Great Start with Farmer Foodshare

The following blog was written by Oscar Menzer, a rising Senior in the Bonner Leaders Program at the Campus Y.  Oscar works at Farmer Foodshare as a Bonner; he is working with Farmer Foodshare this summer through the Bonner NC  Summer of Service internship. 

Oscar blog A1

Sun setting over RambleRill Farm during a volunteer appreciation event

My last summer as an undergraduate at UNC, and we’re already halfway through June – truly alarming. But, at least I’m spending it in Chapel Hill! This is the first time I’ve stayed in the Chapel Hill/Carrboro area when classes are out, and so far I’m really enjoying the peace. Highlights include meeting Lucy and a few Bonners at Weaver St. Market, and discovering that my apartment complex has a pool.

Oscar blog A2

Tiki-themed party sponsorship

Over the next few weeks I’ll be working as an intern for my Bonner partner site, Farmer Foodshare, thanks to support from the Summer of Service Grant. I’m hoping to learn a lot about the internal operations of a quickly growing non-profit, and make a contribution that I can build on in my final year as a Bonner Leader.

My official position is “Marketing Intern,” and my main focus will be our web presence. Along with that I’ll be helping to improve how we organize and train volunteers, and roll out an incentive program for frequent donors. But, typical of any non-profit with less than 10 full-time staff, I actually end up doing a little of everything – keeps it interesting.

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Summer donation stations are always the most photogenic

So far this summer we’ve had two events. The first was a volunteer appreciation dinner at RambillRill Farm. Beautiful property, great food, and also a productive feedback session from our volunteers. More recently, we were invited to share the proceeds with “Fair Game Beverage Co.” at a Tiki themed party to release their new rum. Not the type of event you’d typically expect a hunger relief organization to show up to, but fruitful nonetheless.

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More produce than we could fit in the car – had to make two trips!

Of course, every Bonner at Farmer Foodshare works their share of Donation Stations at the Chapel Hill and Carrboro Farmer’s markets – these are where we collect produce from shoppers and farmers to distribute to food pantries. Summertime means bountiful farmer’s markets…and massive donations! Last weekend was one of my largest ever, and in a single morning we sent over 700lbs of fresh produce from the Carrboro Farmer’s Market to Equity Collaborative to distribute to families in need. Awesome morning!

My future blog posts this summer will undoubtedly be less interesting than the Bonners abroad, but if you’re interested in tips to building an effective website, managing volunteers, or keeping donors coming then stay tuned!

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