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Activities

From sorting and packing food, to working at special events and food drives, to lending us your special expertise, explore all the ways you can help.

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Food Distribution Center

Second Harvest’s Food Distribution Center (FDC) at our location in Irvine is the place where we make it all happen. This is where our staff and volunteers work together to sort, package and distribute enough food to feed 250,000 men, women and children each month. Last year Second Harvest distributed the equivalent of more than 21.6 million meals to the hungry in Orange County.

We have a variety of projects for individuals and groups (corporate, school, church, etc.) on weekdays, evenings and weekends to fit your schedule. Just three hours of your time can make a real difference to someone who’s hungry. Email the Volunteer Department at [email protected] or call 949-653-2900 for more information.

Guidelines for Your Visit
  • FDC Volunteers must be at lease 14 years old
  • Minors 14 -17 years old must be accompanied by an adult
    • Ratio of ~1 adult per 6 teenagers for group reservations
  • Closed-toed shoes are required. No sandals
  • Wear comfortable clothing, bring water
  • Bring a positive attitude and have fun!
FDC Shift Days and Times
  • Tuesday – Saturday, 8:30 – 11:30 am and 12:30 – 3:30 pm
    • No PM shift on Fridays
How to Register

Individuals
Registration is required through Volunteer Hub for adults only. If an adult would like to bring a teenager with them, there are instructions of Volunteer Hub on how to RSVP for the minor. Please note that Saturday slots fill up very quickly.

Groups
Groups of 5 or more should contact the Volunteer Department at (949) 653-2900 or [email protected] to make a reservation. We take reservations for the food distribution center up to three months in advance. Please note that shifts fill up quickly.

Map to the Food Distribution Center at Second Harvest Food Bank
Please make sure to use the map at this link as GPS and mapping devices will take you to an incorrect location – just click Map to Irvine Warehouse. And check out this Volunteer Parking Map to see where to park and enter the building.

 

 

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Incredible Edible Farm

Important note: Due to planned development at the Great Park, the Incredible Edible Farm will be changing locations. The Farm has ceased production and resume in an as-yet-undecided location in 2019. Volunteers will no longer be scheduled for the IEF for the remainder of the break. We look forward to seeing you at the new and improved Incredible Edible Farm in 2019!

The Incredible Edible Farm (IEF) is a public-private partnership between the City of Irvine, the OC Great Park, Solutions for Urban Agriculture, and Second Harvest Food Bank which was created to help alleviate our county’s hunger problem. With more than 315,000 people in our community at risk of hunger, it is vital to increase the availability of nutrient-rich food to those in need.

The produce harvested at the IEF is harvested and distributed to our community partners at peak freshness. Much of the IEF is maintained by volunteers who plant seeds and seedlings, harvest produce, and maintain the fields under the guidance of Second Harvest staff members. While working at the IEF, volunteers learn about hunger in our community and are able to directly contribute to our efforts to feed those in need.

The produce harvested at the IEF is taken to Second Harvest where it is then distributed to one of 190 partner organizations at distribution sites throughout the Orange County area including shelters, schools, mobile pantries and church distribution centers. In 2016, over 229,000 pounds of produce were harvested from the IEF providing over 190,000 meals for the hungry.

Individuals and groups (corporate, church, schools, etc.) may volunteer at the IEF when it reopens in 2019.

Please watch this video to learn more about the IEF, and read the 2016 IEF Report

And check out this cool infographic for information about what happens at the IEF at different times of the year.

 

 

 

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Izzy’s Corner

At Izzy’s Corner kids ages 7 to13-years old help sort and package nutritious produce in a safe, kid-friendly environment located inside our food distribution center (FDC). Each Izzy’s Corner session starts with a brief tour of the FDC, allowing children and their adult chaperones to learn more about Second Harvest, our mission, and the people we serve.


Izzy’s Corner is all about kids helping kids. Through their work in Izzy’s Corner, kids learn that they can make a real difference in the lives of children and their families in need in our community. The produce sorted and packaged at Izzy’s Corner goes out to our Mobile Pantry, School Pantry and other distribution sites to feed hungry children and their families!

Individuals and groups may volunteer at Izzy’s Corner.

Guidelines for Your Visit

  • Izzy’s Corner volunteers must be 7 to13-years old
  • All children must be accompanied and supervised by an adult
  • Groups must have a ratio of 1 adult to 5 children

Izzy’s Corner Shifts

  • Thursday 4:00 pm –  5:30 pm
  • Saturday 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

Additional shift every 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month: 10:00 am – 11:30 am.

How to Register
Groups and individuals should contact email [email protected]
We take reservations for Izzy’s Corner up to three months in advance.  Please note that Izzy’s Corner fills up very quickly.

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Volunteer Ambassadors

Second Harvest’s Volunteer Ambassador Program aims to engage energetic and committed community volunteers in the mission to end hunger in Orange County by serving as Ambassadors in our community.  Volunteer Ambassadors must have a passion for fighting hunger and increasing awareness of the issue of hunger in Orange County and Second Harvest’s work.

Volunteer Ambassadors are a specially-trained group of dedicated volunteers who help Second Harvest engage the community by serving as representatives of Second Harvest at fairs, speaking engagements, food and fund drives, children’s tour hosts, and various other community events which occur during regular business hours, at night, and on the weekends.

Ambassadors educate the community about the hunger problem, Second Harvest’s mission and our impact in Orange County. Serving as an Ambassador is a great way to learn more about the issue of hunger, and meet new people all while serving the community!

Volunteer Ambassador Requirements

  • Must be at least 22 years of age
  • Minimum of one-year commitment
  • Attend a 1-hour orientation and training
  • Attend refresher trainings as needed
  • Minimum of three Second Harvest events per year required

Ambassadors must submit an application along with their resume and complete a screening, interview and background check. Once approved, they will then attend a Harvesting Hope Tour, volunteer in our food distribution center, and at a food distribution site.

Interested in Becoming an Ambassador?

  • Step 1: Contact the Volunteer Department at [email protected] or call 949-653-2900.
  • Step 2: If there are openings, submit a brief application and updated resume
  • Step 3: Participate in a pre-screen phone interview and in-person interview to determine if this is the best fit
  • Step 4: Complete guidelines/requirements

After all four steps have been completed, you will be ready to go!  We will send you emails of Ambassador opportunities on a monthly basis or as needed.

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Skills-based Volunteers

Second Harvest relies on the help of skills-based volunteers to assist in our daily operations. Projects vary throughout the year depending on the needs of Second Harvest and occur on a consistent, weekly basis with a minimum commitment of several months.

Skills-based volunteers play a vital role in our mission, keeping our costs low so more of our funds can go toward helping nourish members of our community in need.

Some examples of skills-based volunteers include:

  • Administrative support
  • Front desk/reception
  • Data entry
  • Nutrition education
  • Other support based on your area of expertise

If you are interested to see if we have current skills-based opportunities available or to offer your services, please contact the Volunteer Department at [email protected] or call 949-653-2900.

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Special Events

Throughout the year, Second Harvest needs volunteers to help with special events such as community food drives, post-convention center food recoveries, special fundraising events, etc.  Please check Volunteer Hub for event listings including dates, shift-times, locations and other important information about how you can help Second Harvest.