Interested in being the Site Host to kick-start a group in your area?
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Host Location & Share Size
A host provides a location as well as the basic leadership of a site. He/she also may participate as the coordinator and/or produce divider for the group. As the host, you choose how involved you wish to be. You may provide your home or business site, and then bring on a coordinator to do everything else. The location you provide must be a place where the produce can be divided, and members can retrieve their produce without disturbing those in the surrounding area (i.e. an enclosed garage is ideal, a business site, church, community center, school, finished basement, covered porch or private yard with tree coverage- in season, etc).
So, to get started, you will need 20-30 share members (membership requirements are higher as the distance increases from the base site). If you do not yet have that many shares, you could order through an existing co-op to get started, and pick up orders for your friends, neighbors, etc. until you reach 20-30 members. Once you reach 20-30 shares, you may then begin to receive direct delivery. A comfortable group is about 25 shares, and the suggested maximum is 40, due to delivery constraints. Once established, if you temporarily supported a new forming group, you may add the new group’s 15 startup shares to this maximum number. If you care well for your group, you will establish a base membership to which one member might leave and a couple of members join every 2-4 weeks (depending on your size). In the event there are not enough orders – we just wait for a future time and try again. Please let us know what you believe to be the maximum number of shares your site can handle.
General Hosting & Coordination Policies and Procedures
The primary idea that we wish to convey for each host is an attitude of grace in the pursuit of excellence. Our goal is to help communities become healthier one neighborhood at a time. As hosts, we must assure that everything we do is perceived positively: neat, clean, orderly and with special care. If we are careful with our people, our process, and our produce, then we can rest assured that our hosting efforts will be successful. Be sure to read through this entire “Help” document, and initial this page summary beside each statement below:
- Help keep track of what is happening with the group overall. Let Monica know if something goes wrong with delivered items and payments. It is essential to the success of the group that the host/coordinator be the eyes and ears of all that happens and is willing to get involved to resolve any issues (including dry goods, special orders, payments etc).
- Be diligent and careful with perishables. Establish a morning pickup time (beginning within 2 hours of delivery), and necessary to divide the food immediately after unloading; this ensures that members are able to retrieve and process food into their homes as fresh as possible. Direct dividers to place (never drop, drag or mishandle) food into the bins in a way that is protective and makes a positive first impression at pickup. If you coordinate meat orders for members, assure that meat either comes in frozen, or is handled on a non-produce day.
- Be courteous with members. Nurture relationships with helpfulness and encouragement. Allow for forgetfulness (giving phone calls and reminders to members who need special care when getting started), and be available for those who just need open ears with any produce issues and concerns. Make efforts to learn member’s name and proper pronunciation. Be firm with guidelines, yet showing grace for occasional slips and mistakes.
- Be careful to keep a clean environment (with no pets). Since we are handling food, it is essential that tables are kept clean, the garage/room swept and pets kept away from food.
- Be careful of appearances with children. Unless children are old enough to assist in the dividing, assure that little ones are away from the dividing area and are not handling, misplacing, or damaging food in the bins. We encourage young helpers, but wish for our work to be perceived as handled with care and accuracy.
- Educate members by sharing recipes and food storage tips, etc. It is helpful if each host helps with sourcing healthy recipes (use the Recipe Exchange Group Or send recipes directly to Monica so she can post it for everyone).
- Be careful of appearances with members & neighbors. Be sure to put dividing area back in order after dividing. Clear walk ways, bag and dispose of damaged/discarded food, and stack/break down boxes. Encourage members not to walk through neighbor’s yards, block drive/walkways, or cause any other potential offense.
- Be diligent with orders, payments and delivery report. Always compare and confirm your notes with the YHS website to assure that order plans match. Complete the “Delivery Report” within 2 days after delivery (with order changes, food challenges, and any other praises or challenges)
Keep in mind that you are covered on mistakes, for these can and will happen. Let’s just keep working together to make sure everything is accurate, efficient, fun and the best it can be! I have read, understand, and agree to general policies and procedures,
Growing A Site
Begin sharing the link to invite members yourself. Invite members to invite their friends to the YHS Order site. Develop a social media presence (facebook pages and groups, Instagram, etc.).
Use Informational flyers can be passed out to local schools, stores, gyms/fitness centers, and neighborhoods to encourage growth for your location. You may also prepare basic information that can be submitted to CRAIG’s list, local newsletters, websites and email loops to homemaking, home-schooling, or Moms groups, etc. Produce samples from the extra food that comes could be given to prospective members.
“Extra” Food Shares & “Surplus” Produce
When sorting, you will most likely have some produce that you are unable to divide evenly. This produce can be put into a “surplus” box. Also included in this “surplus” box can be some of the “Extra” food from the share(s) that Monica may add into your group order (i.e. in addition to prepaid member orders, Monica often includes an “Extra” basic share per 20. The purpose for this “Extra” food is to assure that member bins are filled with all the expected produce items, and in the best possible condition (since item count shortages and damage happens). This extra food is to be used primarily to satisfy these issues, as well as to provide members the opportunity to self-compensate for prior “challenges.” Coordinator’s may also set some of this extra produce out to allow for produce “swapping” (details below) and/or as a benefit to hostess, coordinator, and dividers.
After dividing is complete you will need to move produce boxes aside, break them down, and/or stack them neatly for the respect of neighbors, safety of members, and in preparation for recycling. Some communities will have a recycling system with regularly scheduled trucks that come by and pickup boxes (and other recycling) if they meet requirements (such as flattened boxes), and other areas have a system whereby recycling can be dropped off at their plant. Be sure to look into your area’s recycling system and assign this responsibility to dividers, coordinator, or if needed have each member break down one or two boxes at pickup. You may also save a few clean boxes for sorting, for the time a member may forget to return their bin. Please recycle whenever possible.
Members are encouraged to trade with each other and make their basket more of what they really want. To facilitate this process, coordinators may set up a system of “self-swapping.” Members would be welcome to leave something from their bin in the “surplus” box (or a reserved table) that they do not want, and select an item from the box that they would prefer. Members are also encouraged to resell or share with a friend when they receive items they do not expect to eat. Ideally, the group is willing to try new things and gain increased variety in their diet.
Prerequisite for Special order is a Basic or Half Share Order Special ordering is any ordering other than the basic produce share (i.e. extra groceries, extra cases or partial cases of produce, cold stuff etc). These ordering opportunities are designed to compliment the basic food share, and are available as an added service benefit to basic share members. Due to delivery constraints when ordering produce by the case, each member has a limit of 5 cases or less.
Eager to get started as a host?
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