Summertime is THE busiest time at The Open Door. It’s a time when all four of our programs are running, when we distribute the most food, and when volunteer need is at an all-time high. But where is it most helpful to get involved when there is so much to do?!
While there are numerous ways to give back, we’ve pulled together the top five ways to fight hunger with The Open Door this summer season!
- Summer Pop-Up Produce Distributions The Open Door hosts 28 year-round Mobile Pantry food distributions but five specific sites are seasonal, running from May – October. These are called Pop-Up Produce distributions. At these 5 sites, we bring fresh and healthy food (primarily fresh produce) directly into neighborhoods that are in high need of food support. Volunteers are needed at these distributions to help with set up, distribute, food, bring food to clients’ cars, collect data, and tear down. These distributions occur across Dakota County and are typically Thursday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. Pop-Up Produce distributions are a great group volunteer opportunity!
- Mobile Lunchbox The Open Door’s Mobile Lunchbox (MLB) program brings meals and snack packs (see below!) to 27 neighborhoods across five Dakota County School Districts five days a week throughout the summer! Roughly 10 volunteers are needed Monday-Friday to pick up meals and deliver them to students on the MLB routes! There are anywhere from 4-7 stops on each route and the volunteer shifts run between 2-3.5 hours mid-day. This is a great individual volunteer opportunity OR is great for pairs of two!
- Creating & Donating Snack Packs The meals made by each school district and delivered by Mobile Lunchbox volunteers replace the school lunch students miss when on summer break. But what if that is the only meal a child gets for the day? Or their next meal happens to be on the lighter side? The snack packs provided on Mobile Lunchbox routes can be a lifeline for kids, nourishing them between meals. Or, simply giving kids the extra food support needed as they play, grow, and snack! Creating and donating these individual snack packs is a great off-site volunteer opportunity for an individual or a large group! See the image for info on creating snack packs.
- Garden to Table The Open Door’s Garden to Table (G2T) Program has 13 community gardens where clients can plant and grow their own fresh produce. For anyone who is an avid gardener, you know that 13 gardens are A LOT of work!! We are in constant need of volunteers to help with composting, general garden upkeep, light maintenance, and so much more. This is a fantastic group volunteer opportunity (especially for youth groups) but is also great for individuals. You can access G2T information via the volunteer link below or reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information!
- Engage with The Open Door on Social Media It may seem like such a small way to get involved, but we promise it makes a HUGE difference! The more you engage with The Open Door on social media (especially by sharing our posts), the more our information and hunger relief efforts get seen. Getting involved with a local organization can take many forms. For some, donating money or time is not feasible. Engaging with your local non-profits or community organizations on social media is a quick, free, simple way to get involved!
We hope these top five opportunities are a great starting point for you OR your organization to get involved with The Open Door! To learn more about both our individual and group volunteer opportunities (including snack packs) head to theopendoorpantry.org/get-involved/volunteer.
You can also reach out to our Volunteer Coordinator, Veronica Lind, at email@example.com with any questions. Don’t forget to follow The Open Door on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter to stay updated AND to share TOD news with your online community!