Charlottesville Nonprofit Seeks Volunteer Translators

Loaves & Fishes Seeks Volunteer Translators

Asking for help is never easy, but it’s even harder to do so when you’re asking someone who doesn't speak the same language as you.

That's a problem many people in Albemarle County are running into.

Loaves and Fishes distributes meals five times a week to low-income families.

The nonprofit is seeing an increase in people who don't speak English coming into the center.

With a limited number of translators, the group is in desperate need of help to break down that communication barrier.

Plus, the holiday season can often prove to be a stressful time for many people.

And for those struggling to make ends meet, putting a Thanksgiving meal on the table is an even more of a difficult process.

“We want them to not feel stressed,” Jane Colony Mills, the executive director of Loaves and Fishes, said. “We want this to be a pleasant experience as much as possible, and not a big deal."

Loaves and Fishes distributes more than 40 pounds of food to each family that stops by, and Thanksgiving is one of its biggest days of the year.

“We have a registration system where we have to ask the name, address, birthdate, and total household income for a household before we can give them food,” Mills said.

It's a process that can be even more difficult if the person you're trying to communicate with doesn't speak the same language as you.

“There are a large number of Hispanic-speaking people in Charlottesville,” Amy O’Leary, a volunteer, said. “That's probably the main one that we see. There's also people from Syria, Afghanistan - I think International Rescue has settled quite a few of them here. And then every once in a while you get someone who speaks Farsi."

The nonprofit is getting by right now by using translated texts to show to families.

“You try to do the best you can with the concepts, sometimes I get them to write things down,” O’Leary said.

But life would be a lot easier if the food bank had more volunteer translators to help knock down that communication barrier entirely.

“Pretty much any language,” O’Leary said. “The client base is very, very diverse."

The nonprofit is specifically looking to recruit people who speak Spanish and Arabic.

For more information and volunteer opportunities, click here.

Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry

  2050 Lambs Road, Charlottesville, VA 22901

  434-996-7868       Cville.Loaves.and.Fishes       loavesfishes4288       @Cville_Loaves       CvilleLoaves

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