A day in the life of a CFINE Pantry Volunteer

My name is Dot* and I would like to take you through my day as a volunteer working in the pantry at CFINE Poynernook Road in Aberdeen. My day starts quite early because we have to stock up the pantry before our customers arrive, this involves a meeting with the warehouse manager where we discuss pantry needs and stock availability.

The stock is then taken through and displayed in the pantry. There are three key jobs in the pantry: reception desk, shopper and telephone duties. Today, I am on shopper duties which involve going around with the members and helping them with their shop. I find this very rewarding and the feedback we get is always very good.

I know that I am not supposed to have favourites, but I have a soft spot for the Best Start and Smile Pantry members. I think they benefit most from the shop, it can make a big difference to them as a family that they only spend £2.50 and can shop for items worth around £25.00 total. This helps them put food on the table for the family and the savings they make help them pay other bills. Many of the members tell us that the pantry has made a huge difference to them as a family.

The pantry also has many recipes on hand and it is a good feeling when someone who has never cooked before has come back the following week and told you how the family enjoyed their cooking and that they are ready to try something else. Pre-COVID the pantry members were able to come along and meet up with each other and the volunteers for a chat and a coffee before their shop. Support workers also came along to chat and advise the mums and I enjoyed playing with the children and watching them grow up. After all the shoppers have finished, it is time for me to muck in with the other volunteers to stock up shelves, have a well-earned cuppa then clean everything ready for the next day.

I enjoy being a member of the CFINE family, and I feel good about helping people who really need help. CFINE is very good at listening to its volunteers and keeping them up to date with what is going on in the company. Because of COVID-19, my social life was non-existent, and I missed meeting up with family and friends. Since joining CFINE I now have a new lease of life and a whole new bunch of friends.

*To protect the identity of our volunteer, we used a fantasy name. 

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