Commitment to Community Program

THE COMMITMENT TO COMMUNITY PROGRAM HAS EXPANDED!
Cooperative Principle 7, “Concern for Community”

Goal: Increase the number of Co-op Shareholders who volunteer in our community.
Co-ops are all about community! As a co-op with over 8,000 members, we have the opportunity to make a difference in our community in all sorts of ways…and we want to do more to assist local organizations working to improve the lives of our neighbors. After many years, it is time to announce a change to our Commitment to Community program, which will allow us to deepen our impact on the community that sustains us.


What is the Commitment to Community Program?
The Commitment to Community program rewards Shareholders who volunteer at a Windham County nonprofit with a 5% discount. For every 2 hours you volunteer, you get a month’s worth of discount. Up until now, we supported volunteer hours pretty much anywhere in Windham County, but we limited it to a maximum of eight hours (four months’ worth) per year.


What’s new?
Shareholders can now receive up to 24 hours (twelve months) of their Shareholder discount by volunteering with a Commitment to Community Partner organization. We will also allow you to bank up to an additional 12 hours each year. This means that, in total, you can earn up to 36 hours per year (a year and a half of discounts!) by volunteering in the community.

This change does have some immediate implications. You will no longer self-track your hours at Shareholder Services, nor volunteer at any non-partner organization. Please let us know if you have any questions. Contact jonmr@brattleborofoodcoop.coop for more information or questions.


What is a Commitment to Community Partner Organization?

These are Windham County organizations whose missions align well with the Co-op’s, and that have signed up to partner with us. They’ve agreed to track and report Co-op Shareholders’ volunteer hours to the Co-op. Scroll down for the entire list.

Q. What if the organization I volunteer with isn’t on the Commitment to Community Partner list?
A. Let us know, and we’ll reach out to them. You can find us at jonmr@brattleborofoodcoop.coop. Alternatively, ask them to apply! The form to become a “C to C” Partner is here.


Q. Why are we (the Co-op) doing this?
A. This change will allow us to leverage the energy and talents of our 8,000+ shareholders throughout Windham County and allow us to more fully embody Cooperative Principle 7 – Concern for Community.


Q. I represent a Windham County non-profit in need of volunteer support. How can we become a Commitment to Community Partner?
A. It’s simple! Just fill out an application. You’ll need to establish a point of contact at your organization to track and report volunteer hours directly to Shareholder Services on a monthly basis.


Q. How do I sign up for volunteer hours?

A. Follow these simple instructions:

  • View the most current list of our Commitment to Community Partner organizations above.
  • Select an organization and reach out to their contact person or preferred method of signing up for a volunteer shift.
  • Sign up with the organization you choose, show up for the volunteer shift, and follow any training and or volunteer information they may provide.
  • Give your name and Co-op Shareholder # to the organization’s point of contact so they can alert us once your volunteer work has been done.

Here’s a list of our Commitment to Community Partner Organizations

  • Commons Newspaper / VIM: A weekly newspaper run by Vermont Independent Media with an eye towards journalism being critical for the functioning of democracy.
      • Contact Barry Aleshnick, barry@commonsnews.org, (802)258-4931.
      • Volunteer opportunities include but are not limited to Distribute papers on the walking route through downtown Brattleboro, help the crew putting labels on papers for bulk mailing, bring bins to post office with dolly, possible driving for paper distribution (all on Wednesdays).
  • Downtown Brattleboro Alliance: To nurture and support the vitality of downtown Brattleboro through art, commerce, recreation, and education.
      • Contact Stephanie Bonin, stephanie@brattleboro.com, 802-257-4886, to learn more about volunteer opportunities.
      • Volunteer opportunities include but are not limited to, Everyone Eats: food distribution in communities, coordinating organizations, Gallery Walk: set-up & breakdown, delivery of programs all over the community, and community organizing: connection of downtown orgs, businesses & residents.
  • Edible Brattleboro: Their mission is to improve accessibility to healthy food by transforming spaces in and around town into edible landscapes, interplanting greens, herbs and fruits among the ornamentals.
  • Foodworks: Groundworks Collaborative operates our region’s most heavily utilized food shelf program—Foodworks—located at 141 Canal Street, Brattleboro, VT. Foodworks is a free grocery store where shoppers can come by for a supply of supplemental groceries every two weeks. We strive to be as low-barrier as possible and we will serve anyone who comes by for groceries without requiring any proof of need.
      • Contact Ben Smith, BSmith@GroundworksVT.org, (802) 490-2412 to learn more about volunteer opportunities.
      • Volunteer opportunities include but are not limited to: delivering food, food shelf set-up, greeting shoppers, packing boxes, and data entry.
      • Volunteer Application 
  • Groundworks Collaborative: Groundworks Collaborative was established in 2015 following the merger of two well-established organizations: the Brattleboro Area Drop-In Center and Morningside Shelter (having previously been in existence for 27 and 36 years respectively). Groundworks Collaborative provides ongoing support to families and individuals facing a full continuum of housing and food insecurities in the greater Brattleboro area.
  • Guilford Cares: Guilford Cares Inc., a non-profit organization of citizens of Guilford VT, provides free assistance to vulnerable community members to improve the quality and independence of their lives.
      • Contact Leah Gessner, guilfordcaresvt@gmail.com, 802-579-1350.
      • Volunteer opportunities include: Packing groceries for food pantry, delivering groceries, transporting to grocery stores, such as BAFC, visiting homebound folks for companionship, doing errands and light housework.
  • Harris Hill Ski Jump: A yearly Brattleboro winter tradition of ski jumping with local and national folx and has been going since 1922.
      • Contact Liz Richards, ptrich@sover.net, 802-258-0975.
      • Volunteer opportunities include: Hill markers, car parkers, ticket takers, ID checkers for beer tent, banner set up and take down.
  • Hilltop Montessori School: Hilltop Montessori School’s mission is for students to practice responsible independence in a caring community of curious, critical learners and thoughtful citizens.
      • Barbara Beckwith, busadmin@hilltopmontessori.org.
      • Landscaping, help set up, break down events, board members.
  • Hunger Free Vermont: Hunger Free Vermont is the statewide nonprofit organization that advocates and educates to bring a permanent end to hunger in Vermont through systemic change, universal strategies, and community collaboration.
  • Insight Photography Center: Provide equitable access to photography classes and workshops that empower youth to discover and express their own unique voice and vision. In-Sight’s mission relates to the Co-ops Cooperative Principles in that we both value independence and cooperation. Our classes help students understand their individuality but we also nurture them to see themselves in relationship to others.
  • Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT): The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont promotes organic practices to build an economically viable, ecologically sound and socially just Vermont agricultural system that benefits all living things.
      • For volunteer opportunities in Windham County contact Eric,
      • Volunteer opportunities: Stretch doughs, chop veggies & top pizzas to serve at events on farms statewide with the NOFA wood-fired pizza oven.
      • Ready to sign up? Fill out this short volunteer inquiry form to be linked up with an event.
  • Planned Parenthood of Northern New England: They are working to create healthier, more empowered communities through access to reproductive health care and sexuality education.
      • For volunteer opportunities contact Logan Snow, logan.ogradysnow@ppnne.org, (802)238-9313.
      • Volunteer opportunities include but not limited to phone banking, letter writing, data entry, relational organizing, creating art, rallies, canvassing, etc.
  • Retreat Farm:  The Retreat Farm is on a mission to connect people to the land and to nourish our community.  We believe that the relationship between humans and the land is the foundation of our health, sustenance, and inspiration.
    • For volunteer opportunities please contact Maggie Patari at info@retreatfarm.org or 802-490-2270.
    • Volunteer opportunities include fieldwork and harvesting for the Community Food Project, tending the Hope Garden, event support for Food Truck Roundup, and greeting visitors to the property.
  • Senior Solutions: To promote the wellbeing and dignity of older adults.
      • For volunteer opportunities contact: Thomas Simmons,
      • Opportunities may include but not limited to Meals & Nutrition: Delivering Meals on Wheels, Food Prep/Clean-up at Congregate Meal Sites, Breaking down bulk pet food supplies into deliverable packets, Assisting older Vermonters with errands (food shopping, doctor appointments).
  • SUSU commUNITY Farm: The SUSU commUNITY Farm is an Afro Indigenous stewarded farm and land-based healing center in Southern Vermont that elevates Vermont’s land and foodways.
  • The Vermont Food Bank: Their mission is to gather and share quality food and nurture partnerships so that no one in Vermont will go hungry.
  • Youth Services: Working together to build resilience and be a catalyst for change. At Youth Services, we believe in helping people learn how to grow, both as individuals and as a family, so they can solve their own problems. The Brattleboro Community Justice Center recently merged with Youth Services’ Restorative Justice Programs–together, we provide restorative justice programs for youth and adults throughout Windham County.
    • Youth Services volunteer opportunities:
        • Court Diversion Panels: Restorative process for youth and adults as an alternative to court proceedings. Requirements:
          • monthly meetings (2.5 hours each)
          • 9-hour training
        • Balanced and Restorative Justice (BARJ) Panels: Restorative process with youth who are on probation. Requirements:
          • generally once per month for 1.5 hours, but sometimes less frequently.
          • 9-hour training
        • Tamarack court diversion panels: Focused on individuals whose offenses are related to mental health and./or substance use. Requirements:
          • once per month for 1.5 hours.
          • Contact Peter for training requirement
        • Reparative Board Panels: Restorative process for adults who have committed misdemeanor offenses. Requirements:
          • monthly meetings (2 hours each).
          • 8-hour training to volunteer.
        • Circles of Support and Accountability (COSA): Meet with formerly incarcerated adults to support their transition back into the community and promote community safety.
          • 1 weekly hour-long meeting with a small group for at least a year.
          • During pandemic, weather-dependent, mix of outdoor in-person meetings and Zoom.
          • Volunteers must attend 8 hours of virtual training to start volunteering.
        • Food delivery: Volunteers deliver Everyone Eats meals to justice system-involved clients living in Brattleboro. Commitment is 1-4 times per month (you choose); 1 hour total time for each delivery session. You must have your own vehicle, a cell phone, and be able to lift up to 50 pounds. Delivery is contactless due to COVID (you drop off outside the person’s home and text them when it has been delivered).