As you can well imagine, we are super busy responding to requests to harvest the bounty of our beautiful valley right now. We expect this high level of activity to last through the month of September, and even into October. In addition, we now are managing our two new Food Share programs which include shopping for, preparing and delivering up to 350 Good Food Boxes and 500+ hot meals a week! And … our gardens are growing, we’re still hosting cooking programs and so much more!
With many of our summer volunteers now back to school or back to work, we require new helpers in several areas. It is a long list because we have so much on the go right now! If you are interested in helping in any of these areas, please contact the individuals noted under each program heading. Thank you!
General questions? Call us at 250-331-0152.
New volunteer? Register on our website, please.
COMMUNITY OUTREACH & HEALTHY FOODS (COOKING) PROGRAMS
Please contact Terri, ProgramManager@lushvalley.org, 250-331-0152.
Cumberland Wild Event Sept. 26 & 27 – Outreach opportunity. We hope to participate in the Cumberland Wild event on Sept. 26 and 27th (noon until 5:00 p.m.) and require two volunteers each day to attend the event to answer questions about LUSH Valley, promote our fruit tree program and sell our ‘famous’ Backyard Blend apple juice. It would be preferred if two people who are in the same social circle (bubble) attend together, making this a perfect opportunity for a couple or family. We will supply a tent, table, and all the promo materials, etc.
Everyone Eats Raffle – Winning opportunity! In addition to the volunteer opportunities listed below, we want to let you know about an exciting raffle that is being organized for us and the Comox Valley Food Bank by the Comox Valley and Strathcona-Sunrise Rotary Clubs. The ‘Everyone Eats’ raffle has 4 great prizes. Tickets are $20 each and are available online. The draw will be Oct. 10, so get your tickets now, before they sell out! You could also help promote this fundraiser by liking and sharing our Facebook post … and buying a ticket, of course!
Learn more here: https://www.comoxvalleyrotary.ca/raffle/
Healthy Foods Programs: Due to COVID, we are faced with the challenge of having limited access to community kitchens to offer our popular cooking classes. As most programming is currently being presented online, there are limited opportunities in this area at this time. The Vanier Soup Project, however, should be starting up again soon and we may need individuals willing to help with purchasing ingredients, the sorting and delivery of ingredients packages to various schools, as well as picking up produce at local farms and delivering it to Vanier School for sorting. To be involved with this program as a driver, you would need access to a vehicle and the ability to lift at least 30 pounds. Planning for the Soup Project is still underway so details will be more clear in the next few weeks. We would love to have some helpers lined up in advance.
COMMUNITY GARDENS Email Bo, email@example.com.
Due to COVID-19, there are limited opportunities in the community garden right now.
FRUIT TREE & FARM GLEANING PROGRAM Email HarvestLead@lushvalley.org.
Our Harvest Lead team is sending out an email every week with picking opportunities. Anyone registered in our system who has selected ‘fruit tree program’ as an area of interest should be receiving this list. If you have NOT received an email but would like to, please double-check your profile to ensure that you have selected this as an area you would be interested in and email the Harvest lead.
FOOD SHARE – GOOD FOOD BOXES & HOT MEAL PROGRAM
NOTE: There are three different individuals to contact with regard to the opportunities listed below.
Be aware that all of the Food Share opportunities require volunteers who are able to commit to at least one day a week Monday through Friday.
Hot Meal Program Chef’s Assistant Email Chef Darby at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This opportunity is a ‘hands-on’ in the kitchen volunteer experience. FoodSafe certification and previous commercial kitchen experience would be helpful but not required. Individuals must be able to stand for up to 3 hours and lift up to 25 pounds. Chef’s Assistants help with the preparation, cooking and packing of hot meals which are distributed in our community through various social service partner agencies. The shift is approximately 9:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m., Monday to Friday and a commitment of at least one day a week would be appreciated.
Good Food Box (GFB) – Warehouse Support
Email James email@example.com or call the warehouse at 250-207-LUSH (5874)
Drivers – Farm Produce Pickups: Our Good Food Boxes (subsidized healthy food deliveries or pick-ups) are now nearly 100% locally sourced! We work with about a dozen local farms and arrange regular pickups from these small-scale providers. We’re looking for folks with a vehicle to help with these pickups. The majority of the farms are located in Merville and the produce is to be dropped off at our temporary Warehouse at the Curling Rink (4835 Headquarters Road). The time commitment is about an hour, once a week, starting at 9:30 a.m., Monday through Friday. Individuals should be able to lift and carry at least 30 pounds.
Drivers – Delivery: This new program is going strong and is delivering up to 75 GFBs daily! We would love to add a few drivers to our roster. Shifts can be as short as an hour or as long as three hours, depending on the number of drop-offs required. Any vehicle that can accommodate up to six large (75L) Rubbermaid containers will suffice. Drivers must be able to lift and carry at least 30 pounds. 1:00 p.m. start.
Fruit Sorting: Our warehouse is a busy place this time of year. It is fruit tree season and our daily harvests and drop-offs need to be sorted and graded. Anytime between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. is a good time to sort fruit. Stay to help for as long as you wish. (One-hour minimum.) This job is suitable for anyone who has a keen eye for quality. We can do the heavy lifting, so it can be done while sitting and is, therefore, suitable for those with mobility issues.
GFB Packers: Packing our GFBs is a daily task. This is a multifaceted job that can be busy at times. The ideal volunteer will be versatile, have the ability to work on their feet, stay organized and work as part of a team. The shift is from 10 a.m. until noon.
Good Food Box Admin Team
Contact Lynnette at Foodshare@lushvalley.org.
Good Food Box Call Center: This role entails making phone calls out to our Good Food Box customers to remind them of upcoming orders (pick-up or delivery), or to explain the program to newly registered customers who don’t use email. This is done from the comfort of your home, using your own phone. The shift is two hours and can be done anytime between noon – 7:30 p.m. when it’s most convenient for you (and often the calls take much less time than the full shift, maybe 30 – 60 minutes).
Food Share Helpline: This role entails receiving phone calls from our Food Share Helpline (also from the comfort of your home) via having the line forwarded to your mobile or landline number during your shift, and then tracking and following up on callers’ questions or requests. We currently have all shifts covered most weeks, but could use an ‘alternate’ addition to our team. The shifts are 4 hours on Mon/Wed/Fri from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., or Tues/Thurs. 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. As an ‘alternate’, you don’t have to be available for all these days though! FYI – Helpline volunteers are rarely on the phone for more than 20 minutes total during their entire shift.
Thank you all very much for your commitment to helping LUSH Valley support the Comox Valley in gaining food-systems skills and knowledge to increase food security, self-sufficiency, and local food production across the region.