Volunteer training offered for Eat Local project | TheUnion.com

Volunteer training offered for Eat Local project

The University of California Cooperative Extension, through a Specialty Crop Block Grant from the California Department of Food and Agriculture, is working to promote specialty crops at the farmers markets by conducting tasting/sampling events and by distributing produce cards and vouchers to farmers market shoppers.

“In January and February of this year, we held five tasting events at the Auburn Farmers Market. During this time, we distributed 1,350 samples, 800 produce cards and over $4,000 of produce vouchers to farmers market shoppers,” said Roger Ingram, UCCE county director for Placer and Nevada counties. “By all accounts, these events were a rousing success and have had a lasting impact on market sales.”

In order to continue making an impact, UCCE is seeking the community’s help.

“We need volunteers who are excited about local food to help us with these tastings,” said Ingram. “Each event requires several people in the farmers market booth to help prepare and hand out samples and information.”

Volunteer training will be from 6 to 9 p.m. April 3 at the UCCE office in Auburn (11477 E Ave. in the DeWitt Center). The training will include a grant overview, hands-on training in setting up for a tasting event, guidelines for interacting with customers and basic food safety training.

Volunteers should have an interest in local food and farming, a willingness to work with others to educate shoppers about locally grown produce and the ability to commit to volunteering for eight hours during the upcoming growing season.

For information about the project and about the training, contact Dan Macon, UCCE Specialty Crops Program Representative, at the UCCE Auburn office at 530-889-7385 or dmacon@ucdavis.edu.

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