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Frequently Asked Questions about Volunteering at The Food Project

We are often asked the following questions about the Serve & Grow program.

Where do we meet and how early should my group get there?
Groups volunteering in Lincoln will be at our Baker Bridge site.  Groups volunteering in Dorchester will meet at our West Cottage site.  All groups should arrive on site at 9:15am..  Please come on time as we begin our program promptly at 9:30am.

What is the work like?
Farming is hard work, depending on the season. You may be preparing beds, planting, harvesting, tending vegetables or cleaning up the land for 2 to 3 hours, rain or shine. Expect to get your hands and clothes dirty by the end of the morning.

What do I need to bring?
Work gloves, water bottles, sunscreen, and rain gear (depending on weather). We will supply all the tools you need to work in the field. If you have a medical condition such as asthma or anaphylaxis, please bring your inhaler or epi-pen and tell your group leader of your condition before working in the field.

What do I wear when working on the land?
Long pants and shirt are recommended for farm work. Close-toed shoes are required because you may be working with sharp tools. Keep in mind that you will get dirty, and be prepared for warm, cold, or wet weather. Bring extra layers and rain gear so that you are comfortable working in most weather conditions. A box of garbage bags is a good item to bring in case people in your group don’t bring rain gear.

Do we still work when it rains?
Yes, we work when it rains. The grower will tell TFP staff and group leaders to stop working when weather conditions are not conducive for fieldwork.

What about lunch and water?
We have a tent in Lincoln and a shelter in Roxbury under which participants can eat lunch. Feel free to bring your own lunch.  We have a water source available at each site.

How old do I have to be to work out on the land?
The age limit for individual volunteers is 17 or older.  High school seniors, who need to complete service hours, are invited to work as an individual volunteer on the land without an adult.  We ask that youth (under the age of 17) who need to complete service hours coordinate a group service day with the Serve & Grow Coordinator.  Please refer to Service Learning for Community and School Groups.

The minimum age for youth who participate in our Serve & Grow program as part of a group is 12.  Groups are asked to have a youth to adult ratio of at least 6:1.

Younger children are welcome to visit the farm with their family, but we are not able to accomodate them during work days on the farm.  We do ask that parents be responsible for the supervision of their children whenever visiting the farm.

How large a group can come do service on the land?
We can accommodate groups of up to 20 people in Roxbury and groups of up to 60 in Lincoln.

What if I have a physical ailment such as a bad back?
Please let us know before the day of your Serve & Grow program so that we can try to find an alternative task that is conducive for your physical or medical condition.

Why do individual volunteers need to fill out an emergency contact and medical form?
All individual volunteers must fill out the Individual Volunteer Emergency Contact and Medical Form.  They are available at the site on the first day you volunteer.  In case of an emergency while you are on the land, we would like to know who we can contact.

Can I volunteer in the summer?
No. The Serve & Grow program runs in the Spring (April through June) and in the Fall (mid-August through mid-November). During the Summer season (July through mid-August), our Summer Youth crews plant, harvest, and tend the land in Roxbury and Lincoln.

Why does The Food Project request a donation for the Serve & Grow Program?

The Food Project requests that each participating group in the Serve & Grow Program share in the costs of providing food to the hungry and for staff time by making a donation. These dollars translate directly into food- every $10 allows us to donate 10 pounds of vegetables to a shelter- enough to provide 20 servings of fresh vegetables for hungry people. For corporate groups, a $500 donation translates into a 1000 servings of vegetables for hungry people.

If you want to sign-up for a Serve & Grow program or need more information, please contact the Serve & Grow coordinator at (781) 259-8621 x30 or email [email protected].

The Food Project is a 501(c)(3) non-profit.

Tax ID: 04-3262532


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