The Central Brooklyn CSA is a member-run volunteer organization serving Bed-Stuy, Crown Heights , and surrounding areas, so members are required to volunteer 4 hours per share over the course of the season. This can be done by volunteering at distribution, helping with events or the newsletter, or working at the Hebron soup kitchen. This list is by no means complete; volunteer opportunities are very diverse, the following descriptions are only offered as suggestions, and multiple members are able to participate in each role. If you have any special skills like graphic design, grant writing, or social networking, let us know and we’ll find a way to incorporate it into the CSA!
Distribution Volunteer(s): This is a very important volunteer position as it allows for the CSA’s weekly distribution to run smoothly. Volunteers will help set up or break down the weekly harvest from the farmer. Duties include organizing the produce, weighing produce, monitoring pick-up, sweeping the distribution area, and bringing the leftover produce to the food pantry/soup kitchen area in the church. This is the most common volunteer position, with multiple people volunteering, and only requires volunteering one full day of distribution, or two shorter shifts over the season.
Five Simple Things We Should Do at Every Distribution
Be Punctual – People’s time is valuable to them. The first thing we must do is show up on time (about 10 minutes before your shift starts) and ready to work for your distribution shift. We must also remain diligent in cleaning up and leaving Hebron Seventh Day Adventist Church in a
timely manner at the end of each distribution.
Know Your Veggies – What should you do in the minutes before your distribution shift begins? First, take a moment to introduce yourself to your fellow volunteers and community members, then take a moment to familiarize yourself with that Wednesday’s fruit and vegetables. Keep in mind that other community members may indeed look to you to explain what exactly is in arespective week’s harvest
Be Courteous – Perhaps the most important thing any of us can do as a distribution volunteer is offer a smile and a handshake to everyone who passes by. A CSA is about more than just food, it is about members of a community coming together, and taking time to be polite to other members and non- members alike is how we demonstrate our commitment to working together. So don’t be shy: introduce yourself, remind folks to grab a newsletter and sign-up for volunteering opportunities, bring and offer extra bags and/ or egg cartons to folks who may have forgotten theirs. Being kind is the best way to ensure people look forward to coming back next week.
Lend a Helping Hand – The physical component to distribution volunteering centers around helping each other out. Whether we are unloading the truck full of our farm-fresh produce, setting up our distribution area, restocking food as members pick up their haul, or grabbing a mop or broom from time to time, all the work we makes the experience of our fellow members easy and fun. We are not working for a boss, we are working with each other to facilitate our Central Brooklyn CSA. So come equipped with a cooperative attitude and your shift will be over before you know it!
Leave the Space Better Than We Found It – Our partners at Hebron SDA Church are amazing! We owe it to them to make sure that we set up and clean-up carefully and thoroughly, and throughout the distribution maintain a safe and clean space.
If you can’t make it to a volunteering slot during distribution, there are lots of other ways to help out! Let us know your skills, and we’ll make something work. Some of the things we need help with are below:
Newsletter Editor(s): The newsletter editor will collaborate with the core group, farmer, and recipe collector to get newsletter material. This should be complied, formatted, and edited at least 2 times a month, ideally every week. Ideally, there would be a one core group member or a newsletter committee that would complete this task.
Volunteer Coordinator: The volunteer coordinator is responsible for ensuring that every member of the CSA completes the minimum volunteer requirement of 4 hours per share. They are responsible for setting up and maintaining the weekly schedule for members to volunteer at the distribution site, and contacts the volunteers each week to confirm their shifts.
Events Coordinator(s): The events coordinator will collaborate with the core group, CSA members, and the farm to plan fun, informative, and community building events for members. They should plan at least one farm visit per season, along with potlucks, cooking and nutrition demonstrations, and kid’s programs.
Outreach Coordinator(s): The outreach coordinators will be in charge of recruiting new members, handling publicity, answer phone and mail queries, and be able to work on these projects during the off season. Multiple people should be involved in this effort.
Graphics Coordinator: The graphics coordinator would be responsible for developing promotional materials like posters, fliers, brochures, and logos for the CSA.
Secretary: The secretary would be responsible for recording minutes at core group meetings, ensuring that minutes are distributed among core group members, and maintain a general log of CSA member’s ideas for projects, outreach, etc.
Recipe Distributor: The recipe distributor would be responsible for collecting, copying, and distributing recipes and food preparation/preservation ideas and tips. This person would ideally work closely with the newsletter coordinator(s).