Benefits of Community Service in Napa County

Keep Napa Strong, close-up of hands planting in garden

It’s 2018 – time to put those well-intentioned new year’s resolutions to the test! If you’ve thought about giving or volunteering, those actions offer many benefits for those who get involved to donate their time, resources, or skills. Volunteers and donors experience increased happiness, pride, satisfaction, and accomplishment by doing for others. Additionally, those who volunteer throughout their lives tend to be healthier because they engage in activities that keep them physically active and socially connected. By leading healthier, happier lives, these community members tend to make giving a way of life, benefiting themselves and their communities. The great thing is that you can choose how to give back, based on your beliefs, morals, and principles. There’s no wrong way to give back, no better time to get started than now, and no better way than being a part of Napa County’s thriving local food system!

Napa food partnerships, nonprofits and community organizations help reduce food insecurity by providing greater access to fresh, seasonal meals to those that can’t otherwise access it. Supporting these organizations is a great way to support the local food system and our local community. The following organizations, shelters, and community gardens offer ways to get involved, either by volunteering time or donating funds to close the food security gap. So roll up your sleeves and get ready to be a part of something greater and reap the benefits. Improve your well-being and that of others by participating in Napa County service organizations. Keep Napa Strong!

Napa County’s Food System Service Organizations:

Community Action Napa, group of kids posing for photo

Community Action Napa Valley (CANV) dedicates itself to providing resources, shelter, food, and/or care for disadvantaged families and seniors to increase their self-sufficiency in Napa County. There are a variety of programs that CANV offers including Meals on Wheels for Seniors, a food bank network that offers produce, canned and dry food, dairy, and meat products, and Friday Free Markets held at various locations that offer fresh, seasonal produce to the Napa community on a regular basis. Additionally, CANV offers Congregate Meal Sites for seniors to gather around a warm meal and socialize with one another.

In addition to these great programs, CANV also offers child development support through CANV kids, anti-tobacco programs, and culinary training opportunities for skills-development.

There are a variety of ways to support CANV. You can volunteer your time by transporting meals to people’s homes, help someone shop at the food pantry, or share talents or professional services. If you are able, you can also donate money or a vehicle. Contact CANV to get involved in Napa’s local community!

The Table, group of women serving food to those in need

The Table is a Napa community service organization that partners with other local groups and eateries to provide a warm, nutritious meal in a safe space to those in need. The organization is dedicated to combating food insecurity as many groups in need find it difficult to make ends meet with rising prices in Napa County.

The Table takes both volunteers to help prepare and/or serve food as well as donations. With over 600 volunteers giving back annually, the fight to reduce food insecurity in Napa County and provide better access to a warm meal is made possible. Fill out their contact form to begin the volunteer process!

South Napa Shelter, group serving food to those in need

Sunday Supper at South Napa Shelter offers a warm meal every Sunday to people who are at risk or already homeless. With volunteers consisting of students, parents, and others, local eateries prepare and donate food from their restaurants to the shelter.

Volunteers are needed for a variety of activities including searching for Napa eateries willing to donate food as well as preparing and serving meals. Participants can register with the County to volunteer for Sunday Supper. To learn more, contact Joy Hilton at Joy.Hilton@countyofnapa.org.

Volunteering in Napa community gardens is another great way to give back and help combat food insecurity. There are many gardens that donate their produce to local shelters and community organizations.

Napa County’s Community Gardens:

Napa Can Do, group posing after working in garden

Napa Valley Can Do is a grassroots community service organization that not only hosts a “done-in-a-day” and other family-friendly volunteer events, but also has a CanDo CanGrow  program. This program joins community volunteers and Napa County Master Gardeners in growing fruits and vegetables that are donated to the Food Pantry and Napa Food Bank.

In 2018, the CanDo CanGrow garden will move to a larger plot of land behind the Covenant Presbyterian Church. In partnership with Latinos Unidos, it will create a new beautiful garden and is seeking support for many activities such as moving garden equipment, preparing soil, installing a garden shed and raised beds, and much more. If you’d like to donate your time or money, please contact Karen Garcia at (707) 224-5847 or karrenkg@gmail.com or email  CanDoCanGrow@gmail.com.

St. John's Lutheran Mission Farm, group of farmers posing for photo

St John’s Lutheran Mission Farm was launched in 2009 and dedicated to providing nutritious and locally grown produce to the Napa County Food Bank, and other charitable organizations. This year alone, the farm produced 14,861.5 pounds of produced and is the largest contributor to the Napa County Food Bank. In order to produce the abundance of crops that it does, volunteers are needed to work the farm from tilling, planting, weeding, and harvesting. Workers are at the farm every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday from 8:30am to 12:00pm. To get involved, contact missionfarm@stjohnslutheran.net.

The Covenant Garden is another garden that donates its produce to local organizations dedicated to feeding those in need. It thrives off of volunteers willing to work the garden and do other activities. To volunteer here, please contact Barbara Pahre at (707) 224-7129. More than ever, the Napa community needs people that want to make a difference and give back to others. By either getting involved in Napa County food nonprofits, community gardens, or any organization you can help make it happen and enjoy the benefits of living a happier, healthier, more fulfilling life. Make a difference by getting involved today!


Sources

How Does Community Service Benefit the Community?
What Is Community Service?
Napa school families bring supper, and service, to homeless shelter