Callie is only 11 years old, yet most Saturdays you will find her at the Eno River Farmers Market Donation Station, volunteering her time with Farmer Foodshare. Callie found out about the Donation Station program two years ago when shopping at the market with her mom. She now regularly asks her mom to drop her off and pick her up each week so that she can do her part helping local families receive fresh, local, food from the market each week.
Volunteers like Callie participate at market each week to collect food donations for local families in need. All of the families have children at Central Elementary and have been identified as being at risk for hunger. At the end of the Eno River Market, Parent Resource Outreach Coordinator for Central Elementary, Darlene Hampton, picks up the food and delivers it to local families in need. Darlene takes the time out of her busy schedule to help out in this way every Saturday. She always shows up early, with a smile on her face, to pick up the donations.
Callie says it's important for her to give back in this way “because there are so many people living in poverty and it’s cheaper to buy unhealthy food than fresh fruits and vegetables. So if I do this, it helps them more and it makes them more healthy.”
She might not be old enough to drive herself to market, but at the Donation Station Callie can help out with all of the tasks needed, including tracking and receiving both monetary and produce donations, buying food from the vendors, keeping records, and even occasionally training new volunteers with the oversight of lead volunteer, Corly Jones. From time to time if Corly is out of town, Callie is the one that trains the new volunteers and answers their questions.
Not only does Callie like helping to feed hungry families, she enjoys many different aspects of the market. “I like meeting all of the vendors and a bunch of people and then seeing them around Hillsborough. I like doing something better for society.” In her free time, Callie also volunteers at the library, and recently performed in Seussical the Musical. The Eno River Market Donation Station is truly an example of community at its finest. From the market regulars that donate produce and money each week, to Darlene who picks up the food and delivers it to the families, to the Donation Station volunteers like Corly and Callie, they all work together to help feed hungry families in the town of Hillsborough.
Volunteering at the Donation Station is fun for all ages, and a simple way to give back in the community. To volunteer at a Donation Station near you, send us an email at email@example.com.