Seeds of Hope gives out over 16,000 boxes of food. The boxes weigh an average of 40 pounds, which translates into more than 640,000 pounds of food for those in need. Seeds of Hope could not do this without the assistance of hundreds of student volunteers.
Seeds of Hope was started by Leda Eaton, who wanted to provide meaningful community service hours for her children. Each year, hundreds of local students provide thousands of community service hours to help run the food bank. It helps run various aspects of the organization, including sorting, stocking, packing boxes of food, handing out boxes and cleaning up. The students also have the opportunity to take a leadership role with its weekly distributions, summer backpack program, its back-to-school supply drives and holiday-centered drives. Adults and students also host food drives throughout the year.
Eaton said, “I started Seeds of Hope for my kids, who needed community service hours. I have seen so many positive life experiences come out of this. My goal is that it continues to do great things for the students and our community.”
Seeds of Hope has on average around 20-30 student volunteers weekly helping run the food bank, as well as 10-15 adult volunteers. Seeds of Hope believes that no one should go hungry, but what it does is so much more. It fills a gap that exists for food-insecure students and families while at the same time sparking a lifelong interest for volunteer work in local students.
When a student starts volunteering with Seeds of Hope, they are given training on the task they will be assigned to, and often it will be another student showing them the ropes. Students learn from each other and help each other as a team to accomplish goals each week.
The students can decide how frequently they sign up to volunteer. They usually sign up weekly or as often as their schedule allows them. These students help make Seeds of Hope’s operation efficient and reliable.
Seeds of Hope is a unique food bank in that it equally values its two mission objectives: providing food to people in need and providing meaningful community service to students.
If you would like more information on Seeds of Hope, please visit https://sohopefl.org/ or call 813-489-4599.