In the last few months you may have seen a few new faces at the Taste Tents and the Information Booths at the SFC Farmers’ Markets. The lovely ladies of The Junior League of Austin have arrived! Last year, The Junior League of Austin (JLA) voted for SFC as one of the volunteer placements. And this year we’re reaping the benefits of these wonderful folks. I have 12 JLA volunteers between the markets working diligently, enthusiastically, and boy are they all dedicated.
Ronda Rutledge, SFC Executive Director, says, “We’re thrilled about our new partnership with The Junior League of Austin. There are so many amazing women in the league who give their valuable time to important community efforts – we’re thankful that SFC was selected as a strong partner. Together, we can improve the sustainability of our local food system, helping children and families gain access to healthy, affordable food. Through the league’s volunteerism and financial support, we can also ensure that local family farmers continue to grow nutritious, delicious food!”
As for what the volunteers are all doing? I have them working at the Information Booths at 3 of our markets as well as at the Taste the Place tents: at the information booth they mix and mingle with all of the SFC volunteers to answer questions, sell merchandise, act as an ATM, and help market crew throughout the day. We can’t run the markets without the information booth volunteers.
The Taste the Place Tents run at the markets as long as we have plenty of produce- and there is always plenty! JLA volunteers shop around the markets and farmers supply the volunteers with produce to chop and sample out. The farmers appreciate it, the customers love it, and the volunteers keep coming back each week for another shift (they may get to sample a bit too!).
Our Junior League volunteers have added an exceptional new element to our volunteer program. Now, it’s obvious how we feel about them, but just exactly how do they feel about us? As Kelly Contreras, our JLA volunteer liaison and volunteer extraordinaire, responds to doing her next shift, “Looking forward to many more shifts (and yummy fresh food) throughout the year.” I’d say the feeling is mutual.