Monday, July 27, 2009

Hand Up Youth Food Pantry

I recently volunteered with the Jewish Family Service of San Diego, at the Hand Up Youth Food Pantry. Hand Up Youth Food Pantry is a youth-based volunteer project that helps out food pantries all around San Diego, such as in Hillcrest and Kearny Mesa. The youth volunteers help out by sorting cans of food and non-perishable items in the pantry and making cooking and non-cooking bags for the hungry to eat. They also just started monthly distributions of those cooking or non-cooking bags, at Camp Pendleton and Murphy Canyon. At those sites, they work with low income military families in need of food. Hand Up serves all ages throughout the county by combining forces with other small organizations to attempt to diminish the growing rate of hunger not just in San Diego but worldwide. My first experience working with Hand Up Youth Pantry was fun! I figured that it would be just sorting cans into cabinets or shelves of a pantry but on my first day I was put to work!

Shelly Hahne, the Food Pantry Coordinator, was nice and easy to talk to. She encouraged hard work and gave a presentation about the organization. This weekend I arrived to an assembly line of 8 people packing canned vegetables, fruit, peanut butter, popcorn, and granola bars into bags that would be shipped off to the monthly distributions. I helped by securing the food bags and placing them into large buckets filled to the brim. Overall, it was a lot of fun and it encouraged me to take part in a monthly distribution. It gives me satisfaction to know that the military families appreciate the food bags I helped put together.

The Hand Up Youth Food Pantry takes place every Sunday of the month at the Jewish Family Service Center. The "regulars" welcome anyone and are very friendly. Come volunteer now while the food is hot! Sign up for the Hand Up Youth Food Pantry! To find other youth friendly projects, visit Volunteer San Diego.

Camille Carrillo is a volunteer youth blogger for Volunteer San Diego. Camille is 15 years old and is currently a junior at a local charter school where she participates in field hockey and track and field.

1 comment:

Shana Hazan said...

Hand Up Youth Food Pantry provides volunteers of all ages with a great volunteer experience, whether it's stocking shelves and assembling bags in the food pantry, or distributing food to military families at their 2 monthly military food distributions.

The Hand Up Youth Food Pantry also has a dynamic Student Executive Committee, which coordinates food drives, fundraisers and organizes advocacy campaigns in the community.

You can contact Shana Hazan at for more information.