Volunteers make The Table work

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Volunteers are vital to our success at the Table Community Food Centre. Our dedicated team of volunteers includes people from all over Lanark County, and people from all backgrounds and experience levels are welcome and encouraged to participate.

We have exciting volunteer opportunities available that are open to everyone. There are an array of shifts to fit your schedule. Some of the possibilities include:

  • Work in the kitchen preparing and serving food under the guidance of our chef;
  • The Good Food Bank can always use help with the work of distributing food to people who need it;
  • Help facilitate one of our ongoing programs like Shovel and Spoon, Dads and Kids in the Kitchen, our Community Kitchen or The After School program;
  • Get your hands dirty helping out in the garden; 
  • Stand up for a cause you believe in, or help your peers learn how to make themselves heard with our Advocacy Office and Social Justice Club; 
  • We have regular fundraising events and community activities that would not be possible without the help of people like you; and 
  • There's always a need for help with driving, deliveries, cleaning and routine maintenance.

Volunteers must be 16 years of age or older to volunteer at the Table. In some circumstances we allow younger volunteers, for example if a parent is available to accompany the volunteer or the position is specifically designed for students.

If you are interested in sharing your time, please contact  Aisha at  aisha@thetablecfc.org, phone 613-267-6428 ext. 6, drop by the Centre at 190 Gore St. E, Perth ON.

Volunteer Initiatives

With the New Year we will be starting up a new round of programs in January and February and looking for a new group of program volunteers.  If you want to join an amazing team of caring folks now is the time to fill out a volunteer application to begin to make that happen.

Volunteers! Come out and get to know other volunteers at The Table! Thursday March 19th from 5-7 The Table's social justice club, the Community Action Network, will be hosting a volunteer social offering tea, coffee, snacks and the space to share stories. Feel free to bring along information about other projects you are involved with in the community.


If you drive to Perth via the Franktown highway on any given weekday morning, chances are you have seen Rick Gooderham trying to hitch a ride into town. Five days a week, rain or shine (or snow) Rick makes his way from Kelly’s Trailer Park to the Table CFC using his only mode of transportation- his thumb.

Rick is currently both a volunteer and participant in our programs. His story from participant to invaluable volunteer is exactly what a success story looks like for us. Inspired by Rick and his dedication, the staff at the Table nominated Rick for the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award and we are thrilled to announce that Rick has been chosen to receive this honour. The Caring Canadian Award, which was established by the former Governor General Romeo LeBlanc, recognizes individuals who volunteer their time to help others and to build a smart and caring nation. Upon finding the letter in his mail box, Rick took one look at it and thought “Oh dear, what did I do now?” Now, full of pride, Rick has been showing off his letter from Rideau Hall to everyone at the centre; so much so that we have made him a photocopy so that he can preserve the original and have it framed.

Around the Table Rick volunteers to do the jobs that no one else is keen on doing. In the summer he mows the lawn, trims the hedges, sweeps the driveway and keeps the yard and walkway clean. In the winter he shovels and salts the walkway and ramp and year round he helps with the garbage, recycling and compost. When asked why he volunteers at the Table Rick says “you guys treat me like a human being, like family. You do such a good job here; it is heartwarming to see what happens here”.

Rick is a stand-out participant volunteer whose spirit for sharing and inclusiveness is inspirational. Rick is always the first one to introduce himself to a new participant and takes every newcomer (including the new Executive Director) under his wing until they get the hang of things, making them feel welcomed and engaged.

At first Rick came to the Good Food Bank for emergency food supplies, and then began to take part in Community Meals. It did not take much to convince him to join the Wednesday drop-in kitchen and, later, the seniors’ cooking group. He joined the Social Justice Club and held his own in demanding discussions about human rights, injecting the perspective of someone who has firsthand experience of poverty.

 As the Table made the transition from food bank to food centre, we changed more than the just the physical space we use and the programming and services we offer, we changed the way we operate. We have always relied heavily on volunteers in order to provide services, however, an outdated volunteer policy did not allow for participants to volunteer at the centre. As we moved from a model of charity to one of solidarity an important step was to involve the very people who participate in programs in as many ways as possible. We knew that many of the people coming to the Table were interested in giving back in some way and sure enough once we changed the policy participants began applying to work alongside staff and existing volunteers. Rick was one of the first to submit an application. Rick gives back more than he receives from The Table and we’re thankful every time he walks through the door.

Its summertime at the Table but already we are looking to fall and the start of our amazing After School Program. We are currently recruiting volunteers for this fun and rewarding program. Have a look at the program outline and volunteer job description below and please get in touch with Samantha Davidson at sam@thetablecfc.org or at 613-267-6428 ext. 4 if you think you have the right stuff for the After School Program!

The Table Community Food Centre Job Description

After School Program Leader

Program Description:

The After School Program is striving to inspire kids to grow, prepare and enjoy healthy food and engage them with food system issues.  Through hands-on and engaging activities, children will develop a closer connection to food and become empowered to make healthier food choices.

The program is for children aged 8-12 and will run two days a week from 3-5:30 p.m. There will be up to 15 children attending each 18 week session and two sessions offered per year (September – January; February – June).  The program will take place at the Table Community Food Centre, utilizing the kitchen and garden spaces on site on a daily/weekly basis depending on the season. 

Objectives of the program:

  1. To increase participant knowledge, skills and behaviours around healthy food
  2. To increase participant knowledge and capacity to take effective action on poverty, social justice and food system issues.
  3. To support the positive physical, social and intellectual development of program participants.

Tasks of After School Program Leaders:

  • To provide After School Program participants a consistent support system including positive role modeling, inclusive group culture, and a positive, safe space to be after school
  • Follow the After School Volunteer Checklist for program set up and clean-up and other duties as assigned by the After School Program Coordinator
  • Meet children at school and walk with them to the Table Community Food Centre
  • Lead small group discussions and activities with After School Program participants assisting children to gain social skills, gardening and cooking skills and encourage personal growth
  • Help to create a positive and interactive learning environment
  • Prepare learning materials (i.e. games, flipcharts, etc.)
  • Assist with food preparation
  • Assist with garden activities (spring /fall)
  • To assist with the organization of special events or field trips
  • Model respectful behaviour including no swearing, no put-downs, and healthy communication patterns


  • Participation in, and successful completion of, the initial training and safe food handling
  • To be available for 4.5 hours per week for an 18-week period (September – January; February – June)
  • Tuesdays or Thursdays from 2:00 – 6:00 p.m.


  • An Orientation Session to the Table Community Food Centre and to the Volunteer Program
  • Safe Food Handling Course (2 hours)
  • After School Program Training Session (2 hours), including:
  • The history of the After School Program and program objectives
  • Expected duties and responsibilities of volunteers
  • Kitchen orientation
  • Garden orientation
  • Material around child development, experiential learning & conflict resolution skills
  • Education around first aid & emergency procedures
  • Coverage of the Centre’s Child Abuse Policy.
  • Coverage of the Centre’s confidentiality policy
  • After School Program Volunteer Orientation Manual

Clothing / Dress code:

Volunteers participate fully with the children in the After School Program, so please dress in casual attire with close toed shoes, ready for fun and hands-on activities in the kitchen and in the garden.  In the kitchen you will be required to wear a hat, bandanna or ball cap and an apron.  Please bring a clean hat from home that may be left at the program for use.  During the garden season, please wear appropriate footwear for light-heavy garden work and a sunhat.  You may also bring a pair of garden gloves if you wish.

Last November we met with volunteers to talk about the volunteer experience at the Table. One thing that was clear from the meetings was that volunteers really enjoyed hearing from other volunteers working in other programs. It was so great to see the pride that volunteers had in each of their programs and everyone listened enthralled to all of the wonderful program stories that were shared. We asked volunteers if they would like to attend a Community Meal once a month to meet with other volunteers to share stories and program updates and we got an overwhleming YES!

Beginning in June we would like to designate the first Monday Community Meal each month as a time when volunteers can come to the meal and expect to find other volunteers at the meal to meet with and eat with!