The Rapidian

Volunteers needed for national hunger study

Local food bank needs volunteers to assess food insecurity in West Michigan
Underwriting support from:
A woman leaves a Kent County food pantry with groceries, one of the 354,000 food-insecure people in West Michigan and the U.P.

A woman leaves a Kent County food pantry with groceries, one of the 354,000 food-insecure people in West Michigan and the U.P. /Feeding America West Michigan

Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank is participating in Hunger in America 2014, an in-depth survey of food insecurity conducted once every four years. Food banks around the country will interview their clients in order to assess the severity of hunger throughout the country. Feeding America West Michigan is looking to recruit volunteers from the community to help with the survey.

“Our volunteers will have the opportunity to take on a variety of roles as we conduct our site visits this summer,” explained hunger study coordinator Elianna Bootzin.  “Many will be in charge of recruiting participants for the study.  Others will talk clients through an informed consent process and get them set up to take the tablet-based survey.”

Other volunteer roles are as simple as tracking the number of clients who use a particular food pantry or soup kitchen. Leadership positions are also available.

Because the study has been so carefully designed, all volunteers for the project will need to participate in a hands-on training.  The first two sessions are scheduled at the Food Bank at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16, and 1 p.m. on Wednesday, April 17.

If you would like to volunteer, please contact Elianna Bootzin at 616-389-6349 or [email protected].

Feeding America West Michigan, part of the Feeding America network, is participating in the study along with nearly 200 other food banks across the country. When completed, Hunger in America 2014 will be the largest study of charitable food assistance in the United States, providing comprehensive data on Feeding America’s food distribution system and the people it serves.

The last study, Hunger in America 2010, produced an extremely detailed report, drawing on data from more than 61,000 interviews with clients and surveys of 37,000 hunger relief agencies.

Feeding America West Michigan is located at 864 West River Center Drive in Comstock Park.

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