Volunteers are Key to a Thriving Market

2013 MIFM Volunteer Opportunities

The Mercer Island Farmers Market is a community market and we depend on our community volunteers to maintain operations and run special events.

Dedicated MIFM volunteers and board members, Mindy Landsman and Tanya Bednarski, serving pastries at the July 2011 Power Hour.

As a volunteer you develop a special connection to the market and find out there’s more to a farmers market than asking vendors to show up on Sunday.  We hope you will be inspired to contribute to your market.

Check out the  Volunteer Overview  or review the Volunteer Opportunities below.

Sign up anytime individually or with your friends by contacting our volunteer coordinator, Volunteer Coordinator and tell us what you are interested in doing!

1 – Market Operations – Set up and Tear Down
In the morning teams of people set up 10 to 12 canopies, tables and chairs, place signs and recycling containers and where needed assist our farmers and vendors. In the afternoon another team takes down the equipment and stores it.

Time:  8:00 AM to 10:00 AM for Set Up and 2:45 PM to 4:30 PM for Tear Down

2 – Street Flaggers – Must by 18 yrs or older

Streets around the market (78thSE and 32nd Ave SE) are closed during the set-up, operation and tear down of the market.  Some training is required re. safety practices.

West Side: In the morning, 7:30-10:15 The AM West side flagger checks in vendors as they arrive, directing them to their booth site # and gives additional information supplied by the market manager. In the afternoon 2:45-4:45 the west side flagger opens the barriers to let vendors in to pack up their vehicles and insures other vehicles don’t enter the market site

East Side: In the morning 7:30 – 10:15 AM the East side flagger opens the barriers to let vendor vehicles exit the market site and directs them back to the Start Farm parking lot. In the afternoon, 2:45 – 4:45, the East side flagger opens the barriers to let vendor vehicles exit

3.  Information Booth

The  Information Booth is the  central communication area at the market. Information booth volunteers:

  • Show other volunteers where to sign in and out, and where vests are taken and returned.
  • Every week review layout of the market, the current  vendors in attendance and other information  per the material supplied by the market manager
  • Act a greeter for the market, welcoming visitors, inviting them to sign up to receive newsletter or become a volunteer.  Become informed enough about the market to answer most general questions.
  • Handle money from time to time, the first aid kit  and lost and found.
  • Contact the Market Manager via Walky-Talky in case of an emergency or 911.
  • Handle special promotions that may operate from the Information Booth.

4. Special Events – Cooking Demos, Produce Tasting Events, Kids, Music, Entertainment
These are periodic during each month.  If you are flexible and available from 10:30 AM to 1:30 PM, we can use extra hands to help with:

  • Cooking demos: Assist the demo coordinator with set up of event area (tables, chairs, serving supplies, signage), help pass out samples, clean up event area.
  • Produce Tastings: Help with set-up area, gathering produce, cutting and preparing for shopper sampling.  Love to greet people and basic knowledge of food safety. Time:  ~ 10: 30 AM to 12:30 PM.
    • Need Food Workers Card to help with tasting. The guide and tests are available online Food Worker Card for a fee of $10.00.  It takes approximately 1-1/2 to 2 hours to read the information and take the test.
  • Special Events:  Assist with general set up of area, set up signage, promote event – hand out information

6. Vendor Check-Out

Two positions assist the Treasurer with collecting vendor fees at the end of the market day.

7. General Marketing and Advertising Needs

Corner A frame directional signage:  Store A frame signs and place out in designated street corners on Thursday PM, pick up and store by Sunday PM.  Need at least 2 or 3 people, consistently for the 18 weeks.

  • Market Outreach:  Volunteers to post periodic flyers at North End and South End business and bulletin boards – on call – anytime volunteers needed
  • Price comparisons:  Record on a weekly basis fruit and produce pricing in local grocery stores. We compare and use this data to educate our community the value of buying local, fresh, and about food safety.
  • Tweeters and bloggers to take photos and write about our farmers, events, food and community.

8. Board of Directors and Committees

The Mercer Island Farmers Market is a 501(c)3 organization governed by a Board of Directors.  If you are interested in participating in decision making for MIFM, contact the MIFM Board President .

Non-board members can also participate in committees such as Development & Fundraising, Marketing, Market Day and Special Events and Vendor Relations.

Benefits for Volunteers

You directly support our Washington State  farmers and producers, assisting with retention and stewardship of agriculture lands. Farmers markets keep local agriculture thriving.

Team building for  groups, club, or organizations

Easy way and ability to give back to your community and a satisfying feeling of time spent on a good cause

Discounts from our some of our vendors/farmers when they recognize you as a volunteer.

Sign up anytime individually or with your friends.


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