Have you ever wondered what it’s like to volunteer at the ALFN Market? This post takes you step-by-step through a day in the life of our Saturday morning volunteers! Our shifts are divided into two sections: 8:00-10:15, and 10:00-12:15.
8:15 – Cofffeeeeeeeeee. The early morning shifts starts….early. Well, 8:15 early. Volunteers roll in to the kitchen at Christ Episcopal Church and fix some coffee before starting the morning’s work.
8:15-8:45 – Setup. After the main room is setup up with tables, volunteers move all the produce that farmers have been dropping off for the market out of the fridges and organize it.
8:45-9:45 – Inventory. Once the produce is arranged on the tables, the Food Club Coordinator hands out the inventory sheets, and the counting begins. Volunteers must carefully check that each grower delivered the correct number and type of product. Hopefully by now the coffee has kicked in!
9:45-10:00 – Snack Time. While the Food Club Coordinator vanishes to the office to finish getting ready for opening, volunteers can enjoy delicious snacks and more coffee, most of which are ordered right off the market! This is a great time to take advantage of your $5 volunteer credit and scope out the extras list too…
10:00 – Customers arrive. Our customers grab their order sheet and hand them off to volunteers in the kitchen and produce room to fill them. A volunteer’s job is to make sure that every customer is getting the correct quantity and type of product. If you’ve ever volunteered, you know how confusing the first few times can be! From a fridge full of eggs you have to find the right grower (usually we have 5 different farmers bringing eggs), the right size (medium, large, or jumbo?), AND the right color (green eggs are a thing!). This is why we encourage our volunteers to come back for a shift every month (plus you can get your free membership this way!)
11:45-12:15 – The Aftermath. Ok, so actually the market is so fun that time flies by while you’re helping customers. Before you know it, it’s time to start wrapping everything up. Volunteers start bagging orders that will be picked up on Monday, leaving messages with customers who missed their pickup (don’t feel bad if you’ve ever missed your order…it happens every weekend!), and tidying up the produce room and kitchen. Every volunteer leaves with some sort of treat, whether it’s discounted groceries or leftover volunteer snacks.
ALFN relies on dedicated volunteers to run our markets. Get involved with local food, and with your community! Now that you know what it’s all about, sign up for an upcoming Saturday shift.