Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Value of Volunteers

Volunteers are treasured every day at Second Harvest but we take the opportunity of National Volunteer Week (April 19-25) to put a value on the time that is given to the food bank. Every month between 800 and 900 volunteer hours are logged by volunteers at Second Harvest and the Grand Rapids Food Shelf. Last year, 10,400 total hours were recorded.

According to the Independent Sector the value of volunteer time is $20.25 per hour for 2008. This value is based on the average hourly earnings of all production and nonsupervisory workers on private nonfarm payrolls, as determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Independent sector takes this figure and increases it by 12 percent to estimate for fringe benefits.

This huge gift of time illustrates how crucial volunteers are to the work of Second Harvest North Central Food Bank. The staff of 10 people could not distribute over 3 million pounds of food to more than 30,000 people in north central Minnesota every year without the hundreds of people who volunteer to help get the work done.

A huge Thank You goes out to all the people who volunteer to re-pack food at the food bank, stock shelves and help clients in the food shelf, drive the small delivery truck, run food and fund drives, help with the Itasca Holiday Program, distribute the MAC & NAPS boxes, work in the Plant to Plate Garden and assist with Kids Packs to Go. Thousands of people are fed by all these efforts.

The dollar value might be $20.25, but we think our volunteers are priceless.

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