With its volunteer numbers down due to the pandemic, Network of Community Ministries has been relying on a program that connects unemployed service industry workers with nonprofits to serve and provide hunger relief to communities. As of Nov. 15, funding for that program will no longer be available, leaving 36 open shifts per day needing to be filled.
The timing comes as Network continues to see increased demand for its services. Prior to COVID, Network was serving about 150 families per week in its food pantry, a number that has grown to 700 per week due to the pandemic.
Volunteers are specifically needed in the following areas:
- Food Pantry: Assist with donation processing, restocking and food distribution
- Clothing Closet: Assist with donation processing, restocking and fulfilling online orders
- Home Food Delivery Drivers: Deliver food to seniors and high-needs families
- Mobile Food Pantry: Help unload boxes, put them in cars and take down simple information from each family that comes through Network’s mobile food pantry box distribution locations
- Toyland Express: Some volunteers will help price new toy donations in preparation of adding to inventory. Other volunteers will add inventory to Network’s online store and fulfill toy orders.
Network accepts volunteers ages 16 and up. Volunteers are needed Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m.-noon and Saturday from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Safety protocols including temperature checks and mask and glove requirements are in place, and background checks are required for all volunteers. Visit www.thenetwork.org/volunteer to sign up to volunteer.
Network is located at 741 S. Sherman St. in Richardson. For more information, visit www.thenetwork.org or call 972-234-8880.