The Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank is leveraging volunteerism to fight food insecurity, eradicate food deserts, and provide the community with nutrition-based education.
Food insecurity is a real problem in San Diego County. Out of 3.2 million people, 450,000 residents within the San Diego community are challenged by food insecurity each and every day. The Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank was formed to provide relief to residents in San Diego County who are facing nutrition-related challenges. The San Diego Food Bank’s mission is to provide nutritious food to people in need, advocate for the hungry, and educate the public about hunger-related issues.
Each month, The San Diego Food Bank provides meals to 350,000 people through partnerships with 500 nonprofits that offer feeding programs within the local community. Many of the people receiving support from the food bank on a monthly basis are military families, children, and senior citizens.
“In 2019, we had the opportunity to distribute 33 million pounds of food (26 million meals) to people in our community that need food-related support the most,” said John Bode, Food Center & Volunteer Manager,” The Jacobs and Cushman San Diego Food Bank.
In order to reach its mission, The Jacobs and Cushman San Diego Food Bank relies on volunteers to support and reach goals. The food bank utilizes volunteers to fill 80,000 hours of opportunities each year, amounting to an annual volunteer value of $2,034,000 (estimated hour value of $25.43). Volunteers come from a variety of sources including court orders, corporate groups, and individual non-court ordered opportunities.
The San Diego Food Bank uses volunteers to fill many organizational roles including sorting donations, bagging bulk produce, and building food bags/boxes. Volunteers are able to choose from a variety of shifts offered 6 days a week.
“Volunteers are the life-blood of The Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank. Our volunteer program is equivalent to the production of 40 full-time employees. We wouldn’t able to achieve our goals without the commitment of our supporters,” said John.
“Our volunteer program has grown from relying on 50,000 volunteer hours per year to 80,000. We have been able to achieve this 60% increase in our program hours by providing volunteers with more opportunities to give. Growth in our volunteer program has allowed us to increase our food distribution by 500% over the last decade,” said John.
Creating an Optimized Program with VolunteerHub
The Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank has been using VolunteerHub to optimize its volunteer program since 2009. As an earlier adapter of VolunteerHub, the San Diego Food Bank has been able to capture and leverage volunteer data for many years, creating an organized volunteer program with the ability to drive growth and reach program goals.
The Food Bank uses many of VolunteerHub’ s volunteer management features including recruitment, registration (individual, groups), reporting, and communication capabilities.
Some of the most valuable feature sets of VolunteerHub that align with the Food Banks goals are the ability to communicate with groups of volunteers via corporate partnerships, the access to volunteer program trends via reporting, and the ability for volunteers (and groups) to create profiles and self-register when and wherever they want via an internet connection.
The Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank also has high hopes for how they will use VolunteerHub in the future to continuously optimize the organization’s volunteer program. These ambitions and optimizations of the future include integrating volunteer and donor data, enhancing communication, and fundraising.
The backend features and support team are another component of VolunteerHub that the food bank leverages to keep the volunteer program growing and organized. VolunteerHub allows The San Diego Food Bank to access the data they need, whenever and wherever they need it.
“I am really enjoying and seeing the benefits of Admin 2.0 in VolunteerHub. The new UI is more user-friendly than classic view and conducive to our goal of continuous growth here at the Food Bank,” said John.
“Overall, we are very happy with the relationship that we have with the VolunteerHub team and the features that the volunteer management software is providing our nonprofit on a daily basis,” said John.
The Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank is continuously looking for new ways to provide support and relief to people in the San Diego County community that are suffering from food insecurity.
With the help of volunteers and their streamlined volunteer program they will continue to grow and make a substantial impact in the lives of people, within the community, that need the support the most.
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