Tom Melton has been a Farmer Foodshare Donation Station volunteer off and on since 2012.
His day job is Food Resources Coordinator at the Food Bank of Eastern and Central NC, but he shows up at the Southwest Durham Farmers Market Donation Station week after week. Why? Here’s what he had to say:
What are the most surprising or rewarding things about volunteering?
The high quality of goods at market. I [had just] come back from Pittsburgh, and the quality and variety of what’s available year-round in North Carolina -- it surprises me every time. I remember biting into a strawberry and thinking, “Oh, right! This doesn’t taste like water!”
Another thing that keeps me coming back is being a citizen of the market. I love seeing the same people every week, building relationships and swapping stories with farmers and vendors, and the shoppers too.
How has this work impacted your life?
I have a whole new appreciation of the sheer level of coordination and hard work that goes into making the local food system happen from being with these folks on a week to week basis.
Interested in volunteering? Our network of nearly 40 Donation Stations needs YOU this summer! To learn more about the program and sign up for a volunteer shift, visit: www.farmerfoodshare.org/volunteer