Volunteer for your Co-op

TFC’s New Member-Work Program

Since well before the Co-op opened its doors, we have had several volunteer opportunities available to the general public. The Staff and Board Members of the Tacoma Food Co-op would like to thank everyone who has supported the growth and development of our store by dedicating their time, energy, and expertise!

As the Co-op has evolved, we have begun taking note of how the volunteer programs of other Co-ops have evolved so we can adopt best practices.

Moving forward, you must be a Co-op member to participate in the co-op’s volunteer program. Member participation in operations is NOT required at the Tacoma Food Co-op. However, participants DO enhance their membership benefits by volunteering at the co-op. By becoming a member-worker (TFC volunteer), you can participate in your community store and be involved in the continued success of your Co-op.

Tacoma Food Co-op Member-Workers can receive a discount of up to 20% on their purchases (not including alcohol) for 20 hours of volunteer time in a month. Discounts are earned in increments of 5 hours (5 hours earns you 5%, 10 hours earns you 10%, and so on up to 20%). Discounts begin the fifth of the following month after you volunteer.

If you are interested in finding out more about current member work opportunities, please fill out the application below. If you have any questions, please email volunteer@tacomafoodcoop.com. Thanks!

Member-Work Opportunities

Co-ops work best with the active involvement of their members. Member-work opportunities are available in the following categories:

  • operations (the store)
  • strategic (our board and board subcommittees)
  • outreach (managing tables 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 out the form below.

Member-workers who volunteer 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 flexible; 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 member-workers who volunteer in the store:

  • Membership: You need to be an active member of the Tacoma Food Co-op.
  • 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. Shift scheduling can be worked out with each member-worker.
  • Knowledge: In order to better assist customers, member-workers 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.
  • Youth Volunteers: If you are 15 to 18 you need a written approval from a parent or a guardian to volunteer. If you are younger than 15, you need to volunteer under the supervision of an adult.

In Store Volunteer Positions

Greeter: Greeters create a welcoming store atmosphere, offer assistance to customers, and answer questions about Co-op products, membership options, and seasonal offerings.

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 shipments on Tuesdays and or Thursdays.

Office Admin: Must be well-versed with computers, email, and Microsoft office. Update/remove fliers on outside wall, organize comments on board, filing, 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. You require a food handlers permit.

Grounds/Cleaning: Sweep sidewalk, clear trash from parking lot, weed and deadhead garden. Take out trash and recycling, clean windows and floors as needed, clean around the bulk bins, spot clean and sweep the floor, and miscellaneous janitorial tasks.

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.

Party and event planning team members: If you enjoy event-planning, we’d enjoy having you on our team.

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. We welcome ideas and proposals from those who would like to organize a cooking class, coffee talk, put together an educational lecture, or coordinate other events of interest to the co-op.

Communications/Creative Volunteer Positions

Website Updates: 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 increase their portfolio.

Photographer/Videographer: We would like to publish videos and photos of our vendors, our farmers, 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.

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 2015. Board Members must be co-op member-owners. We will post details for how to run for the board in the summer of 2015.

Thanks so much for supporting the Tacoma Food Co-op! We are so excited to work together towards growing 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 volunteer@tacomafoodcoop.com with any questions.

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