The Food Project: Youth. Food. Community.

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Volunteer - Frequently Asked Questions

How can one become a volunteer?

Where do volunteer sessions meet and when should volunteers arrive?

What do volunteers do?

What should volunteers bring?

What should volunteers wear when working on the land?

What happens when it rains?

Is water available at the farms?

Is lunch available at the farms?

Is there an age requirement for volunteers?

Is there a minimum or maximum size for volunteer groups?

Is there work available for volunteers with disabilities or physical ailments?

Do volunteers need to fill out any forms at the farm?

Why are there no volunteer sessions during the summer?

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

 

How can one become a volunteer?

All prospective individual volunteers should contact the individual growers. Prospective groups should email the volunteer coordinator at participate@thefoodproject.org.

Where do volunteer sessions meet and when should volunteers arrive?

Volunteer sessions in Boston meet at our West Cottage farm; volunteer sessions in Lincoln meet at our Baker Bridge farm; volunteer sessions in Lynn meet at our Ingalls School farm; and volunteer sessions in Beverly meet at our Long Hill farm. All volunteer should arrive on site fifteen minutes before the start of the volunteer session. Most farm volunteer sessions begin at 9:30 a.m., so volunteers should arrive at 9:15 a.m.

What do volunteers do?

Volunteers help with tasks such as preparing beds, planting, weeding, harvesting, washing vegetables, and cleaning up the land. Volunteers should expect to work hard and get their hands and clothes dirty by the end of the morning.

What should volunteers bring?

Volunteers should bring a water bottle, sunscreen, work gloves, and rain gear (if necessary). The Food Project will supply all tools necessary 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 should volunteers wear when working on the land?

All volunteers must wear close-toe shoes. Volunteers should also wear clothing that can get dirty. Long pants and shirt are recommended for farm work. Also, volunteers should be prepared for warm, cold, or wet weather and should be prepared with extra layers and rain gear. Group leaders may want to bring a box of garbage bags in case group members do not have rain gear.

What happens when it rains?

Volunteer sessions will continue if it rains. Volunteers should bring rain gear if precipitation is in the forecast. The grower will tell TFP staff and group leaders to stop working if weather conditions are dangerous or not conducive to field work.

Is water available at the farms?

There is a water source available at each of The Food Project’s farm sites. There generally are not cups available, so volunteers should bring a water bottle to refill.

Is lunch available at the farms?

The Food Project does not provide or sell lunch to volunteers. We do invite volunteers to bring their own lunch or order lunch from a nearby restaurant to eat at the farm. There are shelter areas at all of our farms where volunteers can picnic.

Is there an age requirement for volunteers?

Individual volunteers must be aged 17 or older to visit the farm on their own. (High school seniors who need to complete service hours are invited to work as individual volunteers without an adult accompanying them.) Individual volunteers aged 14 to 16 may come to the farm with a parent or other adult.

Group volunteers must be aged 14 or older. We ask that youth groups have an adult to youth ratio of at least 1:8.

Children under age 14 are welcome to visit the farm with their family, but we are not able to accommodate them during workdays on the farm. We do ask that parents be responsible for the supervision of their children whenever they are visiting the farm.

Is there a minimum or maximum size for volunteer groups?

There is no minimum group size. We do ask that group leaders give us an accurate estimate of group size in advance so that we can plan the work for the day.

We can accommodate group of up to 30 people in Lincoln; 20 people in Beverly and Boston; and 15 people in Lynn. We can occasionally work with larger groups at the Lincoln farm. Please contact us to discuss your group size.

Is there work available for volunteers with disabilities or physical ailments?

In general, volunteers should be able to stand, kneel, and carry object weighing up to 15 pounds. Please advise the grower before the beginning of your volunteer session if you have any concerns about your physical abilities. If you are unsure about your ability to volunteer, please contact us for more information.

Do volunteers need to fill out any forms at the farm?

All individual volunteers must fill out an emergency contact form at the farm before the session begins. This form will be kept at the farm site. Also, volunteers will be asked if they would like to receive news from TFP in the future.

Why are there no volunteer sessions during the summer?

The Food Project does not work with volunteers during the summer months because we run our Seed Crew, Summer Youth Program. Youth plant, harvest, and tend the fields during July and August. The Serve & Grow volunteer program runs in the spring (April-June) and fall (September-October).

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

To cover the costs of staffing the volunteer program and distributing the produce that your group will help plant, care for, and harvest, we ask for a contribution of $500 from corporate groups and $10/person from school and community groups. Please be in touch if such a contribution is prohibitive to your group participating in Serve & Grow. 

 

For more information, please contact the volunteer coordinator at 781-259-8621 x54 or participate@thefoodproject.org.

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

Tax ID: 04-3262532

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