Service-Based Learning at The Food Bank of Western MA Supports Neighbors in need

Volunteers play critical role in feeding our neighbors in need

Volunteers from Amerprise visited The Food Bank to help sort, inspect and pack food for distribution.

Volunteers play critical role in feeding our neighbors in need
Each year, dozens of local farms collaborate with The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts to donate thousands of pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables. From carrots, to potatoes, to apples and squash, our local farmers are working hard to support our vision of a region where everyone has access to healthy food.

Last harvest season, local farms donated more than 452,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables to The Food Bank. We distributed all of that healthy food to our member agencies in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire Counties. We were also able to distribute that produce through our Brown Bag: Food for Elders program (which served 7,893 seniors last year) and our Mobile Food Bank (providing food to more than 22,000 people). 

In order to meet this increased distribution in our warehouse, we rely heavily on our dedicated volunteers who donate their time and efforts to build a stronger community. From conducting quality control, to sorting & packing this food for distribution, our volunteers play a critical role in the day-to-day operations of our organization.

Get involved

Currently, The Food Bank has an immediate need for volunteers to help sort and pack dry goods, frozen meat, dairy products and other seasonal produce donated by our partners at Big Y and Stop & Shop. Volunteer shifts are available Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 1 – 4 p.m.

Who can volunteer?

Shifts for individuals are Monday – Friday; both morning and afternoon shifts available. Volunteers must be at least 16 years old.

We regularly host volunteer groups at our facility, including families, church groups, and other community organizations. Your group will tour the facility, learn about how we support the community and sort donated food in our warehouse.

We also welcome local, regional and national businesses and organizations to come in for a day of team building. Your group will tour the facility, participate in an educational activity, and sort donated food in our warehouse.

Family Volunteer Days


 Family Volunteer DaysYou have another opportunity to take action and support our community each month! In partnership with Hilltown Families, The Food Bank will be hosting our Summer Family Volunteer Days. All ages are welcome, as families are invited to help prepare food to be distributed to our neighbors in need across Western Massachusetts. Reservations are required by contacting The Food Bank’s Education Coordinator at 413-247-9738 or sign up here. For more information about this event, as well as other ways you can take action, visit

For more information about how you can take action to support The Food Bank and volunteer your time, visit or e-mail


Chris Wojcik is the Marketing & Communications Manager at The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts is committed to feeding our neighbors in need and leading the community to end hunger. Founded in 1982, The Food Bank is the leading provider of emergency food that reaches individuals and families in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampshire and Hampden counties. From their warehouse in Hatfield, they distribute food to their member agencies (which include food pantries, meal sites and shelters) throughout the region. They continue to build a stronger community through a variety of initiatives, including our Mobile Food Bank, SNAP outreach, nutrition education, and our Brown Bag: Food for Elders program.


2 Comments on “Service-Based Learning at The Food Bank of Western MA Supports Neighbors in need

  1. Thanks for the interest, Deborah! Community service is great for combining learning goals with volunteering in your community. These service-based learning opportunities integrate experiential education that is based in values and in the community. Hilltown Families partners with the Food Bank with monthly Family Volunteer Days that support service-based learning through community engagement. The Food Bank has a terrific educational component they integrate into these volunteer days and are highly rewarding!

    To learn more about the mission of Hilltown Families, view the TEDx Talk, “Supporting Education Through Community Engagement.” Shared are three different points of entry to community engagement Hilltown Families focuses on, including community-based educational resources, community-building event and community service learning experiences:

  2. I used to work at the wonderful Food Bank of Western MA. I opened this article because of the phrase, “service-based learning” and discovered the article to be about volunteering. Just curious….is service based learning the new term for volunteering?

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: