PHOTO: Junior Sean Seo lifts a box of lettuce during his volunteer shift at the Yolo Food Bank.
By Katrina Haws,
Volunteers sporting face coverings and plastic gloves gather at the Yolo Food Bank in Woodland every weekday to pack boxes aiding vulnerable members of the community. Davis High students are among the many community members working to support the Food Bank’s new COVID-19 response program.
One of these students is DHS senior Katie Stachowicz. With the shelter-in-place order forcing students to remain at home, Stachowicz was eager to find an outlet and began volunteering at the Yolo Food Bank.
“I had a lot of time on my hands, I was looking for something to do and somebody sent me the link to sign up and I just signed up for as many shifts as I possibly could,” Stachowicz said.
Stachowicz’s dedication and continued service to the Food Bank caught the organizer’s attention. She was offered the position of shift lead and enjoys the added responsibility.
“It gives me something to do […] because otherwise I’d just be at home on Instagram or TikTok and it’s just like, […] I get to feel like a good person and I also get to do stuff and move around,” Stachowicz said.
Junior Sam Koenig recently started volunteering with the Food Bank with a group of friends from DHS after he heard about the opportunity.
“It seemed like a really good way to help people who were getting hit especially hard by the pandemic, and to just get out of my house,” Koenig said.
After his first time packing food boxes, Koenig is excited to return to the warehouse in Woodland in future weeks.
“I enjoy getting to see friends–especially because my parents are being really strict about the whole quarantine thing–while also helping out other people,” Koenig said.
The Yolo Food Bank is a non-profit organization committed to ending hunger and malnutrition in Yolo County and is currently addressing the community’s emerging needs in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak.
To combat the negative impacts of the pandemic, the Food Bank started an initiative packing food boxes for home-bound seniors or those with underlying health conditions that are unable to get to a grocery store. In addition to these new members, the Food Bank continues to deliver 4 million pounds of food that is distributed annually to low income households in the county.
The Food Bank relies on volunteers to continue operations, and with the increase in need, volunteers are in high demand.
“[The number of people served] basically goes up every week. Last week I think we were doing 2,500 boxes, serving 5,000 individuals and this week we’re doing a little over 2,800 boxes, serving 5,550 individuals,” Stachowicz said.
Stachowicz encourages other DHS students and community members to consider volunteering at the Food Bank.
“It’s fun, you get to hang out with your friends and you get to help the community, you get moving so it’s a bit of an unintentional workout, and honestly it’s fun so if people are able […] to do it then I would totally recommend it,” Stachowicz said.