September marked the eighth annual Hunger Action Month, a nationwide campaign to encourage people to take action on the issue of hunger. IXLers in Raleigh honored the cause by volunteering at the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina. The first food bank in the state, this nonprofit has provided food for people at risk of hunger in 34 local counties for more than 35 years!
On our day of volunteering, we focused on one very important aspect of food distribution: salvaged food. Salvaged food is retail food that’s no longer fit to be sold but still meets FDA regulations—which makes it perfect for food bank donations. The Food Bank of Central & Eastern NC receives 1 million pounds of salvage every year and our job was to inspect it to make sure it met food safety standards, then repackage it for families in need.
We broke the food down into 6 categories:
- Dry food: Cereal, crackers, cake mix
- Glass & Plastic: Food in glass and plastic containers, like cooking oil, sauces, etc.
- Canned goods
- Non-water drinks
- Non-food items: Paper plates, medicine, plastic baggies
While dry food was definitely our biggest category, there were a lot of donations to go through—and our IXL crew dived in as a cheerful assembly line of food checkers, food packers, box runners, and organizers. Together, we saved 7,000 pounds of food that will go directly to people in need and provide almost 5,900 meals to families in North Carolina.
It was certainly a fun way to spend a day, and a very satisfying project that has a great impact on our community!
Learn more about the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina and volunteer opportunities here: http://www.foodbankcenc.org/
By Karen Penner, Recruiting Manager