National Volunteer Week, April 15th - April 21st, is a time to honor the volunteers that work by our side every day. This week we will celebrate each individual who has impacted our mission of bringing people together to grow, cook and share nourishing food, with the goals of cultivating community and alleviating hunger in our city.
What does it mean to be a hero? The first thing that comes to mind may be a cape and super powers. You may think of an extraordinary act of selflessness like carrying a person out of a burning building. Its true that this is an act of heroism, however, there are heroes among us that make just as strong of an impact but stay hidden in the bustle of everyday life. At TNFP, those heroes are our volunteers- those people that are the backbone of our organization and the foundation of every program. Their superpowers are weed wrangling, cooking, driving, and simply taking the time to support our community!
In 2017, we were able to grow 59,075 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables in our gardens and create 152,514 meals from scratch in our kitchen to serve community members through over 30 partners. Those impacts could have never been made without the support of 3,758 volunteers who served over 10,375 hours last year.
Each volunteer contributes to our mission. Garden volunteers help our produce thrive by maintaining the soil through tilling, broadforking, and weeding. They also ensure that the gardens are in their best condition for community gardeners by helping to maintain tools and garden infrastructure. Volunteers in our kitchens provide the tedious but necessary (and fun!) work of washing, chopping and preparing each element that goes into our meals, as well as cooking and serving meals to feed and empower thousands of community members. We are incredibly grateful to all of our volunteers from individuals who have spent one afternoon in the gardens to dozens of regular, ongoing volunteers in our kitchens and food recovery. Thank you to the heroes among us!
If you are interested in being a TNFP hero please sign up to volunteer at thenashvillefoodproject.org/givetime.