Working Table 5
Membership and Corporate Relations Manager, CEV
During the Working Table participants focused on 3 topics related to volunteering and the Food Banks.
- Development of cross-sectoral partnerships at local level by analysing the changing relations between Food Banks and local authorities, NGOs and charities, academia, the not for profit sector and the for-profit sector to see how these stakeholders can work together to respond to communities’ needs. The COVID-19 crisis has shown the need to rethink strategic partnerships and to adapt the modus operandi of the different actors.
- The employee volunteering or corporate volunteering as an alternative way to respond to the lack of volunteers, due to the health crisis. The pandemic has limited if not stopped the engagement of elderly volunteers, has brought young volunteers to Food Banks but then created a new gap when younger volunteers have returned to universities and schools.
The discussion stressed the need for employee volunteering to ensure a return in investment, as well as the need to ensure the balance between the effort required when engaging employee volunteers and valuing their wider social impact.
- Changing volunteers’ profiles: Participants highlighted different and changing situations for younger and older volunteers, before, during and after COVID19 and they also discussed the possibility to explore the so called “tasks-based” volunteering offers, to reply to the changing nature of work and lifestyles rather than keeping to the traditional “role based” approach.
- Participants discussed the European Solidarity Corps Programme which enables young people to travel abroad to volunteer full time. Participants discussed whether this Programme could be a good solution for those Food Banks that struggle to have permanent human resources available.
These are the main aspects to work on for Food Banks relying on volunteers to better match the offer of people across Europe who want to volunteer and Food Banks’ needs and how they can organise their volunteers in the most efficient and proper way.