FROM A VOLUNTEER'S MOUTH. Volunteering at the co-op can be fun and informative, plus there is the added bonus of earning a 25% discount when shopping at Alfalfa House; two hours of volunteering a week entitles one to the discount for a single shop.
How does one become a volunteer you ask? Relatively easily — after a half hour's induction course on the premises (informative, I promise), whereby another volunteer takes wannabe volunteers through the basics and OH&S requirements, all a volunteer has to do is turn up when they are available and assist staff with whatever needs to be done.
Tasks include general refilling of produce in the store (not surprisingly chocolate and coffee are favourites), assisting with the fruit and vegetable orders, cleaning, gardening, and occasionaly keeping a toddler or two occupied with toys while mum/dad shop!
Though volunteers can 'drop-in' to help at any time, a blackboard in the coop details when volunteers are most needed. For instance, those early birds who prefer to assist with the fruit and vegetable orders are required on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings, between 9 and 11. Or for those with a strong(er) back, forget the gym, there are groceries a-plenty to put away on Thursday evenings.
Of course, volunteers are also welcome to come in on weekends. It is really up to you. The coop staff are more than happy to lend a hand if you have any queries, and with a bit of luck, you may even score a cup of tea for your efforts! I for one have been volunteering now for almost 2 years, and still enjoy coming in whenever time allows.
I have met many wonderful volunteers as well as coop customers (you!) over that time, and can say with quiet confidence that I now know my quinoa from my amaranth. I guess overdosing on raw cacao beans on breaks helps.