Whether you actively volunteer and give back to the community or are looking for new opportunities to get started, the holiday season is the perfect time to help those less fortunate. While there is a need for many types of services and donations throughout Southern California, many people suffer from not having the basic necessities, like a good meal. From food donations to serving meals, several organizations are constantly looking for help to feed those dealing with food insecurities.
We’re going to take a closer look at several different groups in Orange County that can use your help this holiday season and year-round. With so many different ways to give, you’ll find that there are many opportunities to give back to the community.
Opportunities to Help Feed the Community
Food Finders is an organization that saves thousands of pounds of food each year from going to waste. This is food that is perfectly edible and nutritious, not food scraps. All rescued food is redistributed daily. In 2022, more than 11 million meals were provided to those in need. Volunteers are always needed to help deliver food or organize food collections. People of all ages can help in the mission to collect and distribute food.
There are also opportunities for corporations to get involved. Corporate giving can be monetarily or by employees volunteering their time to the cause. To give you an idea of how far monetary donations can go, every $1 donated can provide 11 meals to those in need. Even a small monetary donation can go a long way to helping those in Southern California.
South County Outreach
South County Outreach For more than three decades, South County Outreach (formerly Saddleback Community Outreach) has been a leader in the fight to end hunger and homelessness in Orange County. Through the implementation of programs like the homeless prevention program, along with their incredible food program, which distributes over 700,000 pounds of food and keeps nearly 2,000 children fed each year, South County Outreach continues to do what they do best—housing, hope, and ending hunger.
SCO is another organization that provides ample opportunity to get involved. This group focuses on distributing food, helping people find housing, and providing educational programs to help people better their lives. Volunteers are always needed to sort food, pick up donations, work at the thrift store, and much more. Donations are also welcomed to keep this organization going and allow it to grow.
The Foodbank of Southern California
The Foodbank of Southern California provides nutritious food to those in need. The non-profit group offers several programs to help those who are food insecure. A mobile food pantry, neighborhood food distribution, and the senior brown bag program are just a few ways that The Foodbank of Southern California is there to help.
Food donations are always welcomed to stock the food pantry as well as monetary donations to purchase supplies. Volunteers are also needed to help make the various programs a success. From volunteering on a personal basis to volunteering as a team, or even hosting an online fundraiser, The Foodbank of Southern California provides many opportunities to prevent people from going hungry.
Corporations are also welcome to help by organizing food drives, volunteer teams, sponsoring vehicles, or underwriting other opportunities.
Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County
The Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County works to end hunger by distributing food to those in need. The organization purchases food and grows its own produce to distribute at more than 300 locations throughout Orange County. This includes schools, senior centers, food pantries, soup kitchens, and more.
Food donations are always welcomed as well as monetary donations or corporate involvement. Monetary donations can be made one time or monthly. Volunteer opportunities are available for those ages 7 and over, providing the perfect chance for kids to get involved. Group volunteers are also welcomed as well as those who want to host or help at a special event.
Community Action Partnership of Orange County Foodbank
The OC Food Bank is a program of the Community Action Partnership of Orange County. The mission is to help end hunger and malnutrition by working with more than 300 local charities, soup kitchens, and other community organizations. Donated food and the generous support of individuals and corporations allow this group to feed thousands of Orange County families each year.
Besides donating food and other aid, volunteers are also needed to host food drives to collect food for those in need. Food drives can be done in-person or virtually, providing even more opportunities for those who may not be physically able to hold these types of events. Volunteers are also needed to assemble meals and distribute them.
Someone Cares Soup Kitchen
Someone Cares Soup Kitchen works to provide nutritious meals to the homeless, unemployed, working poor families, and others who are in need. Food can be donated to help prepare the meals as well as monetary donations to help the organization purchase items. Volunteers are also needed to prepare and serve the meals as well as clean up. Someone Cares Soup Kitchen feeds over 300 people daily and is always in need of volunteers. There are individual volunteer opportunities or group volunteering that are ideal for companies that want to give back.
Bracken’s Kitchen offers many opportunities to give back to the community. By delivering meals to the community, this non-profit works to fight food insecurities. You can choose to volunteer your time in the kitchen by prepping and packing food or by helping out at the food truck events where meals are distributed. Donations are also welcomed to help keep this worthy program up and running.
As you can see, there is ample opportunity to help those in need this holiday season and throughout the year. These organizations provide just a snapshot of the groups that are working 365 days a year to feed those in need and reduce the number of people who go hungry in Orange County each day. By donating food, money, or your time, you can make a difference and ensure that there are no empty plates this holiday season or year-round.
Please reach out to these organizations directly to volunteer and please let me know about your volunteering experience. Volunteering has impacted me tremendously over the years and I would love to hear your personal experience. Send me an email at email@example.com.