Year to Date Impact Numbers through June 1, 2020
  • 10.2 Million Pounds of Food Collected and Distributed
  • 30.8 Million Servings of Fresh Produce Provided
  • 4,866 Passionate Volunteers Engaged
  • 1,239 Events to End Hunger Held
  • 848 Agencies Received Food
Thomasine's story of volunteering
during a pandemic
Please introduce yourself.

My name is Thomasine Jackson. I live in Alabama. I have a heart for serving my neighborhood and for mission work, in general. And I have been a SoSA volunteer on the team to end hunger since 2019.

How did you get started with The Society of St. Andrew (SoSA)?

I first met the folks at SoSA at a grant funding event. I was seeking funding for ways to help my neighborhood and a network of churches spread across Central & Northeast Alabama.
Thomasine Jackson is a dedicated SoSA volunteer in Alabama
Thomasine Jackson is an enthusiastic
and dedicated volunteer in Alabama
After hearing my story, the SoSA team in Birmingham wanted to talk about working together.

They told me if I wanted to share good food with my network, then they could help . I fell in love immediately.

I remember the first time Ms. Jesse called me. It was last year. She called to see if I would be the recipient that weekend for the gleaned food from a farmers market.

It was hard to believe . It had to be more complicated than it seemed. Would they give me food to give away for free in the community? Yes, they would.
enthusiastic volunteers in Alabama
Enthusiasm and a willingness to serve
are common themes in SoSA volunteers
Now, we work together all the time . When SoSA calls, I start activating my teams of volunteers. I organize teams of volunteers so we can multiply our impact and reach more people.

Are you worried about volunteering during the pandemic?

Of course, I worry. I won’t let that stop me though . I take the highest precautions and make sure we don't take any chances with anybody else's health. Masks, distance, whatever it takes— you name it!

One of my volunteers got sick with COVID. I immediately had my group of volunteers tested since they served with her. We all tested negative, so we were allowed to continue serving during this crisis .
USDA Food Box Distribution in Alabama
Volunteers unloading USDA Food Boxes for sorting and distribution in Alabama
The need for food is so high right now. And there's so much food available from SoSA to the communities— I must make myself available to help as often as possible, safely.

I even make sure my volunteers help other agencies get loaded up. We're in this together, and that's how we'll get through it: together .

Volunteering can be hard work. What keeps you going?

I keep going because of a promise I made 40 years ago . I fell, was injured, and left paralyzed. I laid in a hospital bed, unable to walk. I prayed daily to God, begging to walk again.
Foods inside a USDA Family Food Box
A look at some of the food offered inside the
USDA Family Food Boxes in Alabama
I promised Him I would spend every day of the rest of my life helping others. My back healed and was able to walk. After two months, I recovered and could walk again.

Now, I try to help one person every day , even if it's making a phone call or reminding people to be positive. Sometimes when I call, I make jokes, other times I listen. Sometimes I offer advice.

My goal is always to encourage folks. I try to make sure people know somebody cares about them .

Is there anything you want people to know?

Yes! If you don't hear anything else from my story, realize somebody cares about you ! Me, my volunteers, SoSA, we all care about you!
volunteer sorting sweet potatoes for families
This volunteer is sorting large boxes of
sweet potatoes into family-sized bags
Sharing food is an essential mission because it shares more than calories. It shares love . When volunteers deliver food, door-to-door, the people see proof somebody cares about them, during all this. 

But you should know, you don't have to be physically present to make a difference .

Especially in the "new normal." You can make a call, send a text, or send an email— It all makes a difference. Be the change you want to see.

Finally, I'm thankful for the support of many people, the teams of volunteers who serve with me, especially my friend Rose Edwards who has helped me coordinate so many events and also Ms. Jesse with SoSA in Alabama.

I couldn't do this by myself . I'm thankful for SoSA for helping me make a positive difference in my neighborhood.
Thomasine and volunteers at a market gleaning
Thomasine (in orange) and volunteers at a Farmers Market in Birmingham, AL
If you're able and comfortable serving this summer,
(If you don't see your state listed, fill out the "All Other States" application.)
P.S. - Once you're registered as a volunteer, be sure to check your email and log into your volunteer profile! There's a special place in your profile where you can share your experience with hunger relief, SoSA, and your motivations for serving with us.

We want to get to know you and your story better!

Don't wait! Sign up today. As we are looking forward to a busy summer, full of new and exciting opportunities. We need your support more than ever . You're invited to share from your abundance to care for those struggling in this crisis.

So grab a bottle of water, a face mask, some work gloves and join the SoSA Gleaning Network team of volunteers.
How will you grow with the Society of St. Andrew this summer?
Envisioning a world without hunger, in which physical and spiritual hungers are met by God's abundance and grace through Jesus Christ, the Society of St. Andrew brings people together to harvest and share healthy food, reduce food waste, and build caring communities by offering nourishment to hungry neighbors. The Society of St. Andrew is a 40-year old national nonprofit hunger-relief ministry that improves the environment by keeping good food out of landfills and feeds hungry people by sharing rescued fruits and vegetables with front-line feeding agencies (soup kitchens, shelters, food banks and food pantries, etc.) across the country. More information is available online at  EndHunger.org .