Spotlight on Sam

Now in her sixth month as a Second Harvest Food Bank volunteer assistant and receptionist, Samantha Westley works with you, our dedicated volunteers, every day.

What do you love about your job?

This is by far the best work environment. I am blown away by the positivity that abounds at the food bank and how everyone from staff to volunteers works together towards the same goal.

What is a typical day at your job?

No day at the food bank is ever the same, but that is another thing I love about my job. I start each day at 7:30 a.m. by checking with our warehouse staff to identify specific tasks and locations for individuals and groups to volunteer that day. Then, I greet and check in the different shifts and provide an orientation which covers the food bank mission, facilities, and different tasks that need to be done. In between volunteer shifts, I respond to phone and email inquiries and schedule volunteer projects. Then, it all starts again with midday or afternoon volunteer shifts.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

I make a concerted effort to answer volunteer emails within 24 hours. Sometimes that is a challenge because of the volume of people coming and going throughout the day.

Who is someone you look up to within Second Harvest?

Don’t tell her, but Mindy Ortiz! She has been fantastic since day one and is a great leader! She genuinely cares about everyone’s experience here.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to volunteer at Second Harvest?

Three things:

  • Check out our website. We are always adding new volunteer opportunities at
  • Be flexible. Saturdays and Family Nights are extremely popular. Food shows are also really cool and slots fill up fast. We’ve started a Wait List feature to try and accommodate more people when these opportunities have cancellations.
  • Bring a friend. This is a really cool volunteer opportunity because you get to see the difference that you are making. At the end of each shift, you leave knowing exactly how many meals you helped provide!

Be sure to say hi to Sam the next time you volunteer! Book your next volunteer shift at

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