their cars. This opportunity is best-suited for volunteers who are interested in food security and relationship-building, are comfortable standing a lifting heavy items, and enjoy
talking about food! The total time of this volunteer opportunity is usually about an hour and a half.
Before we bring food out to market, it all needs to be sorted. Our food sorters help separate all of the food donated to our program into separate bins, compost what cannot be consumed, distinguish what follows our nutrition/HEPA standards and uphold cleanliness and organization in our space. This opportunity is best-suited for volunteers who are comfortable being on their feet for a couple of hours and aren't afraid to get messy with some fruits and vegetables!
The YMCA of WNC participates in the national Cooking Matters program by hosting 6-week cooking courses and single-occurrence Store Tours for a variety of age groups (although most of our Cooking Matters work is with adults). The goal of Cooking Matters is to provide relevant information and hands-on experience to low-income individuals and families who want to learn how to cook from scratch and eat healthfully on a budget. This opportunity is best-suited to volunteers who enjoy cooking, nutrition, and sharing food-centered conversations and experiences with others. You can volunteer as a one-time assistant or join us for an entire 6-week program as a volunteer chef or volunteer nutrition educator. You can learn more about the Cooking Matters program here.
Food Explorers is an after-school nutrition education program established during the 2017-18 academic year by our AmeriCorps/Project POWER member. The program leader and the students cook together, sample new foods, discuss cultural foods, learn about physical activity, and engage in community activities. This opportunity is best-suited for volunteers who love working with kids in a fast-paced after-school environment. You will accompany the AmeriCorps/Project POWER member in our department to local elementary schools and assist with nutrition education lessons for elementary schoolers (and occasionally middle schoolers).
Looking for a volunteer opportunity on the weekend? Join us at one of our weekend meal sites and help a team member distribute free meals to kids.
Throughout the year we are happy to host dietetic interns or undergraduate students requiring supervised practice hours. Please contact someone from the team to explore what an internship with our Nutrition Outreach programs can look like.
To learn more about these programs, to discover where we currently serve meals, or to request meals at your location, please email us or call 828 775 7081.