Grocery Volunteer Training

Table of Contents

There are multiple ways to volunteer within our Food Program; please read the training material below and write down any questions you have before your meeting with our Food Program Leader. 

The DASH Food Program – 1 minute read

Currently, we work with 5 different food banks to drop off groceries to residents four times per month. While we are incredibly grateful for these partnerships, they primarily provide shelf-stable food to our residents. There is no consistency or guarantee of the types of food provided each month: common items that residents receive include bags of beans, rice, one rotisserie chicken (for the month), and shelf-stable canned foods such as tomatoes, soups, and spaghetti sauce. Unfortunately, our residents rarely receive but regularly need more grocery items like sugar, oil, flour, bread, meats, fish, and fresh produce. That is where our grocery volunteers come in!

Increasing the number of Grocery Volunteers greatly impacts our residents’ access to nutritious foods, enabling DASH to incorporate fresh produce and protein into their diet. We need you! Furthermore, if you know of any potential community partners that would consider getting involved in our food program, please let us know. 

If you are interested in becoming a Grocery Volunteer, please review the rest of this document and contact Jonathan Dumas to get plugged in! Once you have been approved as a Grocery Volunteer, please request access to the Supplemental Food Volunteer Training  Document to use as a reference page for your particular role. 

The Food Bank Drop-Off Volunteer – 2 minute read

Goes to designated food banks in Fort Worth to pick up food and deliver it to our residents at their apartment complex. 

Note: During COVID-19 pandemic, all groceries are distributed on the sidewalk at the apartment complex to reduce close-contact between residents and volunteers. Furthermore, masks are mandatory during times of contact between residents and volunteers.

Each different food bank has certain guidelines in place that our Food Program Lead will go over with you prior to beginning as a volunteer in this role. These include who to contact at the food bank and what types of foods to accept (i.e., more produce, less canned pumpkin).

There is also an element of communication with the residents that is required and encouraged in this role: Food Bank Volunteers make Food Bank drop-offs to residents on Thursdays between 10-11am. It is helpful to communicate with the Resident Grocery Leads when you are on your way from the food bank, so they have an accurate ETA. This communication helps to eliminate confusion and ensure that residents can plan ahead to receive the groceries.

If, for whatever reason, one apartment is unable to receive groceries for a given delivery, the Food Bank Volunteers may send that household’s groceries home with another apartment to be redistributed later by the residents.

The Grocery Pick Up Volunteer – 2 minute read

Grocery Pick Up Volunteers work together with the Resident Grocery Lead to order and pick up needed supplemental groceries from Kroger (There is one Resident Grocery Lead in each apartment unit. This person is responsible for coordinating between residents and volunteers for grocery related matters). As most of our food comes from food pantries, fresh produce and cooking staples, such as oil, sugar, or flour, are difficult to obtain through food banks. 

The Grocery Pick Up Volunteer helps fill this gap! The Resident Grocery Lead will work with the other residents in his or her unit to fill a grocery cart on Kroger’s website by a predetermined date. The Grocery Pick Up Volunteer will then log in to that apartment’s Kroger cart and use it as a shopping list at the store, paying with a gift card DASH supplies. Finally, the Grocery Pick Up Volunteer will deliver the groceries at the predetermined time.

This method of providing supplemental, nutritious groceries to residents was designed intentionally. It is our hope that residents would be challenged to (1) work as a team, (2) meet their budget, (3) learn about online ordering, and (4) communicate and coordinate logistics with English speakers.

The budget and frequency of these pick ups is subject to change as our supply of gift cards and resident needs change over time. Our Food Program Leader will give you specific details before you start as a Grocery Pick Up Volunteer and will update you with any future changes as they go into effect.

Note: During COVID-19 pandemic, all groceries are distributed on the sidewalk at the apartment complex to reduce close-contact between residents and volunteers. Furthermore, masks are mandatory during times of contact between residents and volunteers.

The Grocery Shopping Volunteer – 1 minute read

Will be one of our most needed volunteer roles when enough volunteers feel safe enough to be in close contact with residents. 

Grocery Shopping Volunteers pick up one or multiple residents from one apartment unit and take them to the grocery store to shop for needed fresh produce and cooking staples, such as oil, sugar, or flour, that are difficult to obtain through food banks. This role empowers residents to pick the groceries they need and want, helps them learn about American grocery stores and typical American food offerings, and fosters budgeting skills and teamwork.

DASH will provide the Grocery Shopping Volunteer with a Kroger gift card. The Grocery Shopping Volunteer will be responsible for helping residents stick to their budget, teaching residents the American names for foods they might recognize from their home countries, and helping residents navigate the grocery store and find the items they are looking for. This role is invaluable in DASH because it provides residents with skills and understanding they will need after graduation from the program!

The budget and frequency of these pick ups is subject to change as our supply of gift cards and resident needs change over time. Our Food Program Leader will give you specific details before you start as a Grocery Pick Up Volunteer and will update you with any future changes as they go into effect.

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