Co-ops work best with the active involvement of the community. Volunteer opportunities are available in the following categories:
- operations (the store)
- strategic (our board and board subcommittees)
- outreach (managing tables at farmers markets, fairs and festivals)
- Communications/Creative (designers, website marketing, videographers, photographers)
- IT/Web (website, network)
If you are interested in any of the following – or if you have suggestions regarding possible positions, please fill in the form below. We welcome help from anyone excited about helping us open the store, member-owners and non-members alike.
We are not able to offer compensation at this time, but we are looking forward to offering a volunteer discount or some other kind of volunteer compensation as soon as we are able.
Volunteers who work in the store will be trained. Hence, we need people who are willing and able to offer a high level of commitment and dependability. Shifts are three hours long; the number of shifts you would like to work is up to you and can be worked out on a case by case basis. The following are some basic requirements for working as a volunteer in the store:
- Membership: You do not need to be a member of the Tacoma Food Co-op to volunteer. We recognize that some people cannot afford to pay the membership fee. However, we ask that all volunteers adhere to the values of the co-op and respect its mission.
- Commitment: We would like if you could make a three month commitment because of the time investment required for training and for you to become familiar with the store. Shifts are three hours long, preferably weekly, but scheduling can be worked out with each volunteer.
- Knowledge: In order to better assist customers, volunteers need to become familiar with the layout of the store and the products, the requirements of becoming a co-op member and the current member benefits, and most importantly, the co-op’s mission, values, and goals.
- Dependability: We need people who can show up on time for their scheduled shifts and stay for their entire shift. If you are unable to make a shift, we need at least 24 hours notice so we can find a replacement. In order to create a great atmosphere in the store, we need dependable volunteers!
- Volunteer Relationship: You enter into service voluntarily, and you are free to resign at any time with or without cause. Similarly, the Tacoma Food Co-op is free to conclude its relationship with any volunteer at any time with or without cause.
- Ability to Work with Others: The co-op is a store dedicated to welcoming all people, regardless of gender, race, class, size, ability, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, etc… In order to volunteer for the Tacoma Food Co-op, you must be able to graciously work with others and assist customers who are different from you.
In Store Volunteer Positions
Greeter: Welcome every individual who comes through the door. Notice them and be noticed! Ask people if it is their first time, if they are members, and hand out recipe cards. Direct customers to where they need and answer questions. Be comfortable dealing with the general public and with difficult people. Become familiar with the store layout/products. Be knowledgeable about nutrition and the co-op.
Stocker: Must be able to lift 50 lbs. Rotate and stock merchandise, update inventory list, remove expired product, help people as needed, front merchandise, help people out to their cars, help break down shipment every Thursday.
Office Admin: Must be well-versed with computers, email, and Microsoft office. Update/remove fliers on outside wall, organize comments on board, organize inventory list from staff, other administrative items as needed.
Produce/Bulk Department: Must be able to lift 50 lbs. Remove any non-saleable inventory, arrange produce displays, rotate and stock merchandise, clean bulk area of any spills, be sure bags, ties, and signs are in order.
Grounds/Janitorial: Sweep sidewalk, clear trash from parking lot, weed and deadhead garden in the morning. Take out trash and recycling, clean windows and floors as needed, miscellaneous janitorial tasks.
Vendor Liaison: Keep track of vendor info. People want to know where their food comes from! This position is for someone dedicated to providing this information. We would like a creative person with an eye for design to work with vendors and come up with a handbook that people can look through if they want to know about a certain product/farmer/vendor. This could also take the form of tags/displays that would be placed near the product, but we would like to maintain a reference notebook as well.
Outreach Volunteer Positions
Outreach volunteers to table at events: We are always seeking volunteers to be our representative at various community events and summer farmers’ markets. This role is ideal for people who like to socialize and are enthusiastic about the co-op, but since we don’t aggressively sell or hand out anything, even our more reserved member-owners enjoy tabling. Outreach volunteers staff the co-op’s table or booth, answer questions, and encourage community members to join. We provide all the materials you need and almost always schedule multiple people at each event so no one is at the table alone.
Summer Farmers’ Markets events coordinators: We are currently seeking organized individuals to be the point person for volunteers interested in staffing the Tacoma Food Co-op table at farmers’ markets. A coordinator should have access to reliable transportation to transport a tent, chairs, table and bins of materials (nothing a compact car or larger can’t handle), and be willing to help with the set-up and tear-down of the booth. Coordinators don’t necessarily need to stay at the booth all day – this job is more about scheduling and ensuring delivery of necessary supplies and materials. We are looking for one person to organize volunteers for the Tuesday 6th Ave. market, one for the Thursday Broadway market in downtown, and one person to organize volunteers for the Saturday Proctor market.
Party and event planning team members: If you enjoy event-planning, we’d enjoy having you on our team. If things go according to plan, we’ll need help planning a Grand Opening party as well as a few other events before then.
Member-owner training and education coordinators: Our member-owners have told us they hope the co-op can not only be a place to shop for healthy, local food but also a place to learn and meet others in the community. While we currently don’t have a formal member education program in place, we welcome ideas and proposals from those who would like to organize a cooking class, put together an educational lecture, or coordinate other events of interest to the co-op.
Communications/Creative Volunteer Positions
Website Marketing Manager: We would like to work with a Website Marketing Assistant to facilitate putting specials online and coordinating our website with our other marketing events. This position is ideal for someone looking to learn about web processes and increase their portfolio.
Photographer/Videographer: We would like to publish videos and photos of our vendors, our store, our processes and other relevant topics. Your talent and skills will help us inform and support the co-op community.
Designers: We publish ongoing information for the store and our members. Your talent and skills will help us inform and support the co-op community…with style.
IT/Website Volunteer Positions
Website Management: We are looking for Website Managers who can help us plan and implement website schedules and projects for web content and technology. This position is ideal for someone looking to learn about web processes and increase their portfolio.
Website Coordinator: We would like to work with a Website Coordinator who can help guide our web processes. This position is ideal for someone looking to learn about web processes and increase their portfolio.
Strategic Volunteer Positions
Board Members: Our next election is in September and October 2013. Board Members must be co-op member-owners. We will post details for how to run for the board in the summer of 2013.
Thanks so much for supporting the Tacoma Food Co-op! We are so excited to work together towards making a local, sustainable, fresh, and friendly place to shop in Tacoma. Please take a moment to fill in the Volunteer Sign-up Form, and email email@example.com with any questions.