Farmers Market Donation Station at Kitsap Harvest
Written by Katie Allen, Grow A Row Coordinator VISTA
Farmers Market Donation Stations (FMDS) are similar to Neighborhood Donation Stations in that they are a drop-off point for gardeners to donate excess produce they’ve grown, however, Kitsap Harvest is also able to collect produce donations directly from the local farms present. Currently, Kitsap Harvest is present at both Bremerton Community Farmers Market and Port Orchard Farmers Market with the possibility to expand to other markets in the area.
- Donation Log
- Instructional Posters
- Collapsible Collection Creates
- Flyers and Handouts
Farmers Market Pickup Drivers
FM Pickup Drivers are the volunteers who come to the farmers market, connect with the donating vendors, weigh donated produce, and transport donations to the aggregation/distribution hub. Drivers are recruited by the Volunteer Coordinator and managed by the Grow A Row Coordinator VISTA. If a driver is unable to perform duties, they must either contact an alternate driver or the Grow A Row Coordinator VISTA who will fill the role accordingly.
Farmers Market Donation Log
The FM Donation Logs are similar to Captain’s logs however instead of the total weight of donated produce being recorded, the weight of each type of produce is recorded individually. This is for two reasons.
- At the end of the market season, vendors are offered donation receipts so they can deduct the donations from their taxes. The value of the produce is determined by what they charge for each item so they will need to know the total of each item donated.
- When the produce is brought to the aggregation/distribution hub, it is weighed and recorded in the database by produce type. Weighing it like this beforehand just makes the person doing the data’s job a little easier.
FMDS Set Up
The farmers market holds on to the donation station kit and market staff set up a table near the information booth of the market. The table has one of the collapsible creates set up and ready for collection from gardeners and market patrons who purchase produce from vendors to donate, a donation log, and a pen for those who donate to record their name and produce donated (weight will be recorded by Pickup Driver). There is also an informational poster on the donation process, a Produce Donation Best Practices guide poster, flyers, and handouts.
FMDS in Action
The Donation Station table gets set up at the beginning of the market by volunteers and is open for collection. 30 minutes before the market end, the Pickup Driver arrives, checking to see if there were any donations from the public, and weighs and records them on the Donation Log. The Driver then takes a collapsible bin to each of the produce vendors to fill while they break down their booths. They will put produce they don’t think they can sell, don’t want to pack up, or whatever they want to give. Vendors may bring donated produce to the table or the Driver can check in if it looks like they are done. For market vendors, produce must be weighed and recorded by type. After the produce has been weighed and recorded, the Pickup Driver helps to break down the table, loads the produce into their car, and transports it to the aggregation hub. Because the market happens after business hours, there is a night drop box outside the hub to leave the produce and Donation Log. The person that comes into the hub the next morning will bring the food inside and process it from there.