Volunteer with Portland Farmers Market

Photo by Ron Beagle

Volunteer with us!

At Portland Farmers Market, it is our mission to contribute to the success of local food growers and producers, to share the understanding that we as farmers, makers and consumers all carry the responsibility for developing a more sustainable food system and create a space for vibrant community gatherings. We want all neighborhood residents to have access to farm-fresh food and to offer a space to learn, build, nourish and be part of an inspired community. We thrive on making positive personal connections with our neighbors, community partners, and our farmers. All this would not be possible without the help of dedicated volunteers!

How to Get Involved

Together with our neighbors, we strive to make Portland Farmers Market a place to build community, learn about food and sustainability.

If you want to join us in supporting and building relationships with your neighbors, please review the volunteer requirements, our 2022 Volunteer Handbook, and various roles available below, then fill out the volunteer application form.

Interested in becoming a board member for Portland Farmers Market? Please visit our Join Our Board page to learn more and apply!

Volunteer Requirements

  • Must be 16 years or older.
  • Available to volunteer 5 – 9 hours a month, June through September.
  • Able to commit to scheduled volunteer times.
  • Able to squat, bend, twist, lift and stand for long periods of time with break. Accommodations can be made.
  • Work well with people – all volunteer positions work directly with the public, staff, and other volunteers.

Volunteer Roles

Volunteer of All Trades (VOAT)

Location: King, Kenton, Lents

Want to get to know the market vendors? Do you thrive in an ever-changing environment? Do you like chatting with people? VOAT volunteers arrive at the market and help with whatever needs to be done- hence the name! Duties are varied but can include giving solo vendors bathroom/lunch breaks, customer counting, helping with current programming, folding brochures and much more. Duties can change from week to week! Of course, any duty assigned is not required: if a volunteer is unable to perform or uncomfortable performing any duty they are highly encouraged to let staff know. This position is only available for our neighborhood markets.

Time commitment: Shifts are typically 3 hours, 10am to 1pm, but can be tailored to the individual volunteer.

Skills required: Willingness to perform a wide variety of duties, ability to walk and stand for up to 3 hours (with breaks) and excellent communication and customer service skills.

Token Counter and Office Assistant

Do you enjoy detail-oriented tasks? Are you interested in spending time with us in the office? Well then you are probably well suited to become a token counter or office helper! We need people who are able to come to our office for a few hours on Mondays or Fridays on a regular basis from May through October.

Time commitment: 2-3 hours Monday mornings, 1-2 hours Friday mornings.

Skills required: Excellent attention to detail, ability to keep focused on a repetitive task and basic math. Ability to organize and rearrange light objects.

Market Scouts Assistant

Location: Lents

Do you enjoy working with kids interactively? Join our Market Scouts team at the Lents International Farmers Market! Market Scouts provides a fun opportunity for children to engage in the local food system through conversations directly with farmers, educational games and demonstrations, sharing food knowledge with peers, and exposure to new fruits and vegetables. In exchange kids get $3 to spend with our vendors in the market. In this position you would be checking kids in, guiding them through that week’s educational activity, and passing our their market money.

Time commitment:Shifts are typically under 3 hours, either from 8:45am-11:30am or 11:30am-2:15pm.

Skills required:Experience with and willingness to work patiently and engagingly with children aged 3-12.

Shopper Support Assistant

Location: PSU
Where can I buy a baby artichoke? Are all these vendors organic? Where is the restroom? How can I become a vendor at the market? Where is Powell’s Bookstore? Where are the crafts?

These are just a few of the questions the volunteers at the Information booths answer each and every Saturday. If you want to learn the inner workings of the market, hang out in a beautiful place, and meet a lot of people, this is the job for you. Written material, maps and weekly updates are provided.

Time commitment: 3 hours at the market on Saturday (morning and afternoon shifts available)

Skills required: Excellent customer service skills, positive can-do attitude, a welcoming smile, being courteous to all shoppers, problem solver and ability to remember a variety of fun facts.

Event Support Assistant

Locations: PSU, Kenton, King, and Lents

Do you get into the nuts and bolts of putting on a party? We are searching for people who would like to be involved with the ins and outs of throwing big events and are project oriented. Our markets alone are large, consistent events where we sometimes need extra hands to set up, tear down, or help with any operational tasks in between! Our markets bring chefs, speakers, children’s activities, contests and special demonstrations to the regular shopping atmosphere as well. You may be called on to set up the Information booth, hang signage, pack up at the end of day, or many other myriad of tasks.
This position may involve some early hours depending on the market location and event.

Time commitment: Approx. 3 hours depending on event.

Skills required: Experience interacting with children and the general public, ability to think on your feet and move in a fast-paced environment, creative and fun-loving attitude. Ability to safely lift up to 50 lbs preferred but not required.

Market Surveyor

Location: PSU, Shemanski Park, Lents, Kenton, King
Are you a people watcher? Do you long to hang out on street corners and watch the parade? With the constant growth and evolution of our market, monthly customer counts are essential in keeping market data up to date. PFM is constantly growing and evolving, and we like to keep track of this growth, so once a month we count the customers entering each corner of the market. A volunteer red apron and a click-counter is the trademark uniform for a Market Surveyor. We provide you with a red apron and click-counter. This job provides lots of time between counting for shopping and exploring the market. From time to time, we like to know what our customers are looking for, if their needs are being met, what they like and what they’d like to see more of. Market Surveyors can help with simple customer surveys (held appx. 3 times a year) to help our team determine the future direction of our markets.
Time commitment: Customer counts require 10 minutes on the hour at each corner for 30-40 minutes, for up to 3 hours. Market Surveys require up to three hours, but flexible.
Skills required: Customer counts – ability to stand (there are places to sit if needed) for 10 minutes at a time; ability to avoid distractions. Customer surveys – ability to stand up to three hours with breaks; ability to engage with the public.

Market Photographer

Location: All markets/other locations

Do you enjoy the market through the camera lens? Are you always taking portraits of purple cauliflower? Taking videos of people jamming to market tunes? Help build our media library by documenting shoppers, vendors and volunteers in action, special event activities, children playing and the ‘market scene’ in general.

Time commitment: You decide!

Skills required: A keen and creative eye, access to a professional camera.

Writer Extraordinaire

Location: All markets/other locations

Are you naturally curious? Do you love to take a deep dive into how things work? We are interested in writers who can compose blogs and articles about the interworking of the farmers market and our sustainable food system. If you like to wax poetic about the beauty of dancing carrots and giant heads of celery or the incredible story of your local farmer, then this is a job for you!

Time commitment: You decide!

Skills required: Excellent written communication skills, preferably with professional writing experience.

Interested to Learn More?

Please complete the Volunteer Interest Form and we will reach out with information about our next volunteer orientation. Thank you!

Volunteer Interest Form

  • MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • Market days are Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. We also need token counters on Thursdays and/or Fridays in our lively office!