With your procedures in place, you can now determine the ideal number of volunteers you need to make your pantry run smoothly. You can also specify the minimum number of volunteers you would need. Whether you have a high number or a low number of volunteers, an important factor is recruiting.

Recruiting can be a challenge when you are unsure where to look or how to start. If your organization needs assistance, here are some ways you can get started.

  1. Word of mouth is one of the best ways to get new volunteers. Ask friends and family if they know of anyone who would be willing to help. Ask them to spread the word that your pantry needs help to see if their friends know anyone.
  2. Reach out to clubs, organizations, and colleges. It is common for high school and college students to need volunteer hours. This holds especially true for those studying in a public health sector.
  3. Set up a table at a community event. Try to network with subdivisions, health events, etc.
  4. Advertise on social media. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are easy and free ways to share. Join local Facebook groups to share information out.
  5. Create a flyer and post it around town. Post it anywhere with a bulletin board like churches, the YMCA, town buildings, the library, and anywhere else you can think of. You can also ask these organizations to share the flyer via email to their clients/participants. You could also reach out to your local newspaper to see if they could put something in the paper.
  6. Invite clients to volunteer. Most clients are so grateful that your pantry was open when they needed help and would love the opportunity to pay it forward. Individuals without dependents who receive SNAP benefits need to work or volunteer at least 80 hours/month to maintain their benefits.
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