Every Friday from June to October, something wonderful happens on the Town Hall Green. Monroe is host to one of the most vibrant and well-liked farmers’ markets in the state. Our market is proud to support the livelihoods of over 25 of Connecticut’s finest growers and producers by bringing them together in a convenient, fun, and family-friendly location. The market relies on a committed group of volunteers to put on the event each week and we’re always looking for extra help to make it happen.
Volunteering at the market is a great way to get involved in your community while supporting the hard working Connecticut farmers and producers that make it all possible. You’ll be a part of a local food movement that’s providing access to healthy and delicious food to your friends, family and neighbors. But, what’s involved in volunteering at the market?
Your enthusiasm is an essential ingredient in making this weekly event successful! Simply loving the market and wanting to share it with others is a key ingredient. We’re looking for friendly and courteous volunteers who can interact with vendors and customers and who are willing to “pitch in” wherever they’re needed to help make the market a success.
The market runs every Friday from 3:00pm to 6:00pm, rain or shine. Setup generally starts at 2:00pm and breakdown runs until approximately 6:30pm. On market day, we divide up volunteer activity into three 2-hour shifts, but you’re welcome to give more time if you can!
We do a lot to plan the market ahead of time, including scheduling entertainers, special guests and weekly programs and mapping out locations for everyone. We communicate with each other frequently during the week using email and online chat, and our schedule and market documents are all online for easy reference.
Setting up the Market
The first shift from 2:00pm-4:00pm is responsible for getting the market set up. This involves moving some supplies—folding tables, chairs, signage and tote bins—from our storage unit behind Town Hall, up to the green. It’s about an SUV-load of stuff and it’s easiest with two or more people lending a hand. Once vendors are assigned a space, they set up on their own each week. New vendors, guests and entertainers may need a little direction from volunteers. It’s also up to the first shift to make sure that vendors are moving their vehicles on and off the green safely, not driving in off-limits areas, and ensuring that all vehicles (with a few exceptions) are off the green and parked in designated vendor parking areas by 2:45pm.
Once the market is open to customers at 3:00pm, you’ll be there to greet customers and answer any questions they might have about the market and its vendors.
Monitoring the Market
The second shift from 3:00pm-5:00pm monitors the market for any customer or vendor issues, is on hand to answer questions and pitch in with any special programs the market might be running that day.
Breaking Down the Market
The third shift from 4:00pm-6:00pm continues to monitor the operation of the market and is also available to vendors and customers, should any issues or concerns arise. The third shift is also responsible for breaking down the market’s gear and returning it to the storage shed. Vendors are responsible for breaking down their own setups, but might need to be reminded of vehicular safety and off-limits areas when driving on the green. Any problems should be reported to the Market Manager so that they can be quickly resolved.
Opportunities Outside of Market Day
If you’re not able to volunteer on Market Day, there are several opportunities to help with activities throughout the season. Your time and talent can be put to work in other ways, including:
We’re grateful for any time or talent you can lend us to help the Monroe Farmers’ Market fulfill its mission of supporting producers of farm products in Connecticut and providing members of the community with access to fresh, locally produced goods and healthy, seasonal foods.
If you’d like to volunteer with the market, please fill out this online form and we’ll be in touch with you very soon!
The Monroe Farmers' Market is open June–October and offers fresh, locally-grown produce, baked goods, prepared foods and hand-crafted specialty foods to Connecticut locals.