Page 1


TABLE OF CONTENTS introduction

Who We Are . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 04 Welcome . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 06 our context

A National Problem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Rhode Island . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Spotlight: Farm Fresh RI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Institutional Narrative . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Values . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Sustainable Farmers, Sustainable Relationships . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 how it works

Financial Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Subsidized. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Sign Up . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Market Day . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Leadership Structure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Scope and Impact . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Farmers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32


Partnerships . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 The Future . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Shareholders’ Quotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38


About Us . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Sample Outreach Email . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Sign-Up Form Questions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Sample Survey Questions . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Task Checklists . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44




Market Shares is a student-run food distribution program that connects Brown students, staff, and faculty with affordable weekly shares of local, sustainable produce, dairy, meat, and bread. The current student coordinating team can be reached at: info@brownmarketshares.com brownmarketshares.com facebook.com/brownmarketshares



Meagan Miller

Juliana Rodriguez

Jenna Anders





juliana_rodriguez@brown.edu jenna_anders@brown.edu

Erin Kelley

Taylor Lanzet

Anna Plumlee

Program Development

Program Development

Public Relations




Katie Parker

Antonia Piccone








the purpose of this document is to explain and describe the Brown Market Shares Program as it currently functions at Brown University. We hope this explanation may be of use to others attempting to establish similar organizations on their own college campuses, as well as to partners or participants who wish to better understand our work.

The goal of the Brown Market

from local farmers at slightly above

Shares Program is to create a

wholesale price and provides it to

partnership between the Brown

shareholders at slightly below retail

University community and local

price. This system works to defray

farmers, in support of our mission

costs and ensure access for low-in-

to promote regional farm security,

come staff and graduate students

equitable access to sustainably-pro-

who are eligible to participate in our

duced food, and fostering campus

Subsidized Program.

engagement and activism. Though


Market Shares provides an alter-

informed by the Community Sup-

native to the industrial agro-food

ported Agriculture (CSA) model,

system, the practices of which

Market Shares’ structure is unique-

threaten the health of consumers,

ly adapted to the needs of a college

the environment, and farm workers

campus and is operated entirely

alike. Problems, ranging from ex-

by undergraduates. Each week,

cessive pesticide application to soil

Market Shares purchases produce

depletion and toxic waste produc-


tion, plague our food industry on an

Fall 2009 to Fall 2011, the number

enormous scale. Market Shares ad-

of shareholders increased 347%,

dresses these issues in the context

indicating significant communi-

of the Brown community by provid-

ty enthusiasm for the program.

ing access to fresh, sustainably-pro-

Because most shareholders report

duced food from local farms that

that their shares serve as the main

practice environmentally-conscious

source of produce for 2-3 people, we

growing techniques. Our on-cam-

estimate that our community in the

pus location is vital for the many

fall of 2011 was composed of more

students who cannot or do not

than 957 individuals and has grown

travel to seek out other sources of

since. As we continue to grow, we

fresh produce in Rhode Island, and

continue to seek new ways to in-

for staff of the university who may

form and contribute to the dialogue

face similar cost or travel barri-

around local food at Brown.

ers. Recently, Market Shares has undergone explosive growth. From

Our strongest advocates and supporters are our farmers, share-






structure ensures a productive and

partners. We depend on constant

continual evaluation of those prin-

feedback and interaction with these

ciples. Because we are student-run,

partners to maintain a mutually

the program experiences frequent

beneficial working relationship.

leadership turnover, allowing new

Regular face-to-face interaction

groups of students with unique

with shareholders and farmers

visions to consistently re-examine

builds relationships and trust. This

the practical interpretation of the

trust fuels the program; share-


holders invest in Market Shares

Our hope is that this publica-

and Market Shares in turn invests

tion will allow us to contribute to

in producers that we believe share

conversations in Providence and in

similar values of sustainability and

the wider local food movement in a


clearly articulated manner.

Though our guiding principles remain the same, our leadership


our context

A NATIONAL PROBLEM we provide an alternative to the industrial agro-food system that is currently dominant in the United States. We believe it is important to offer such an alternative because the consequences of the industrial food complex negatively impact consumers, small-scale farmers, and the environment. In particular, conventional agricul-

is responsible for over a quarter

ture has facilitated a large-scale

of the nation’s pork packing. This

shift from diversified farming oper-

rise in corporate power has made

ations towards monocultures, large

it increasingly difficult to envision

swaths of land planted with a single

an end to the industrialization of

crop. This system is more vulnera-


ble to pests and therefore requires

exacerbates the problem further,

Recent studies by the Environ-

who in 2007 were an average of 57

mental Protection Agency have

years old, with the fastest grow-

shown that the annual national

ing age bracket being 65 years and

expenditure on pesticides exceeds

older. This trend also calls into

40 billion dollars. This increased

question the viability of small-scale

pesticide use raises health concerns

farming, particularly because young

for consumers, farm workers, rural

farmers also face considerable

communities, and the land.

barriers, ranging from lack of cap-

Affecting change in this type of

ital to inaccessibility of farmland.

food production system is rendered

In assessing these obstacles, the

difficult by its increasing vertical

National Young Farmers’ Coalition

integration: the top four companies

determined that CSAs and other

control over 83% of the beef packing

local partnerships are vital support

industry, while 80% of the soy-

structures to address these prob-

bean-crushing market is similarly

lems of land access and cost.

concentrated in the hands of just four firms and a single company


The nation-wide aging of farmers

massive investment in pesticides.

our context


Fortunately, local food systems,

Assessment cites that Rhode Island

CSAs, and farmers markets are

“leads the country in the number

popping up all over the coun-

of farms that sell products directly

try. The local food movement is

to consumers, with 27 percent of RI

a result of consumer demand for

farms direct marketing $6.3 million

healthy communities, sound en-

worth of food each year.” This figure

vironmental practices, and access

represents nearly 10% of RI’s total

to culturally appropriate food. In

agricultural production in 2007 (the

Rhode Island, demand is particu-

national average at the time was

larly high; the Rhode Island Food

only 0.4%).


our context


Farm Fresh Rhode Island (FFRI), one of our partners, has had such a large impact on the Rhode Island foodshed because they target producers, markets, and eaters— offering a wide array of services. Their Market Mobile program connects small to mid-size farms with restaurants, buying clubs, institutions, and more through a web-based platform. Their model allows farmers to set their prices, thereby ensuring voice in the sale. FFRI and the Market Mobile program have both had a significant impact in a short amount of time on the Rhode Island foodshed. See our website for numerous other organizations and resources that are contributing to similarly impactful work across the state and country.


our context

INSTITUTIONAL NARRATIVE Since its establishment in the fall of 2006, Market Shares has undergone drastic changes. For the first three years, the organization offered a ten-week fall program. Producers who participated in Brown’s fall farmers’ market became partners for the small program, delivering food—for which they had been paid the previous spring—when they came to the market. Market Shares was thus reliant upon and restricted to the duration of the fall farmers’ market until 2009, when a


partnership with Farm Fresh Rhode Island (FFRI) was piloted. By using FFRI’s farm-to-business ordering and distribution service Market Mobile, organizers were able to run a wintertime program in addition to the fall program. The wintertime program had two cycles—one ran February-March and another AprilMay. At the time, the two programs were referred to differently—as the ‘fall farmers’ market share program’ and ‘Market Mobile Shares’ and were considered distinct. Since the summer of 2011, the program has extended to all three seasons and now functions as one organization. An explanation of our current practices follows.


our context

VALUES REGIONAL FARM SECURITY Market Shares is committed to sup-


porting small-scale local farmers

Market Shares provides an alterna-

in Rhode Island and Massachusetts

tive to the conventional industrial

who manage diversified farms

agro-food system, the practices of

with methods that demonstrate a

which threaten the health of con-

respect for the environment, con-

sumers, the environment, and farm

sumers, and farmers. Such support

workers alike. By removing trans-

is vital to ensure the future viability

portation barriers, the program

of small-scale farming, which is

provides access to any member of

often rendered difficult by barriers

the Brown community. An internal-

ranging from lack of capital to inac-

ly-funded Subsidized Program al-

cessibility of farmland.

lows low-income faculty, staff, and graduate students to participate at a lower cost, reflecting Market Shares’ philosophy that all individuals should have equal access to fresh, local, sustainable food.



our context

CAMPUS ACTIVISM & ENGAGEMENT College campuses have historically served as central hubs in the local food movement. Market Shares provides the Brown community with an alternative to industrially produced food, thereby facilitating an opportunity for the community to support local agriculture and to learn about farming and seasonal produce. In this sense, Market Shares offers Brown students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to make a political statement through the purchase of food. When food consumption becomes a political action, individuals can use small choices to reclaim ownership of and redefine their foodshed. And when these choices are expressed within the structure of Market Shares they gain further weight and traction as vehicles for reforming a broken food system. Along with other on-campus initiatives, as well academic courses, our program fosters a community of active and engaged eaters on Brown’s campus.


our solution


as a team, we put a lot of thought into choosing the farms and farmers with whom we work. Our partners vary in their approaches to growing crops—some are USDA-certified organic, others are chemical-free, and others use integrated pest management, using conservative amounts of carefully selected pesticides.

Our producers share a commitment

opportunities for participants to

to growing and production methods

solidify their investment in the local

that improve the quality of the land

food movement.

rather than degrading it, while pro-

Market Shares has developed its

tecting both consumers and farm-

own understanding of sustainabili-

ers. It is important to Market Shares’

ty. This philosophy of sustainability

activism and engagement compo-


nent that shareholders have access to detailed information regarding each farmer’s production practices. In order to increase the transparency of how and why we choose our producers, we have extensively interviewed and profiled our farmers. That information is available on our website and is advertised on posters

reducing transportation between producers and consumers supporting and promoting local economies protecting soil health and conservation ensuring food access regardless of income

during the weekly distribution of produce. By sharing this information with shareholders, we provide


building and maintaining supportive relationships

our solution



our solution


how it works


our most effective reimagining of the CSA-model, and the aspect that sets our organization apart, results from our ability to leverage volunteer hours and in-kind donations into a high value for shareholders, which in turn allows us to provide subsidized shares.

Market Shares is able to contract

are eligible to purchase subsidized

with local farmers to purchase sea-

middle- and low-cost shares. We

sonal produce for the weekly shares

simultaneously provide full-pay-

at slightly above wholesale costs.

ing shareholders with food that

Full-paying shareholders then

still costs 10% less than the cost of

purchase this food at slightly below

membership in the average Rhode

retail prices. Because the program

Island farm-based CSA, without

is fueled by volunteers and oper-

the additional expense of travel for

ates with extremely low overhead,

pick-up, and costs 17% less than

we are able to defray costs and

similar items at Eastside Market, a

generate capital sufficient to secure

nearby grocery store.

access for low-income university staff and graduate students who


how it works

SUBSIDIZED Our Subsidized Program is designed

shareholders to make donations to

to make fresh, local produce acces-

the Subsidized Program when they

sible to all members of the Brown

originally purchase their share. The

community. Through this program,

income from this donation stream

we offer lower-cost shares, which

has played an important role in

are divided into “low” and “mid”

our work to expand our Subsidized

cost categories. By also offering

Program. For instance, between

weekly payment plans and paper,

the fall of 2010 and the fall of 2013,

rather than digital applications, the

the proportion of our shareholders

Subsidized Program strives to cut

receiving subsidized shares rose

across financial and language bar-

from 24% to 33%, a 75% increase.

riers that might otherwise prohibit

We hope that this donation stream

potential shareholders from joining

will provide continuous support for

the program. We also offer dining

Subsidized Program - with more

service employees the option to

time we will be better able to deter-

have their shares packed by volun-

mine whether this is a sustainable

teers and delivered to the dining

source of funding. Other fundrais-

hall, to ensure that those whose

ing comes from biannual parties

schedules conflict with Market Day

that generally raise around $500

hours can still participate.

each. This program now allows our

Though it originally relied on


subsidized shareholders to stay

grants from external sources such

with the program from season to

as United Natural Foods Inc., the

season. This consistent community

Subsidized Program was reorga-

has provided security, which keeps

nized when the Market Shares

the program thriving. Although the

team decided to adopt a system

subsidized shareholder base has

of internal cross-subsidization. By

grown dramatically over the past

nominally raising the cost of each

couple years, many of the original

full-cost, non-subsidized share, the

shareholders have remained in the

subsidized shares were ensured a

program, and have incorporated the

consistent and reliable source of

weekly produce into the way that

funding. For the first time, in the

they shop and cook for themselves

fall of 2012, we began allowing

and their families. In contrast

how it works

20 $ 14.50




full cost

average mid cost expenditure on produce

low cost

to our student shareholders—a

time, the program expanded to oth-

constantly changing group of indi-

ers employed by Brown University:

viduals—subsidized shareholders

secretarial staff, library workers, re-

form our one of our most loyal and

search assistants, and others. More

continual participant-bases. They

recently, the decision was made to

are thus able to evaluate and reflect

allow graduate students to join—

on the program in a more expan-

and many have been incorporated

sive way than shorter-term student

into the program since.

shareholders might be able. At the start of the program, the subsidized shareholder base was

In the future, we hope to expand the Subsidized Program to include undergraduates as well.

comprised entirely of Brown Dining Service workers. The idea was to ensure access to fresh, local produce for those who provided food to students in the dining halls. Over


how it works

SIGN UP The beginning of each season en-

the Subsidized Coordinator. These

tails heavy recruitment of share-

applications, along with those

holders. All sign-ups are managed

received from the subsidized online

via Google Forms—which allows

form—are processed separately

us to use online marketing to reach

through the subsidized application

much of the Brown community.

process. Recruitment for subsidized

Emails are sent to department

shareholders occurs largely through

heads asking that a recruitment

word of mouth, partly due to lan-

email be passed on to the de-

guage barriers that exist between

partment’s listserv. Submitting

some members of this community

announcements to an existing cam-

and the Market Shares team. The

pus-wide email system allows us to

large demand for this program

reach a large portion of the popula-

has meant that Market Shares is

tion. Word of mouth has also been

rarely able to accept all applicants,

a crucial tool; as Market Shares

so efforts have instead focused

has become more well-known on

on the expansion of our full-cost

campus, shareholder numbers have

shareholder base in order to allow

grown exponentially.

for increased acceptance of subsi-

All shareholders must sign-up via


dized applicants to actively seek

the online form, though paper ap-

out new members for this specific

plications are also made available to

part of the shareholder community.

Brown Dining Services workers by

In part, this choice is a reflection of

how it works

the priority Market Shares places

Activities Office (SAO). The Finance

on continuing to include long-term

Coordinator then retrieves and ac-


counts for payments directly from

The sign-up form conveys a lot of

this office. Additionally, payment

information to shareholders, from

can be made through a service

cost details to the required full-sea-

offered by Brown Student Agencies

son commitment to food safety

(BSA), a student group that offers an

agreements for liability purposes.

online marketplace through which

An explanation of the subsidized

Market Shares is able to accept

budget model is provided, along

credit card payments from share-

with the option of making an

holders. This system offers conve-

additional donation to support the

nience and flexibility to students

program. This option has proved

or other community members who

an effective fundraising tool - it

may find it difficult to make a pay-

requires little administrative effort,

ment by check. In the past, there

but facilitates a large number of

have also been issues with share-

small donations from people willing

holders who purchase a share via

to add an extra $5 charge to an

the BSA website, but neglect to fill

order that is already over $200.

out a sign-up form, which presents

Payments for these orders can be sent through campus mail to a

as a problem when ordering quantities for the first several weeks.

mailbox maintained by the Student


how it works



The Public Relations Coordinator

weighing vegetables, creating signs,

sends shareholders an e-mail at the

and helping the farmers unload

beginning of each week detailing

produce. When shareholders arrive

the types and quantities of pro-

at distribution, which runs weekly

duce items in their weekly share.

12−6pm, they are checked in and

Weekly distribution takes place at

pick items themselves—everyone

The Brown/RISD Hillel, in the center

receives the same share of produce.

of campus. We have been lucky to

Shareholders can also purchase

have this partnership for so many

supplementary shares in addition

seasons; the relationship originally

to produce, including dairy items,

began after a simple request was

eggs, meat and bread from local

made by student coordinators, who

producers. During this time, coordi-

recognized that this space—often

nators check in shareholders at the

used by other student groups—

first check in point, take payments,

could be suitable. A large building

and answer shareholder questions.

with a commercial kitchen, Hillel

This face-to-face interaction is

offers Market Shares access to a

important, given that the majority

large room and hallway, as well as

of our communication, including

to refrigeration and attic storage,

sign-ups and newsletters, is online.

all for no cost. This relationship

Shift leaders and volunteers make

is critical for our financial mod-

sure that produce is stocked, and

el. Coordinators and volunteers

check in shareholders who have

spend 9 am−12 pm setting up for

additional shares of dairy, meat,

distribution. Tasks include: setting

or bread. At 2 pm, volunteers pack

up tables, counting dairy items,

shares for members of our commu-

how it works


The weekly distribution time

because of his/her work schedule.

provides a space for coordinators,

We are able to meet the needs of

volunteers, and shareholders to in-

these shareholders because of

teract and create a vibrant commu-

a close relationship with Brown

nity! The produce that is received

Dining Services (BDS) that is rooted

in the weekly share varies accord-

in the program’s original model, in

ing to the season. In the summer,

which distribution took place at a

shareholders receive many greens,

dining hall. At 3 pm, a representa-

tomatoes, stone fruit, and squash.

tive from BDS will come to pick up

The fall brings heartier items such

the packed shares and take them to

as peppers and eggplants, as well as

a refrigerator at the Sharpe Refrac-

the season’s first apples and winter

tory Dining Hall so individuals can

squash. In the spring, shares are

pick up their share before heading

comprised of hearty root vegetables

home. Once distribution is done at

and tubers, including parsnips,

6 pm, we consolidate our leftovers

turnips, potatoes, and onions, as

so we can donate them through

well as greenhouse-raised greens.

the Food Recovery Network (FRN).

Through our weekly newsletter, we

Brown Dining Services returns to

provide information about how to

pick up this leftover produce for

prepare and store some of these

FRN around 6:30pm. Coordinators,

less familiar items. Our sharehold-

shift leaders, and volunteers spend

ers report each season that the new,

the remaining half hour cleaning

surprising vegetables are the most

up, taking last minute notes, and


putting our belongings in storage.


how it works

LEADERSHIP STRUCTURE Market Shares is a completely


Our coordinating team is divided

student-run organization; students

into seven roles: Finance, Commu-

take on roles ranging from volun-

nications, Purchasing, Subsidized,

teer to shift leader to coordinator,

Public Relations, Operations, and

with the organization relying

Program Development. The coor-

heavily on volunteers for logisti-

dinating team is responsible for

cal operation. Each season, up to

the administration of the program.

60 volunteers help make Market

Each of the seven coordinators

Shares possible. Volunteers are

focuses their work on a specific area

essential for the success of Market

of the program, as well as con-

Day each week—they commit at

tributing to the general vision and

least one hour per week on Thurs-

problem solving of the team. Co-

days, providing much of the labor

ordinating requires an application

needed to run a 10-hour market

and, generally, a full-year commit-

on a school day. Shift leaders are

ment to the program. Though there

in charge of the logistics of Market

is significant time spent in close

Day and have many responsibilities,

collaboration and many decisions

including organizing and delegat-

are made through group consensus,

ing tasks to Market Day volunteers,

each student coordinator is also

managing Market Day logistics like

responsible for managing specific

shareholder sign-in and payments,

components of the program. The

fielding shareholder questions and

community of volunteers, shift

concerns, and ensuring the pick-

leaders, and coordinators is an

up area is tidy and well-stocked.

exciting group to be a part of - the

Volunteers and shift leaders are

differing responsibilities of roles

thanked for their hard work with

allows individuals to be part of Mar-

several small produce items - no

ket Shares in whichever way they

one leaves empty handed! While

can. The community is further fos-

volunteering or leading a shift

tered through community potlucks,

requires only a semester-long com-

retreats, and working together at

mitment, most of our volunteers

Market Day. On the following page

and shift leaders return season

are the job descriptions for each

after season.


how it works

FINANCE COORDINATOR This position involves all money-related aspects of Market Shares. The Finance Coordinator works to ensure that all costs and expenses are covered and must track all payments—both from shareholders and to farmers. This involves working closely with the Student Activities Office to manage our account, as well as Brown Student Agencies to arrange and track online payment. In addition, the finance coordinator collaborates with the purchasing coordinator to write a budget prior to each season, allocating funds for the various activities of the program and adjusting costs as the season progresses.

nator is also the point person for contact with Farm Fresh RI. Larger-scale seasonal planning and developing new farm partnerships are additional components of this position. This coordinator works closely with the finance coordinator to ensure that each week’s share stays within the budget.

SUBSIDIZED COORDINATOR This coordinator is responsible for seeking out new subsidized applicants and maintaining relationships with Dining Service workers, graduate students, and staff of the university. Working as a liaison between those employees who may not have regular access to email or speak English as a first language, the Subsi-


dized Coordinator spends time

All of Market Shares’ direct

payments and spreading the word

purchasing is handled by the

about the program prior to each

Purchasing Coordinator. This job

new season. This coordinator also

entails frequent communication

creates and distributes paper sub-

with our farmers in order to cre-

sidized applications for applicants

ate a balanced share each week

without access to computers. Over

and to coordinate delivery sched-

the course of the season, the Sub-

ules for Market Day. This coordi-

sidized Coordinator also collects

each week interacting with these shareholders, collecting weekly


how it works

data to evaluate the success of the Subsidized Program.



The Communications Coordina-

All of the logistics of our Thursday

as record-keeping tightly tied to

Market Days are the responsibili-

shareholder communication. This

ty of the Operations Coordinator.

person is responsible for man-

Much of this work involves man-

aging the Market Shares email

aging volunteers through recruit-

account to address all questions,

ment and shift assignment, train-

comments, or concerns voiced by

ing shift leaders, and organizing

shareholders. The Communica-

potlucks and volunteer events

tions Coordinator creates sign-ups

over the season. This role also

and tracks changes, often ar-

entails communicating with the

ranged via email, when necessary

following groups: Brown Catering

over the first couple of weeks of

to facilitate borrowing coolers

the season. In addition to sign-

and the delivery of packed shares

ups, this coordinator is in charge

to the Sharpe Refectory, FRN to

of creating and updating check-ins

arrange the donation of leftover

each week, surveys, and ensuring

food at the end of the day, Hillel to

that all records are consistent and

use the space for distribution each

up to date.

tor is in charge of communication with shareholders, as well

week, and the Urban Environmental Lab (UEL). This coordinator is responsible for creating signage at Market Day, purchasing items such as scales and food safety gloves for Market Day, overseeing food safety, taking the inventory at the end of each Market Day, and organizing our storage spaces.

PUBLIC RELATIONS COORDINATOR The Public Relations Coordinator represents the face of the program. This coordinator is responsible for creating and sending out the weekly newsletter, writing regular blog posts, and updating the website. Additionally, this co-


how it works

ordinator manages all social me-

students at other schools running

dia accounts (Facebook, Twitter,

or interested in running similar

Pinterest, etc.), branding, as well

programs. Each season, the Pro-

as brainstorming, organizing, and

gram Development Coordinator or-

executing numerous events each

ganizes 1-2 visioning meeting(s) for

season that engage our sharehold-

the coordinating team to evaluate

ers and the community (whether

their work with relation to the mis-

through potlucks, farm work days,

sion of the program, discuss ideas

garden parties, or guest speak-

for growth, set goals, and create

ers). The PR Coordinator is also

concrete action plans to push the

responsible for developing new

program forward.

content each season, such as farm profiles, which are created in collaboration with the Purchasing Coordinator.

PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR The Program Development Coordinator is an experienced Market Shares coordinator who is responsible for expansion of the program, networking, and consulting. This coordinator is concerned with action and evolution, creating impact reports at the end of each season, and evaluating the program over a longer term. The Program Development Coordinator acts as a liaison with other student groups on campus, as well as with


how it works

SCOPE AND IMPACT From Fall of 2011 through Fall of 2013: we filled



bags of groceries

offered at a discounted price

to make this possible , shareholders invested

$532,140 and we invested

91% $486,770 of that —

— directly into the local food economy by this estimate our impact on the ri food system from the fall of

2011 to the fall of 2013 is worth



we purchased food directly from

13 different farms and connected to 12 others through farm fresh rhode island


how it works

* Each dollar earned has a significant community-wide impact. Spending within a local food system means dollars are recycling through the community more times than if we were investing in far away companies. Local farmers tend to buy supplies and equipment locally and employ local people as labor. The Crossroads Resources Center estimates that local food spending in agricultural communities has 2.6 times the impact of the original purchase.

we got this food to you during more than

1,630 hours of volunteer - run share pick- up, which is the equivalent of about one month


how it works

FARMERS As described in the Sustainable

farming, Market Shares’ relation-

Farmers, Sustainable Relationships

ship with the farmer, and even

section, we put great effort into—

the farmers’ views on government

and take much pride from—choos-

involvement within farm policy. We

ing the farmers with whom we

created profiles for each farmer to

work. Generally, we source from

ensure that this information was

about 5-8 different farms each

then available to all of our share-

season. In the past, we purchased

holders. As intermediaries in the

a significant portion of food from

local food chain, we accept our re-

Market Mobile, a farm-to-business

sponsibility to promote local farms

ordering and distribution service

by highlighting the farm of origin

run by Farm Fresh Rhode Island.

of each product and have striven to

At this point in Spring 2014, and

do so —in addition to distribution

for the past year, about 85% of our

of the farmer profiles—by labeling

week’s produce comes via direct

each item at Market Day pick-up

purchasing agreements with farm-

with its farm of origin.

ers. We continue to benefit from

written contracts for our relation-

us a consistent and convenient way

ships with farmers. Instead, we

to purchase cheese, dairy, milk, and

have chosen to remain in close

occasionally eggs to supplement

phone and email contact with our

that which is available from our

suppliers—a choice made in part

direct suppliers.

due to our long-standing histo-

The farmers providing this food

ries with many of these partners.

are ones with whom we have estab-

Current and past coordinators have

lished relationships, have visited

worked on a number of these farms,

their farms, and have interviewed

affording us personal connection

extensively. These farmer inter-

with the farmers and allowing for

views were a way for us to increase

an open business relationship.

transparency of our program and


At the moment, we do not rely on

Market Mobile services, as it allows

We have recently entered into

producers. They cover a range

a number of new business part-

of questions such as history of

nerships and as our number of

farming, farm practices, reasons for

suppliers grows, and particularly

how it works



how it works

PAYMENTS suppliers with whom we are less fa-

Other aspects of our business trans-

miliar, we may find it necessary to

actions, including pricing and pay-

implement a more formal method

ment scheduling have so far been

of contracting. There is still a lack

negotiated on an individual basis

of clarity, though, as to the orga-

with our farmers. Again, the rela-

nization’s power to enforce such

tively small number of farmers with


whom we partner directly—which

Presently, we communicate our

varies by season between 5 and

requirements upon entering into a

7—ensures that managing these

verbal agreement with a new ven-

individual agreements are is not

dor. These requirements include:

overwhelming to the Purchasing Coordinator. Though we ask that

consistent and cooperative com-

shareholders commit to the pro-

munication with the purchasing

gram in the beginning of the season

coordinator to facilitate weekly

in order to ensure the capital and

share planning

viability of the program, many of

delivery to brown’s campus on thursday mornings between 9-11am completed and signed w-9 form

our farmers opt to be paid weekly for most goods. This arrangement provides flexibility to both Market Shares and the farmers. Farmers are free to bring differing amounts of produce each week, depending

a current certificate of insurance

on their availability. For Market

on which brown university is

Shares, this flexibility helps ensure

named as certificate holder and

that a well-rounded share can be

as additional insured on liability

provided to shareholders each

policies. for meat we also require

week. Still, Market Shares remains

a food processing license and a

committed to providing consistent

food safety plan

support to farmers—we generally guarantee each farmer a certain dollar amount per share per week— provided they are able to supply that amount.


how it works

“MARKET “ SHARES REMAINS COMMITTED TO PROVIDING CONSISTENT SUPPORT TO FARMERS” All payments are processed through the SAO and take approximately two weeks to arrive. Vendors bring invoices to pick-up when they deliver their products. At the end of the delivery window, these invoices are brought immediately to the SAO, in order to ensure that payments are processed as soon as possible. Payments to vendors are withdrawn from the Market Shares student organization account, where all payments are deposited.



PARTNERSHIPS The following individuals and organi-

distribute within Providence; Capi-

zations have been crucial resources for

tal Good Fund provides us with ac-

program development:

counting guidance; Brown Student Agencies; RISD Design Guild.

support services

A special thank you and note of

Alan Harlam, Alan Flam, Tara Kane,

appreciation for Leah Douglas, Mary

Lizzie Pollock, and the Swearer Cen-

Alice Rielly, Fiona McBride, and

ter provide us with incomparable

Samantha Dweck who previously

expertise on how to run a business

coordinated BMSP and were instru-

and efficient team organization;

mental in the planning and creation

Donna Hustler and the Student

of this book.

Activities Office cheerfully help us

Lastly, thank you to Chloe Scheffe

with accounting and tax services;

(chloescheffe.com) for designing

Marshall Einhorn and the Brown/

this book with us over the course

RISD Hillel provide us with space,

of nearly a year. We truly could not

refrigeration, and a pick up loca-

have done it with out you.

tion week after week for no cost; Hannah Mellion, Paula Gill and

financial resources

everyone else at Farm Fresh Rhode

C.V. STARR Social Entrepreneurship

Island have been incomparable

Fellowship provided two sets of

partners since the beginning of

summer stipends and an expe-

Market Shares; Patti Caton, Jeanne

riential learning fellowship that

Lowenstein, Dawn King, and The

focuses on guiding principles of

Urban Environmental Lab have

social innovation; BSA Inspire Grant

remained unfailingly committed to

provided a grant for infrastructure

the program—allowing us space for

improvements based on Market

storage, as well as use of the Cen-

Shares’ commitment to the Brown

ter’s resources; Peter Rossi and the

Community; and United Natural

Team at Brown Dining Services help

Foods Inc. (UNFI) provided the

us guarantee food safety; The Food

initial funding for the first season of

Recovery Network at Brown rescues

our Subsidized Program.

our leftover food week after week to




food security growing, there is no

Over the past seven years, our pro-

And we are happy to say that it

gram has made significant strides,

already does. Our friends at schools

but we recognize room for improve-

across the country have emailed

ment. Specifically, we hope to:

and called us to share news about

expand the subsidized program to cover all existing demand secure our own space, including commercial kitchen capacity

reason that Market Shares cannot exist at any number of universities.

CSAs on their college campuses or desire and student interest to establish one. Passion to expand Market Shares exists and we want to help make it a reality. We hope that this book

further study and calculate the

can become a manual to show how

program’s impact

Market Shares works and why it is important. It is also a framework.

develop a more cohesive ‘brand’ to increase campus visibility investigate and pursue partnerships with farmers from underrepresented groups

Market Shares will become individualized to your university when you realize which aspects of the program are most important to you, when you learn the names of your shareholders, and when you have a


network of committed individuals.

Market Shares makes sense. Col-

Shares to taste.

lege campuses provide a fantastic opportunity for supporting and in-

If you will, salt and pepper Market Our goals for expansion are for you to recognize a desire on your

fluencing regional food economies.

college campuses for a CSA pro-

With farmers markets popping up

gram and then to get going! We

across the country, food studies

want to be a resource and hope to

becoming more popular in academ-

hear from you.

ic institutions, and concerns over




“I love supporting local farms, and knowing that I am putting fresh, wholesome food in my body. I love eating new kinds of vegetables each week that

“Access to fresh produce,

I might not have otherwise

supportive to local farmers,

explored, and feeling part

connection to the Rhode

of a community of other

Island community and a

people committed to sus-

community at Brown that

tainability agriculture.

is passionate about these

Market Shares has been the


highlight of my summer!”




ABOUT US Erin and Taylor are both in the


graduating class of 2015 at Brown

Erin grew up in and often talks

University. They met during their

about San Antonio, Texas. At

first semester in an introductory

Brown, she’s concentrating in Envi-

environmental studies course and

ronmental Studies with a primary

were soon collaborating on a project

focus on environmental health.

to interview farmers for Market

She’s also passionate about agricul-

Shares, where they’d both started

ture and food justice issues. In the

volunteering when they first arrived

future, she’s interested in exploring

at school. In the second semester of

public interest law, particularly in

their first years, they both became

relation to environmental justice

Market Shares coordinators and

issues. Erin is also an avid back-

collaborated on a C.V. Starr grant

packer and hopes to hike as much

application. After receiving the

of the country as possible.

grant, Erin and Taylor spent the following summer together as Starr


fellows, working to improve the

Taylor was born and raised in the

transparency and communication

great state of New Jersey. Her pas-

of the organization. It was out of

sion for food has led her to con-

that summer that the concept for

centrate in Environmental Studies,

this book was born.

with a focus on food systems—in particular, what food justice means for the modern food movement. She hopes to continue her studies into public policy to deepen her understanding of how resources, specifically food, are influenced by socio-political drivers and economic institutions. You can spot her on campus drinking cold brew from jars and talking about why flannel and Birkenstocks are part of the solution.



SAMPLE OUTREACH EMAIL The Brown Market Shares Program

toes, 1 bunch kale, 3 apples, 1 bunch

is happy to announce sign-ups for

scallions. Other seasonal produce

our spring share program! BMSP

includes red and white potatoes,

provides affordable, weekly shares

Swiss chard, butternut squash,

of local, sustainable produce to

turnips, parsnips, and more! Each

members of the Brown community.

season we also include two or three

This spring, we are offering pro-

specialty items—which may include

duce, bread, dairy, eggs, and meat!

tomato sauce, salsa, applesauce,

The Spring Market Share will run for 11 weeks, from February 6th to

by our farmers and local Providence

April 24th, and will skip the week of

businesses with locally sourced

Spring Break (March 27th). Distri-


bution will take place from 12pm to

To sign up for a share, please

6pm every Thursday at the Brown/

fill out the form below and send

RISD Hillel (80 Brown Street).

us your payment by Thursday,

When you come to pick up your

January 30th. Please do not submit

share, signs will note how much of

payment before first filling out the

each produce item to take. Share-

form! If you would like to work out

holders check in with coordinators,

a payment plan, please contact

then collect their shares. You are

our Finance Coordinator before

encouraged to bring your own re-

the payment deadline. If you are

usable bags for packing your share,

interested in a low- or middle-cost

but we also have bags on sale at

share, please fill out the subsidized

check-in if you forget.

share application. You will be

All participants much purchase

notified whether you have a spot in

at least one produce share. The

the Subsidized Program on Friday,

spring share is hearty and nourish-

January 31st. Please wait to hear

ing; you will receive lots of delicious

back from us before sending any

root vegetables, winter greens, and

payment if you apply to the Subsi-

more. Here is a sample February

dized Program.

share: 1lb onions,

For more information on our

1lb sweet potatoes, 1 bunch col-

program, please see our website

lards, 3 apples, 1lb carrots, 1⁄2 head

or our Facebook page! If you have

cabbage. Here is a sample April

any questions, please contact us at

share: 1 bag pea greens, 1 bunch


bok choy, 1lb onions, 1lb red pota-


pickles, granola, or honey—prepared


SIGN-UP FORM QUESTIONS What is your affiliation to Brown?

the appropriate temperature while they are in our possession, but rec-

How many seasons have you partic-

ommend that you refrigerate your

ipated in Market Shares?

eggs and dairy within two to three hours after pick up.

If you are new to the program, how did you hear about us?

Would you like to purchase a meat share?

How many basic produce shares would you like to purchase?

How many meat shares would you like to purchase? What type of meat

How many bread shares would you like to purchase?

would you like? Important: Meat will be frozen when you receive it and should be

Would you like to purchase an egg,

stored between 0째 and 32째 within

yogurt, cheese, and/or milk share?

two to three hours. Before consumption, allow the meat to thaw

How many egg shares would you

in the refrigerator. Open air in-

like to purchase?

creases the risk for contamination from bacteria, and often results in

How any yogurt shares would you

uneven thawing.

like to purchase? Would you like to make a donation How many cheese shares would you

to our Subsidized Program? If yes,

like to purchase?

how much would you like to donate?

How many milk shares would you

Would you like to purchase a reus-

like to purchase?

able Brown Market Shares tote bag for $5 to be picked up on the first

Are you purchasing a full dairy share? Important: Dairy items and eggs

Market Day? If yes, how many tote bags would you like to purchase?

should not be left in environments warmer than 40째 Fahrenheit for

What is the total cost of your share?

more than four cumulative hours before they are consumed. We

How will you be paying?

ensure that our products are kept at



You may cancel your produce and/

However, you will not receive a con-

or additional shares and receive

firmation email that your payment

a prorated refund until Saturday,

has been received until students

February 15th. You may also add

return to campus mid-January for

additional produce or supplementa-

the spring semester.

ry shares during this period. After

ting to paying for the entirety of

longer receive a refund for canceled

your share to the Brown Market

produce and/or additional shares.

Shares Program.

Any changes to your share (additions or cancellations) before the aforementioned deadline must be made by midnight on the Saturday prior to a given Market Day in order for changes to go into effect for that week. If you cannot pick up your share on a given Market Day, you may arrange to have a friend pick it up for you. However, all food that is not picked up will be donated at the end of the day. Missed shares cannot be picked up at a later time or date and you cannot take extra produce the following week. You will still be responsible for paying for it. If you do not receive a confirmation email within 48 hours after signing up, please email us immediately at info@brownmarketshares. com because it may be an indication that your sign-up was not submitted properly. Checks sent after the end of the fall semester (mid-December) will be deposited (may take up to 2 weeks).


By signing up, you are commit-

Saturday, February 15th, you will no


SAMPLE SURVEY QUESTIONS What were your primary consider-

Any other comments, questions, or

ations in your decision to partici-

suggestions for the program?

pate in Market Shares this season? Please rank in order of importance.

What would you like to see in our newsletter?

How many people eat from your share each week? Roughly what percentage of your weekly produce comes from Market Shares? How have you found the quality of the produce to be so far? What have been your favorite produce items so far? What have been your least favorite produce items so far? Any other comments on the produce so far this season? How much of your share goes to waste each week? What is the main reason you dispose of items in your share? Do you compost the items you dispose of? If no, would you be interested in doing so?





first priority: what shareholders

first priority: what shareholders

see and experience. all else comes

see and experience. all else comes



upon arrival, check the market

carefully break down all empty

day notes doc for any instruc-

produce boxes to be saved and


returned to the farmers

delegate tasks to the volunteers,

clean the pick-up area if necessary

but help the volunteers when needed

restock the produce as boxes start to empty—always keep them

record anything unusual in the

looking full

market day notes doc attend to shareholders’ needs call any volunteer who is more than five minutes late to his/her shift (phone #s are on the schedule doc) make sure the tables and floor are clean of all leaves, dirt, cardboard, etc. attend to shareholders’ needs


look cheerful and excited!


TASK CHECKLIST DAIRY/MEAT/BREAD CHECK-IN All find the shareholder/s in question

if the check-in is not correct: alert the shift leader/coordi-

confirm with them the amount of

nator. note every problem in the

each item (and the type, for milk

check-in document, but do not

and meat)

make any changes to the info that is there

if the info is correct, they get their items

move on to the next shareholder with a smile !

bread: they pick which kind/s they want to take milk: they can only take the type they ordered. if they want to change it, they must talk to a coordinator eggs/yogurt: they get the amount they are supposed to get cheese: they pick which kind/s they want to take meat: personally hand them what they are supposed to get, based on the type that they ordered



TASK CHECKLIST WHAT TO DO FOR THE DAIRY FRIDGES All all items in each fridge belonging to hillel should be consolidated onto one shelf distribute any eggs/cheese/yogurt remaining from previous weeks first milk: goes in the left fridge on the right side of the kitchen. organize this by type, make sure that all three types are always visible meat: goes in the right fridge (freezer) on the right side of the kitchen. keep this in boxes because it is not kosher eggs: go in the right fridge in the back left corner of the kitchen, any overflow goes in the left fridge connected to it cheese/yogurt: go in the left fridge in the back left corner of the kitchen milk/cheese/yogurt overflow goes in the coolers with ice, etc.



TASK CHECKLIST 9:00–11:00AM Shift Leader


keep track of the hillel attic keys

bring the appropriate items down

(these need to be signed out at the

from the hillel attic

front desk, don’t lend them to any non-bmsp people unless you sign

set up the market day tables (con-

them out)

firm which room with a coordinator). make sure the table legs are

turn on the ice machine (if it isn’t)


confirm which produce items need

clean the market day tables with

to be counted

disinfecting spray

unload the bread (using the reus-

clean out the coolers with the

able gloves) and count it before


seven stars leaves help the farmers unload all the follow these steps for the dairy

bread, dairy, and produce items

fridges: count the dairy items and

(never put the milk cartons on

confirm that we have the right

their sides because they leak)

number of each put ice in the coolers give all invoices to one of the coordinators to sign

count the produce when instructed to by a coordinator or shift

confirm the amount per share of

leader, and report those amounts

each item with a coordinator, before you:

unload the dairy and put it into

make the “1lb carrots” signs

the appropriate fridges/coolers

fill in the check-in whiteboard break down the dairy boxes



TASK CHECKLIST 11:00–1:00PM Shift Leader


finish any tasks from the previous

finish any tasks from the previous

shift that weren’t completed

shift that weren’t completed

facilitate pick-up: show share-

consolidate any produce to reduce

holders what to do, answer ques-

waiting times from 12–1pm

tions, etc. facilitate pick-up: show shareclearly note all discrepancies

holders what to do, answer ques-

with check-ins, and alert a coor-

tions, etc.

dinator run the dairy/bread/meat checkins if that is your job restock the dairy table contact a shift leader/coordinator if there are any discrepancies with those check-ins



TASK CHECKLIST 1:00–3:00PM Shift Leader


help the subsidized coordinator

facilitate pick-up: show share-

pack the pre-packed shares

holders what to do, answer questions, etc.

adjust any amounts based on what you see in the market day

run the dairy/bread/meat check-

notes doc

ins if that is your job

save all crates/boxes that farmers

restock the dairy table. in quieter

have requested be saved (confirm

times of the day, there should be

with a coordinator)

no more than one of each item out, to keep them refrigerated longer

facilitate pick-up: show shareholders what to do, answer ques-

contact a shift leader/coordina-

tions, etc.

tor if there are any discrepancies with those check-ins

clearly note all discrepancies with check-ins, and alert a coordinator



TASK CHECKLIST 3:00–5:00PM Shift Leader


adjust any amounts based on

facilitate pick-up: show share-

what you see in the market day

holders what to do, answer ques-

notes doc

tions, etc.

save all crates/boxes that farmers

run the dairy/bread/meat check-

have requested be saved (confirm

ins if that is your job

with a coordinator) restock the dairy table. in quieter facilitate pick-up: show share-

times of the day, there should be

holders what to do, answer ques-

no more than one of each item out,

tions, etc.

to keep them refrigerated longer

clearly note all discrepancies

contact a shift leader/coordina-

with check-ins, and alert a coor-

tor if there are any discrepancies


with those check-ins consolidate produce items to as few tables as possible, so you can clean any empty tables and put them away



TASK CHECKLIST 5:00–6:00PM Shift Leader


keep track of the hillel attic keys

facilitate pick-up: show shareholders what to do, answer ques-

adjust any amounts based on

tions, etc.

what you see in the market day notes doc

run the dairy/bread/meat checkins if that is your job

save all crates/boxes restock the dairy table. in quieter facilitate pick-up: show share-

times of the day, there should be

holders what to do, answer ques-

no more than one of each item out,

tions, etc.

to keep them refrigerated longer

clearly note all discrepancies

contact a shift leader/coordina-

with check-ins, and alert a coor-

tor if there are any discrepancies


with those check-ins consolidate produce items, clean any empty tables and put them away consolidate all dairy items to the fridges so you can: clean the empty green bmsp coolers, and dry them thoroughly



TASK CHECKLIST 6:00–7:00PM Shift Leader


keep track of the hillel attic keys

contact a shift leader/coordinator if there are any discrepancies

save all crates/boxes

with those check-ins

clearly note all discrepancies

before 6:30: line the blue bds

with check-ins, and alert a coor-

coolers with garbage bags/plastic.


pack the leftover produce into the blue bds coolers. put any remain-

run the 6–6:30 selling of extra

ing yogurt, milk, or bread in the

bread, yogurt, and milk only

blue bds coolers

(collect cash, put in cash box) clean the tables with spray inventory the leftover eggs, cheese, and meat and put it in the

break down and put away the

hillel fridge (list the amounts in


the market day notes doc) bring everything up to the attic move any leftover meat to the uel

but keep it organized

(talk to a coordinator first) sweep our entire area oversee the frn donation cooler packing (in the blue bds coolers) make sure julie leaves with the money box


clean any other mess



design by chloe scheffe. published winter 2014

written by taylor lanzet and erin kelley.



Profile for Taylor Lanzet

Market Shares Book Web Version  

The purpose of this document is to explain and describe the Brown Market Shares Program as it currently functions at Brown University. We ho...

Market Shares Book Web Version  

The purpose of this document is to explain and describe the Brown Market Shares Program as it currently functions at Brown University. We ho...


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