CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture; a partnership between city residents and local farmers that allows city dwellers to enjoy fresh produce straight from the farm. When you become a member of a CSA, you’re purchasing a “share” of vegetables from a regional farmer. Weekly, from June until October, the farmer will deliver your share of produce to a convenient drop-off location. CSA's allow farmers to plan their season’s crops more efficiently by planting a diversity of vegetables and harvesting without waste.
Today, our Volunteer Spotlight shines on Jill Rothstein, Assistant Coordinator for the BJ Hazorim CSA in New York, NY.
What makes the BJ Hazorim CSA run smoothly?
I help run a Community Supported Agriculture group (CSA) based out of B'nai Jeshurun, a synagogue in New York City. We're a group of 160 people who have partnered with a local farm to help support the farmers, bring fresh, local, organic food to our community, and be more in touch with the natural growing season. The way it works is that members pay the farmers in early spring to help cover their planting costs, and then we share the risk of growing with them. Every Tuesday we get a delivery of bins of fresh produce and organic eggs that have been picked within the last 24 hours. We set up a pickup area and a blackboard letting people know what they're getting this week, then all 160 people come through and pick up their share.Every week we have 12 volunteers in two shifts helping to run the produce distribution, unloading the veggies, weighing out shares, signing people in, and cleaning up and donating leftovers to a free lunch program.
How did you get started as a volunteer leader?
I got involved with starting this group after I saw an email announcing it. I believe in CSAs and really wanted to be a part of bringing another one to the community. In my job as a children's librarian with the public library, I've had experience coordinating volunteers at my branch. I generally like coordinating tasks, making manuals, and talking to people, so I thought I would make the leap into doing that on a larger scale.
What’s one piece of advice you have for volunteer leaders out there?
Why did you decide to use VolunteerSpot?
Because it was exactly what I was looking for! I was trying to find some way to manage this large number of volunteers and multiple shifts over 5 months and was just desperately searching to find something to help me. I couldn't believe there wasn't something out there yet, and finally I came across VolunteerSpot and was so thankful. I loved how there were tutorial videos in place. We've been really successful with it so far.
To learning more about the B'nai Jeshurun CSA, please visit www.bj.org/csa
We salute Jill and all the other volunteer leaders out there working to better their communities. If you're using VolunteerSpot, write and tell us about what you're doing and give us a chance to shine our Volunteer Spotlight on you!! Just email us at VS@volunteerspot.com