Food Forward has plenty of opportunities to sign-up for one day volunteer activities and, if you’re seeking on-going or leadership opportunities, we’ve got you covered there too!

 

Volunteer Event Leaders:

If you’ve been to a fruit pick or a farmers market recovery event, you probably met one of our incredibly dedicated Super Volunteers! These trained Event Leaders coordinate on-site volunteers and ensure that every step of the farmers market glean or backyard harvest runs safely and smoothly. We are always looking for new Event Leaders at fruit harvests and farmers markets.

 

Apply Now!

 

To get started as an Event Leader…

1) Volunteer at 2 backyard harvests or farmers markets.

2) Complete an Event Leader Application Form. This is a fillable PDF form that you can download, save, and send to volunteer@foodforward.org.

3) Attend one of our Event Leader Training Sessions, complete a brief Background Check, and sign the Food Forward Event Leader Agreement.

4) Shadow one of our experienced Event Leaders at a volunteer event, then lead a volunteer event with an experienced Event Leader shadowing you.

5) Begin leading volunteer teams on your own!

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Food Forward Pick Leader

 

To learn more about other volunteer opportunities and ways to get involved, click on the links below.


Event Leaders

POSITION: Glean Team Leader for the Farmers Market Recovery Program

COMMITMENT: 1-2 days per month for least 3 months. Shifts vary in length from 1 ½ hours - 3 hours, depending on the farmers market

POSITION OVERVIEW: Glean Team Leaders (GTLs) are volunteer Food Forward representatives who lead their chosen market's Farmers Market Recovery team. Under the direction of the GTL, the recovery team distributes Food Forward boxes to interested vendors, collects the donations at the end of the market, and records the total donations, in pounds (a smartphone is required to either record weights on our digital weight sheets of send photos of the physical weight sheets to Food Forward staff). The GTL represents Food Forward at the market community and acts as the point person for volunteers, market staff, vendors, and/or receiving agencies. Additional responsibilities include training new volunteers, caring for and organizing market glean equipment, familiarizing yourself with the agencies receiving the produce and making sure they are getting their designated donations, and recapping the glean by filling out Weekly Market Notes, a Google Form we email each week after the glean to collect information on equipment needs and volunteers. You may need to lift boxes weighing 40 pounds. Note, for some of the markets we glean, the equipment is stored off-site and you will need access to a vehicle in order to pick it up.

What you will learn:
• Leadership skills for directing a diverse array of volunteers
• Verbal and written communication skills
• Knowledge of Southern California produce vendors
• First hand experience with food security work in Southern California
• Seasonality of locally grown produce
• Organizational and decision-making skills in fast-paced situations

Training:
• 2 in-field training sessions: GTLs in training are required to shadow a current GTL at their chosen market, and are then shadowed by a trained GTL
• Read the Glean Team Leader Handbook
• All GTLs are required to attend one training session per year with FMR staff

QUALIFICATIONS: Ideal candidate will have a strong interest in hunger and food justice issues, in addition to a dedication to serving in the community. This volunteer should be detail oriented, personable, and feel comfortable in a leadership position. He/she should enjoy working with diverse groups of people and sharing Food Forward’s work to inspire continued volunteerism.




POSITION: Pick Leader for the Backyard Harvest Program
COMMITMENT: 4-5 hours per month for a minimum of 6 months (in the field)

POSITION OVERVIEW: Pick Leaders are volunteers who are Food Forward ambassadors out in the field. Every fruit harvest is led by a Pick Leader. Harvests may be done solo (Solo Picker) or with volunteers (Community Picker). This highly rewarding leadership position ensures that each harvest is fun, safe, and organized. Pick Leaders choose to lead a harvest from a list of pre-vetted properties in neighborhoods all throughout Los Angeles. Logistics are coordinated by Food Forward staff and Pick Leaders execute and oversee each pick. All the fruit that is harvested is either dropped off to a nearby receiving agency or picked up by an agency’s driver. By leading just one pick a month, you rescue an average of 400 pounds of otherwise wasted produce and provide an average of 800 servings of fresh fruit to those who need it most.

What you will learn:
• Leadership skills for directing a diverse array of volunteers
• Verbal and written communication skills
• Knowledge of Southern California fruit trees
• First hand experience with food security work in Southern California
• Seasonality of locally grown produce
• Organizational and decision-making skills in fast-paced situations

Training:
• Attend two picks as a general volunteer
• Participating in a Pick Leadering training with Food Forward's Backyard Harvest staff
• 2 in-field training sessions: Pick Leaders in training are required to shadow a current Pick Leader at a harvest, and are then shadowed by a trained Pick Leader

QUALIFICATIONS: Ideal candidate will have a strong interest in hunger and food justice issues, in addition to a dedication to serving in the community. This volunteer should be detail oriented, personable, and feel comfortable in a leadership position. He/she should enjoy working with diverse groups of people and sharing Food Forward’s work to inspire continued volunteerism. Candidate should have access to a vehicle or interest in driving one of Food Forward’s vehicles (commercial van, stakebed truck).




POSITION: Community Ambassador
HOURS: 5 - 10 hours a month; hours can be completed at home, in the field or out of our North Hollywood office

Position Overview: A Community Ambassador is the grassroots outreach volunteer that links Food Forward and its mission to their local neighborhood. Community Ambassadors act as the Food Forward face and voice to local government, educational, religious, public, and private groups and institutions through presentations, networking, electronic communication, or tabling at events.  This opportunity is perfect for the social activist who wants to manage their own schedule independently and feels comfortable with public speaking, research, and securing community involvement with Food Forward's programs.

Duties:
• Increase the presence of Food Forward and its programs through localized outreach methods
• Research potential volunteer and program leads
• Communicate with local groups, individuals and organizations about Food Forward’s work
• Represent Food Forward at community events by tabling
• Prepare and execute presentations
• Record outreach progress and potential leads on a spreadsheet
• Work with the Volunteer Manager to schedule events and brainstorm new methods of outreach
• Distribute flyers to homeowners and local businesses

Training:
• Attend a fruit pick and farmers market recovery event as a general volunteer
• One training session with Food Forward staff at our office in North Hollywood
• Shadow a current Community Ambassador twice before representing Food Forward on your own at outreach events

Focus Communities:
• Westchester
• Calabasas
• Pacific Palisades
• Mar Vista
• SGV
• Inland Valley
• Granada Hills
• Ventura County (Simi Valley, Ojai, Ventura, Thousand Oaks)
• Santa Barbara County (Goleta and Montecito)
• West LA
• Long Beach
• or anywhere you are!




Office Volunteers

Flexible schedule: 8 - 10 hours per week during business hours (generally 9 am  - 6 pm Monday - Friday)

This is an unpaid volunteer positions. Non-commuter miles driven will be reimbursed on a case-by-case basis.

POSITION OVERVIEW: We are looking for an office-based volunteer to assist Food Forward’s Volunteer Program. This person will work directly with our Volunteer Coordinator and program staff to help us welcome new volunteers and account for all of the volunteers at our various events.

The majority of the work in this position will be reaching out to new volunteers via phone and email to welcome them to the organization, and entering volunteer waiver forms into our database after events have ended. Tasks may also include listing and managing volunteer events online, replying to email inquiries about volunteer opportunities, researching groups and community events for volunteer outreach, and updating our volunteer database. This position provides an opportunity to become deeply involved with a diverse group of people in the urban food justice community, while working for a prominent and growing nonprofit.

DESIRED SKILLS:

  • A passion for food justice and community building
  • Strong communication, speaking and people skills, along with a passion to inspire volunteerism
  • Experience in database management, Microsoft Excel, and Google Docs
  • A strong sense of being a team player

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Welcoming new volunteers to the organization
  • Communicating with volunteers via email and phone
  • Recording participation and entering volunteer waiver forms into our database

HOW TO APPLY: Please attach your current resume as a PDF and create a cover letter in the body of the email explaining your interest in the position and email to volunteer@foodforward.org, with the subject line reading, “Volunteer Program Assistant - (YOUR NAME HERE).” Students earning credit are encouraged to apply.




FLEXIBLE SCHEDULE: 4 - 8 hours per week. 1-2x per week at our North Hollywood office.

TIME COMMITMENT: 3 months

COMPENSATION: Unpaid volunteer position

VOLUNTEER POSITION

We are looking for office-based volunteers to assist with various program tasks. This position is flexible, but candidates must be available to work during office hours (10 am - 6 pm, Monday - Friday). The ideal candidate will have an interest in hunger, food justice, and environmental issues. We are looking for detail-oriented individuals who are comfortable taking on a variety of tasks, such as making phone calls, administrative tasks (data entry and filing), and assisting program managers with special projects. The ideal candidate should have the ability to adapt to shifting organizational needs and be comfortable working independently or collaboratively.

DESIRED SKILLS:

  • A passion for food justice and community building
  • Strong communication, speaking and people skills
  • Experience in Microsoft Word, Excel and Google Docs
  • Comfort with computers and with learning new softwares and programs (we would love it if you’re able to bring your own computer, but it’s not required)
  • A strong sense of being a team player

 

BENEFITS:

  • Increase knowledge surrounding issues of food waste and food justice locally and nationally
  • Valuable experience working in a dynamic, diverse and growing non-profit
  • Flexible schedule and opportunity for growth within the position

 

HOW TO APPLY: Please complete this PDF Office Volunteer application, save the file as “OfficeVol_YourName” and email it along with your resume to volunteer@foodforward.org.




Volunteers

Commitment: This position offers a flexible schedule. Volunteers should be available to attend 1-2 Food Forward recovery events per month.

Compensation: This is an unpaid position. Non-commuter miles may be reimbursed on a case-by-case basis.

Position Overview: We are looking for a volunteer with a creative eye to bring their photography skills to Food Forward and capture images for our social media, newsletters, website, flyers, and other outreach materials. With a growing number of monthly backyard harvest, farmers market glean, and produce distribution events, we want to capture all of the hard work our volunteers put in to share with with our community! These individuals should be adaptable and have the ability to put subjects at ease while capturing them “in the field.” This position is designed to be highly flexible: events can chosen according to the person’s own schedule and location, but may be dependent on organizational needs. This position works directly with the Outreach & Communications Director and Coordinator.

Desired skills:

  • Excellent photography and editing skills
  • A creative eye and ability to capture the Food Forward aesthetic
  • Interest in food justice, volunteer events, behind the scenes, and community building
  • Experience working in fast-paced settings (ex. Shooting for weddings, birthday parties, etc.)
  • Documentary and environmental portrait experience a plus

 

Key Responsibilities:

  • Attend 1-2 Food Forward events a month
  • Work with Food Forward staff to discuss communications needs
  • Electronically deliver 20-30 high resolution photographs within two weeks of photographing an event

 

How to Apply: Please send an email explaining your interest in the position, familiarity with Food Forward, as well as examples of your work. Email laura@foodforward.org with the subject line “Food Forward Volunteer Photographer - (YOUR NAME HERE)”