Members of the Los Angeles Jr. Kings’ 16U AAA team, along with its coaching and support staff, lent a helping hand earlier this month at the Second Harvest Food Bank Orange County.
As part of the community-service initiative, the club bagged over 5,300 pounds of potatoes and onions at the Bank, which provides food and fresh produce to more than 200,000 hungry children, seniors and families in Orange County each month.
“It was a huge eye-opener for the team to learn how many families and individuals depend upon the Food Bank’s services,” said Michelle Wolf, the mother of 16U AAA goaltender Dustin Wolf who helped organize the effort. “It definitely made our kids appreciate how lucky they are in their own lives when it comes to something as simple as having food on the table every day.”
“It’s important for us both as a team - and an entire organization - to take a step back and help others in our community, and this was an ideal and rewarding opportunity,” said team manager Helen Alex. “Our boys did a great job and it was exiting to see them rally around such a great cause.”
Second Harvest Food Bank Orange County - volunteers account for 40 percent of its work force - also provides meals for 2,700 children after school every day at 49 locations in the area.
Last year, Second Harvest distributed more than 19.4 million meals to the hungry in Orange County.
“Everyone we met there were such nice people who obviously care about both those who volunteer and the ones they're working so hard to help,” said Dustin Wolf. “It was inspiring and a rewarding experience, no question.”
“The boys really had a great time working together to help others, and many said they’d like to go back and do it again, which is most encouraging,” Michelle Wolf added.
Opportunities to volunteer at Second Harvest are aplenty.
Groups of five-to-100 people can sort food every Tuesday through Saturday, and there’s also the “Incredible Edible Farm” on site where volunteers can handpick vegetables growing on the farm.
What’s more, volunteer groups can work special events or food drives, and “Izzy’s Corner” allows children 7-13 years old to help package food.
For more information on the Food Bank and avenues to assist, visit https://www.feedoc.org/.