Despite seeing several Feed Nova Scotia billboards, it took one pointing out that 38,000 people in the province rely on food banks every month to provide the final push.
Rockingham resident Kelly Clelland then decided to help the organization ensure her fellow Nova Scotians aren’t going hungry.
And since answering Feed Nova Scotia’s call for volunteers several months ago, the 34-year-old Kingston, Ont. native hasn’t looked back.
“For seven years I’ve seen the different signs looking for volunteers, but I didn’t really think that I had the time to commit to it,” said Clelland, who works full-time at the Lieutenant Governor’s office, said yesterday at Feed Nova Scotia’s headquarters on the Bedford Highway.
“Another sign indicated that a third of the clients that are served are children,” Clelland recalled, before starting an afternoon of administrative volunteer work. “I thought, ‘I’ll just pick up the phone and see if there’s anything I can do to help them out.’ ”
Now she spends anywhere from four to eight hours a week working in Feed Nova Scotia’s office and collecting donations of cash and food at special events such as the Holiday Parade of Lights in Halifax.
“What I’ve discovered is that it doesn’t take a lot of time,” she said. “It’s as much time as you choose to give them.”
Clelland is one of more than 600 people who regularly give their time to Feed Nova Scotia, with work ranging from sorting food in warehouses to answering calls for a helpline. She hopes more people come to realize that it only takes a little effort to help a lot of people.
Everyone who works with Feed Nova Scotia is passionate, she said, a feeling that’s truly “infectious” and now has her completely hooked on helping others.
“I couldn’t imagine not (volunteering),” Clelland said.