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The Value of Volunteering – Always a Win-Win

April is National Volunteer Appreciation month, an opportunity to recognize, applaud, and share the value of our volunteers at the Food Bank of South Jersey.

Volunteers have always served a critical role in our mission to feed our neighbors in need, and their significance to our organization cannot be overstated. From packing, sorting, and distribution support; to assisting our efforts to teach neighbors about nutrition and healthy living; and providing critical office aid to help neighbors apply for SNAP benefits, the value of volunteers in changing hunger in South Jersey is endless.

The Effects of Volunteering

Economy Impact

The volunteer sector is its own economic driver, not only providing economic support to individual organizations but also the community at large. A study released last year by the Independent Sector valued a volunteer hour of service in New Jersey at $33.82. That number is going up every year.


But what about the value of being a volunteer to the volunteer? How should a volunteer look at service through their own lens (and we’re not talking about those eclipse glasses).

Studies from the Corporation for National and Community Service have highlighted the skills that volunteers gain, including many transferable career skills like teamwork, communication, initiative, and follow-through. CNCS studies also reported that volunteers are more likely to find a job after being unemployed, compared to non-volunteers.

Promoting Well-Being

Engaging in volunteer work, especially in areas of personal passion, fosters a profound sense of purpose. This positive impact extends to mental health, as volunteering has been linked to the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with stress reduction, according to the Mayo Clinic. Older adult volunteers often report lower rates of depression and anxiety, facilitated by the increased social interaction and sense of community inherent in volunteering.


The value of volunteering transcends altruism. It represents a beautiful synergetic relationship, benefiting organizations, individuals, and our collective communities. As we celebrate National Volunteer Appreciation Month, let us recognize the profound impact of volunteers on our neighbors and ourselves.

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