We love our volunteers! Volunteers are central to the success of our Market and our mission of supporting local farmers and bringing fresh, locally-grown produce to our urban community. Whether you are able to volunteer for a few hours or on several market days, we have a range of opportunities to suit your schedule. If you would like to volunteer or get more information, please email Karen Bowes at email@example.com or call the market phone at 961-3666. Below is the list of volunteer opportunities.
Market Information Booth
This is a fun job if you enjoy interacting with the public. Folks often stop by the booth to get general information about the Market, to ask how to become a vendor, to inquire about volunteer opportunities, or to peruse market table information. The Market Manager cannot always be available to staff the booth so we need a volunteer who can be on hand to answer questions, and even more importantly, provide a friendly face at our booth.
For the 2009 season, we're pleased to announce that the market will be accepting food stamps for the first time. In order to use their food stamps, customers must stop by the Information Booth first to obtain tokens.
Volunteers interested in this position will receive a training to familiarize them with market information, including food stamp transactions and "Frequently Asked Questions."
Time commitment: You could either volunteer from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm (with a break for lunch) or choose a morning shift (9:00 am to 11:30 am) or an afternoon shift (11:30 am to 2:00 pm) on as many Saturdays as you wish!
To welcome children to the Market, we're going to have a dedicated kids booth every week. We need someone at this booth to introduce kids to the weekly activity. We would also welcome help in creating these activities. We're looking for activities that are based on Market themes and educate kids about farms and locally-grown produce. These activities should use natural materials (no foam!). Some activities that have worked well in the past are: market scavenger hunts, Market Bingo, and pictures to color. Your kids are welcome to come to the market with you to help in this booth.
Time commitment: You may create an activity at your convenience. At market shifts will be from 9:00-11:30 and 11:30-2:00.
This year we will be offering weekly demonstrations during the 11:00 hour. Demonstrations will include cooking, gardening, beekeeping, grafting, and food preservation. It would be helpful to have someone set-up the demonstrations. This may include moving tables and setting up our lapel microphone. In some cases, our vendors may be able to do demonstrations if we have a volunteer to watch their booth while they are away.
Time commitment: 10:30-12:30 any Saturday you choose
In addition to professional chef demonstrations, we will be offering cooking demonstrations by home chefs, focusing on a diversity of ethnic and religious traditional foods. In order to do this we need someone who can come help the cooks prepare food at 10:00 in a nearby kitchen, and be on hand to make sure the demonstration runs smoothly. This person needs to either have a food handler's card, or be willing to get one.
Time commitment: 10:00-12:00 4 Saturdays during the season
It’s very important that we track the number of patrons coming to the Market. We need this information to continually improve the Market; it’s also useful when we apply for grants. Volunteers help us get this data by using a clicker to count the number of customers entering the Market during a ten-minute period at the beginning of each hour.
Time commitment: 10 minutes an hour for a minimum of two ten-minute sessions (allowing lots of time for shopping in between sessions!) during one market in August, September or October.
"Doing the Dots" Customer Survey
This is a fun job for those who enjoy interacting with the public. In a "Doing the Dots" survey, three or four flip charts are set up at one end of the market; each flip chart has one question with several answer options in columns beneath. Volunteers stand by the charts to engage passing shoppers and offer them dot stickers. Shoppers are asked to place a dot on the one answer to each question that best matches their response. This survey helps us get essential customer feedback about the Market.
Time commitment: One market day in late July or August from 9:00 am to 11:30 am or 11:30 am to 2:00 pm.
We want to have usable, changing information at our market booth. We're looking for someone to look through cookbooks from the library, and mark recipes that use produce that's in season. We will have these cookbooks at the market booth for folks to look through and get ideas of what to buy.
Time commitment: You can look through the books whenever you'd like and drop them off at the market when we open.
On our website we have pictures of many of our vendors. Our goal is to have pictures of all of our vendors. We also have pictures of fresh produce. We want to change those pictures more regularly. You do not need to have professional skills to do this, just enjoy sharing your images.
Time commitment: Flexible with your schedule.
"You Choose" Volunteer
If you have a suggestion for other ways you could volunteer besides the opportunities we’ve listed, please let us know. We would love to make use of the skills and talents you have to offer!