Volunteerism: How Strangers become Friends, and Towns become Communities

Every week, a team of enthusiastic and hard-working people from all walks of life come to work with us in the kitchen. These ten volunteers, most of whom don’t know one another, work together to prepare all of the frozen food that Bethesda Cares makes into meals served to our community’s homeless. Our volunteers prep on Saturday afternoons, instead of spending sunny days outside, with friends or family. So what brings people each week to volunteer? Check out some of the responses our volunteers have posted on their Meet-Up profiles:

“I’d like to make a contribution towards those who have had a tough time in life, or have hit a rough patch. With the bad economy, nowadays this can happen to almost anyone. I’ve been very fortunate in life, and would like to share or pass along a gift of time and effort for others who need help. In the process, I also hope to find fellowship and new friendships with other like-minded folks.”


“This is a great initiative. I’m passionate about eating local, fresh food, and it’s wonderful to be able to share that food with folks who might not get it otherwise. Plus, there is something completely satisfying about preparing food with a group of people.”


“Although the US produces a lot of food, ACCESS to low-cost nutritious food is limited. Nutrition builds personal health, improves school and work productivity, and makes everyone feel better!”


All of these individuals provide different reasons why they volunteer with Farm to Freezer. However, they all have a common thread – to help others in need, as well as a desire to foster greater ties to their community. Local volunteer opportunities are great places to find ‘like-minded folks’, and to establish bonds with people who are involved with working towards a more equitable community. Additionally, the volunteers quoted above are aware of the greater systemic issues surrounding hunger and unequal access to food, and work to alleviate these conditions in their community. It is so inspiring to hear the different stories about why community members choose to volunteer, and I’m constantly amazed by the passionate and thoughtful people who walk in the doors of our kitchen.

With gratitude,


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