Did you know that the Hollywood Farmers Market wouldn’t be possible without our volunteers? About two dozen of your neighbors come out each Saturday to help make the farmers market happen. We’d love you to join us!
What, you may ask, do volunteers do at the Hollywood Farmers Market? The following is by no means a complete list.
They arrive, sometimes before dawn;
Unpack market gear from its storage space;
Set up the space for musicians and community booths, and for customers to sit, rest, and listen;
Set out signs to guide traffic toward the market;
Ingeniously problem-solve worn-out market gear;
Set out, manage and haul away market-generated garbage;
Execute a crowd count for every hour the market runs;
Provide information to market shoppers;
Cover vendors so they can take a quick break;
Assist, chop, clean and taste test for cooking demo chefs;
Take photographs of produce, people and pets (the “three Ps”);
Pack our market gear away at the end of the day;
Serve on the farmers market’s Board of Directors;
Write articles for the Local Dirt;
Provide first aid;
Find parents of lost children;
Lift, haul, sell, smile and in a million unrecognized ways generously apply their expertise and time to the Hollywood Farmers Market.
But what do they get out of it? This is something I’ve been thinking a lot about.
Farmers markets are inherently social places. According to a Project for Public Spaces study, a customer has an average of 15-20 social interactions at a farmers market, versus 1-2 at a grocery store. And for volunteers, that number is much higher. Even for the setup and breakdown volunteers, who mainly just interact with each other, the camaraderie and sense of shared purpose is strong.