Community Action Coalition for South Central Wisconsin, Inc. (CAC) strives to make fresh local food available to everyone, including making shopping available at Farmers Markets for people with low incomes. The FoodShare Program at the Dane County Farmers Market ensures that families and individuals are able to buy Farmers Market products with their Quest cards (aka Food Stamps) by conducting Electronic Benefit Transfers (EBT) at our stand at the market.

EBT services are available at the Dane County Farmers’ Market on Wednesdays from mid-April to early November and on Saturdays year-round. Volunteers are needed each Saturday at the Dane County Farmers’ Market and our booth is staffed from 7:00am-1:00pm.

There are two aspects to volunteering with FoodShare at the Dane County Farmers’ Market: working the booth and performing collections.

At the EBT booth, volunteers work on their own to run the EBT machine, perform transactions and distribute Market Dollars to FoodShare customers. During the outdoor market season, booth shifts are broken up into two hour shifts, 7:00am-9:00am, 9:00am-11:00am and 11:00am-1:00pm.

This part of volunteering involves sitting and does not demand much physically. It is great if you are a social person as you will be interacting with customers who come to the booth for FoodShare transactions, as well as volunteers for the DCFM Information Booth who share the tent with us. This is a great opportunity for people watching as well as learning more about the market!

During collections, volunteers work with the EBT Coordinator to collect and count spent FoodShare Market Dollars from the vendors at the market. The collections shift for the outdoor season runs from 10:15-1:15 and involves lots of standing and walking, so it is more of a physical position. The collections shift is a great way to get a look at the “behind the scenes” of market operation and get to know some of the wonderful vendors at the market!

The FoodShare program needs good people with fresh energy and an interest in learning more about the challenges of how to bring fresh local food to more people. This is an amazing volunteer opportunity that helps people purchase locally farmed and produced food directly from the farmer; aiding in nutrition, community development, and local and sustainable food production. Not only do you get to help others eat well, you also get to be right in the middle of all the wonderful action that is the Dane County Farmers’ Market!

RESTRICTIONS: There are two separate training shifts, one for the booth (7:00am-9:00am) and one for collections (10:15am-1:00pm). Training for both functions may be done all at once, or broken up over two Saturdays. Volunteers are not required to train for both positions but it is helpful.

Once a volunteer is trained, they are able to sign up for shifts according to whatever fits their schedule. There is no maximum or minimum time commitment (outside of set shift times) and we encourage volunteers to sign up as often as they would like!

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