What a City Group Needs
1. People to organize the CSA (The Core Group)- In order for the farmer to be able to concentrate on farming, the city group is responsible for everything that happens outside of the farm gates: member recruitment, coordinating a distribution site, setting distribution procedures, treasury, member records, community events, member education and food pantry connections. The city group also works with the farmer to set the share price and communicates regularly with the farmer. A Core Group of volunteers handles these tasks, and any others that arise. If the city group is an all-volunteer group (as opposed to volunteers working with the staff at a Community Based Organization), please see the section on developing Core Group leadership.
2. A Commitment to Make CSA Membership Accessible to All- Just Food's mission includes making CSA accessible to all community members, regardless of income.
3. Members- Most CSA farms need a minimum of approximately 50 full share members or the equivalent to make a CSA drop-off economically feasible. Some groups can grow to 200 members or more!
4. Distribution Site and Managers- Once a week the farmer will come to your neighborhood to deliver boxes of produce, but will most likely not stay to oversee the distribution. So in addition to a good sized room or courtyard that is accessible to a truck and can get muddy, each CSA needs at least one person who will be responsible for overseeing distribution every week. Many CSA projects also utilize the member volunteer recruitment to staff the weekly distribution with two different members each week.
5. A Phone Number and/or Email Address- A central point of contact for the CSA is important in order to field questions and sign up new members. A phone number could be an individual's home number or a line at a community organization. Whatever form it takes, the point of contact should serve as the main source of contact for the CSA; someone should consistently receive messages, return calls, and answer questions on behalf of the CSA group.
6. A Means for Distributing Weekly Surplus- At the end of each distribution, there will be leftover vegetables from people who did not pick up all or part of their share. These should be donated to a soup kitchen, food pantry or other community organization, ideally in the same neighborhood as the CSA.