How to Get Involved
There are many ways you can help the Nebraska Food Cooperative , and volunteering is encouraged! Volunteering provides you with insight into the inner workings of your cooperative and the importance of each member's investment in it. Volunteering is also a great way to experience first hand how local, healthy food gets to your dinner table. By volunteering, you are literally helping build a new foundation of local foods infrastructure in Nebraska. It doesn't get any more grassroots than this! Volunteering is easy, you meet great like-minded people, and it's fun!
Maintaining a strong volunteer team is crucial to the growth and health of our cooperative. After all, by developing our own delivery structure we are in a sense replacing what many giant food companies have already perfected. The difference is our focus is local, natural and sustainable, and providing the freshest food around.
Volunteer opportunities are not limited to what is listed here. If you see a way to use your skills to help the NFC please don't hesitate to contact us. Unless a specific contact is listed, you can contact Frannie, Volunteer Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-993-2379.
How Can You Help?
Delivery Week: Delivery Week is the NFC's most important activity: it is when all our wonderful products are brought together from Nebraska farmers and producers and prepared for customer pick-up. Look for specific dates each month on the home page calendar.
It is not necessary to have any experience in food distribution or sales to help with Delivery Day. We will work with you to find a position that works best, and provide you with all necessary training. In fact, some postitions require only minimal training which can be done at the beginning of your first volunteer session. We will contact you beforehand if this is your first time volunteering with NFC.
To volunteer for Delivery Week, visit one of the links above to go to our online sign-up sheets. Once there, choose time slots that work for you and write in your name. If you know your member number include that as well (e.g. Gary Fehr, member #48).
Here are some roles you might play during Delivery Week:
Cashier (prefer 3 month commitment): Collects payments from customers and records them into a spreadsheet, noting any problems with the orders as well. Also follows up with customers who make alternate pickup arrangements.
Order Runner: Finds and packs customer items into bags. May need to assist customer to vehicle for larger orders.
Dispatcher (prefer 3 month commitment): Fields phone calls from drivers, producers, and site coordinators during the delivery process. Tracks progress of drivers along their routes. Acts as the central contact person to keep the delivery process flowing smoothly. Makes decisions to handle contingencies, and/or escalates to Operations Manager as needed.
Driver: We operate with a full-time employee for the majority of our delivery driving, but occasionally we have localized needs for running small deliveries. Drivers can submit mileage for reimbursement at the standard IRS rate.
If you have any questions before or after signing up, please contact Frannie, Volunteer Coordinator at email@example.com or call 1-800-993-2379.
What else can you do to help?
The Operations Team is in charge of operating the delivery cycles of the NFC. The Delivery Week folks are certainly a big part of this team, but it also includes those on the back end who are responsible for essential tasks like accounting, problem resolution, membership tracking, equipment maintenance, scheduling and logistics, and volunteer coordination.
Without deliveries, NFC would not exist, so the Operations Team's job is to execute the tactical, day-to-day tasks that make the cycles happen.
While we always need help with pickup and delivery, we also need a lot of donated time and talent in order to do the rest of the NFC’s work leadership, growth and strategic planning, software maintenance, and project management.
We're always looking for people to help with the various projects that are going on at any one time. If you enjoy getting things done with a group of like-minded people, then let us know about your skills and interests and we're bound to have a project that needs your help! Examples might include helping organize a fund-raiser, researching purchase of new equipment, engaging in social media, or developing new packaging or payment options.
Do you have a little bit more time and energy to give to the NFC? If so you should join our Advisory Board. You would attend Board meetings and learn about the business of the NFC, without the responsibilities of Board membership. As you are able, you will take on leadership of limited projects when they appear on the horizon, like organizing an event or a repair project at our building, etc.
If you have been active in the past and know a bit about the workings of the NFC, you could offer to become a Board member. You would keep up to date on the NFC's workings, attend Board meetings and make informed decisions about Board business (like buying and selling equipment, cycle frequency, etc.) and take on project leadership as well. We meet through phone conferences roughly monthly, and in person roughly quarterly.
If you have interest in any of these, please contact Frannie, Volunteer Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-993-2379.