In Search of Volunteers: The Saucon Valley Farmers’ Market

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Saucon Valley Farmers' Market

Credit: Chris Christian

Visitors to the Saucon Valley Farmers’ Market in Hellertown maintain a safe social distance while purchasing items from a vendor on opening day in 2020. Mask-wearing and distancing will still be required when this year’s market opens May 2, but chair Angela Reese said some of the more onerous safety rules that had to be in place last year will be eased. (FILE PHOTO)

With spring finally here, the opening of the Saucon Valley Farmers’ Market isn’t far off, but without additional help from volunteers that opening could be more challenging.

Market chair Angela Reese said the number of volunteers on whom she can rely has dwindled for a variety of reasons, which is why she’s hopeful she can recruit more before opening day May 2.

Five volunteers are needed for setup, which is from 7:45 to 9 a.m. every Sunday, and the breakdown of each week’s market at 1 p.m. Some of the tasks involved with setup–which are divided among helpers–are sign distribution around town (a volunteer with a truck or SUV is needed for this weekly task), hauling canopies and tables into place, setting up canopies, distributing garbage cans and running extension cords for the market’s weekly live musical performances.

From early May through mid-November, the Saucon Valley Farmers’ Market is held Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. It is held outside, next to the Hellertown Area Library at 409 Constitution Avenue, which puts it within easy walking distance of many of the borough’s neighborhoods.

Reese said she also needs volunteers to man the market’s information booth for the four hours it is open each Sunday. Information booth volunteers will hand out literature, sell market merchandise, monitor and sanitize hand washing stations and pass out masks to shoppers who need them, while helping to maintain a welcoming atmosphere.

Lastly, the market has a committee that oversees it, and Reese noted that it’s also in need of members. The role of a committee member can involve everything from evaluating vendor applications to scheduling the weekly live musical acts that perform at the market to helping plan special events.

While there is no remuneration for any of these roles, Reese said the market can be a fun place to safely socialize, since COVID-19 protocols are followed by vendors and visitors.

There may also be an opportunity to receive discounts from individual vendors, some of whom have offered them to volunteers in the past.

Due to the severe economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on many establishments, Reese said she has been reticent to solicit sponsorships from local business owners this year, but financial support from the private sector is both welcome and encouraged.

More information about sponsorships and volunteer/committee member opportunities is available from Reese, who may be contacted at sauconvalleyfarmersmarket@gmail.com.

More information about the market is available at SauconValleyFarmersMarket.com.

In addition to many popular returning vendors, Reese said she is excited to announce several new vendors for the 2021 season. Those announcements will be shared via the market’s social media channels, including Facebook and Instagram.

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