Donation Station at Kitsap Harvest
Written by Katie Allen, Grow A Row Coordinator VISTA
Neighborhood Donation Stations (DS) are drop-off locations hosted by individual volunteers on their property, set up around Kitsap County for home gardeners to donate their excess garden produce. This supports Kitsap Harvests’ mission to reduce food waste and provide more fresh, locally grown and nutrient dense produce to the people it serves.
Duration of Donation Stations- Late April-October (a few may stay open later/year-round)
- Ikea Bags x2
- Instructional Posters
- Captains Log
- Flyers and Handouts
- Lawn Sign
- Ice bags
Neighborhood Captain provides
- Shady location on property accessible to the public
Neighborhood Captains (NC’s) are individuals who volunteer to host a Donation Station and be the representative of the Grow-A-Row (GAR) program in their area. NC’s will have signed up to volunteer on the Kitsap Harvest website. They will be asked to provide their name, address, and contact information, whether they have their own cooler to use (if not one can be provided), and to choose a day and time during the week to have their station up and collecting. They will be asked to sign off that they read the DS procedure detailing what comes in their kits, how stations operate and their responsibilities as NC’s, as well as the Produce Donation Best Practices guide. After they sign up and pick up their kits at the hub, their address, chosen time of operation and a photo of their DS will be posted on a map located on the GAR page of Kitsap Harvests website. This is for the public to find the station closest to them.
Neighborhood Captain Responsibilities:
- Communicating with the Pickup Driver when there are donations to collect.
- Advertise DS and GAR to neighbors and the community, encouraging home gardeners to donate their excess produce.
- Includes utilizing flyers and door hangs provided in the kit, social media posts, talking with neighbors, etc.
Pickup Drivers are recruited by the Volunteer Coordinator and managed by the Grow A Row Coordinator VISTA. They are given contact information of the NC’s as well as locations of pick up. NC’s will contact the night before or the morning of pick up to let the driver know there are donations to be collected. Drivers will weigh donated produce in the Ikea bag with the luggage scale provided to them and record the total weight on the bottom of the Captains Log, then transport the produce and log to Kitsap Harvests aggregation/distribution hub. Drivers must inform the Grow A Row Coordinator VISTA if they are unable to perform their duty that week so that the route can be filled accordingly.
The Captains Log is how participation every week is tracked at each Donation Station. Donors sign it like a guest book when they drop off produce writing their name and listing what they donated. The Pickup Driver will use the luggage scale provided to them to weigh the produce inside the Ikea bag and record the total produce weight at the bottom of the log, rounding to the nearest whole number. Number of donors, produce type and the total weight will be recorded by the Grow A Row Coordinator VISTA in the GAR database.
Donation Station Set Up:
Donation Stations are a “no contact” table and cooler set up in a dry and shady place on a NC’s property. They should be off of the sidewalk, not directly next to the street, and accessible to the public. Inside the cooler is one of the two provided Ikea bags that act as a bin liner with some ice packs underneath. On the table is the instructional poster that explains how to donate and an abbreviated version of the Produce Donation Best Practices guide, as well as the Captain’s Log and a pen.
Donation Station in Action:
NC’s will have their station set up and ready during the times specified on the map but do not need to be present to receive donations. Gardeners will put their donations into the cooler, sign the log and list what produce they donated. The NC will contact their Pickup Driver to let them know they have donations to collect. The following day the driver will come and weigh the produce using the luggage scale and Ikea bag. The total weight will be recorded on the bottom of the Captain’s Log and will be transported in the bag along with the produce to the aggregation and distribution hub between 10am-3pm. The person at the hub will transfer the produce to a bin, take the log and return the Ikea bag to the driver. When the driver goes to pick up at the DS next week, they will swap the empty bag they have with the full one in the cooler.