Skip to main content

Volunteer Production Corps – Meet Shirley Chen

By October 13, 2021October 25th, 2021No Comments

Every day, a special group of volunteers walks through the doors of the Hunger Solution Center. While every volunteer is important in getting food to those experiencing hunger, this group has taken service to a new level.

These volunteers are a part of Food Lifeline’s Production Corps. By making a three-month commitment to weekly 3-hour shifts, they‘ve joined this elite group. They work alongside Food Lifeline’s Production Team to perform special projects and help with setting up repack sessions.  Some members lead volunteers in the sort and repack activities. while some even receive special training to drive the forklifts.

Production Corps member Shirley Chen joined the team in January of 2020. While the team doesn’t require any previous experience, Shirley brought plenty.

“I moved to Seattle from NYC in 2019, where I had been volunteering with City Harvest, NYC’s largest food rescue organization”, says Chen. “When I moved here, I wanted to find a similar volunteering opportunity to support food rescue.”

Shirley (right) and her sister manage a sorting project at the Hunger Solution Center.

After receiving her COVID-19 vaccinations last June, Shirley joined the Production Corps. Now she volunteers every Saturday.

For Shirley, the idea of eliminating food waste while feeding others is a great fit.

“I am hardwired to do everything I can to not waste food, having grown up in a middle-class immigrant family where we didn’t waste any resources we had. Giving back to a mission that is ingrained in me felt like a meaningful way to spend some of my free time.”

While the work is hard, Shirley says she enjoys being part of such a big picture.

“I enjoy the variety of projects and seeing the breadth of products and programs Food Lifeline provides for communities.”

Word of mouth is Food Lifeline’s best advertising when it comes to Volunteering, and Shirley is always recruiting.

“When my sister and a friend from NYC came to visit Seattle in August, finally after getting vaccinated and being ready to travel again, they both joined me in separate sessions to volunteer – and really enjoyed it!”

Saturdays are the most sought-after day to volunteer, and it’s often hard to find one of these time slots. If you’re looking for a Saturday time slot and able to make a commitment-come join us.

We are looking for folks 19+ to join Shirley and other leaders like her, as a member of the Production Corps, who are able to make a weekly 3-hour commitment to a Saturday, evening or weekday shift. This is role is a great opportunity for building new skills and expanding leadership experience. Contact Calvin Foucault for more details!