As the threat from COVID-19 appears to be reducing, more volunteers are returning to the Food Bank as volunteers. Silvano Merlo, General Manager at Marriott International and Board Member for the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, brought a group of Marriott volunteers in early April to help prepare emergency food kits which will be distributed throughout all of LA County at a later time.
“The LA Regional Food Bank is an excellent organization, and very well run financially,” said Merlo. “It’s always rewarding to support nonprofits that create such immediate value in the community.”
The Food Bank’s tens of thousands of annual volunteers donate enough labor to roughly equal 75+ full-time employees. This donated time reduces the overall cost of the Food Bank’s work, contributing to very high levels of institutional efficiency.
The Food Bank’s volunteers help in a variety of ways. In addition to packaging product, volunteers also glean and sort donated food, including fresh produce. Volunteers also help at distributions and at partner agency sites to provide food directly to those in need.
Merlo, a volunteer and financial donor to the Food Bank, was also an early contributor to the Building Hope Campaign, which will allow the Food Bank to expand programs and facilities to address food and nutrition insecurity in the future. As a board member, Merlo also provides leadership to the Food Bank.
April is National Volunteer Month, so seeing more volunteers coming back to serve their communities is encouraging, and will be exciting to see it continue into 2022 and beyond. To sign up for a volunteer shift, visit LAFoodBank.org/volunteer.