Passionate cook, dedicated volunteer, friendly and outgoing community member; these are just a few words to describe Shelley, a member of The North Grove’s volunteer community for more than six years. Shelley responded to a call for volunteers from The North Grove in 2015 and has been volunteering at the Community Food Centre (CFC) ever since. As a former fundraiser, Shelley understands how vital charitable donations and volunteer support are to the programs provided by community organizations. After a lifetime of regularly donating to non-profits, she wanted to offer more of herself and her time. Shelley was intentional in finding a volunteer position that was a good match for her personal passion – being in the kitchen!
“...I started exploring different agencies and organizations in which I could volunteer at and I wanted to be in a kitchen. That's where my love is and that's where I felt that I could probably best give my time...”
One of the most rewarding parts of her volunteer experience is learning more about the dynamics of food insecurity and volunteering with a supportive staff team. The North Grove’s CFC was the first in Atlantic Canada and is one of 13 across Canada. The North Grove’s Community Food Centre is a welcoming space where people can come together to grow, cook, share and advocate for good food. It also provides people with access to high-quality food in a dignified and social space.
Shelley is grateful to volunteer at a place with so much joy, and positive impact.
“...It’s empowering for people to be able to eat healthy and learn about eating healthy and what their options are...”
Shelley consistently volunteers in the community kitchen five hours a day, twice a week. While the lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic halted volunteering at The North Grove and other organizations, Shelley returned to her shift as soon as public health regulations allowed. She says it was different not seeing community members in the space, but she felt good and useful making meals for people who needed them.
Shelley’s commitment to The North Grove has had a ripple effect through her family. Her three sons now donate to the North Grove instead of buying gifts for each other and each Mother’s Day her sons make a donation to The North Grove in honour of their mum. She also encourages others to give their time and resources to organizations that support community vitality and resiliency.
Volunteers are the heart of The North Grove. You make our programs possible: helping with everything from food prep and clean-up to helping out on the farm, child development and more.