The very existence of Mass Local Food depends entirely on the generous contributions of time, energy, and creativity that our volunteers offer. Currently, the co-op has no paid staff. The faces of our volunteers are most visible on Distribution Day, when they arrive in Gardner to sort or transport orders or at the various pickup sites to serve our customers. Volunteers may change from month to month, but if you come to one of the sites on a regular basis, you’re likely to see some familiar faces. We encourage you to introduce yourself!
We also have several volunteers who work behind the scenes—those you may not see as regularly—if at all—but who work hard to make our communication and general Web presence a pleasant experience.
Ben Witte, Webmaster
We owe our exciting new look to the creative talents and technical skills of Ben Witte, who rebuilt our website amid his coursework at the University of Vermont. While working toward a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Ben began learning the ins and outs of web design as a self-taught side project. His learning opportunities have come through his volunteer work of rebuilding and improving websites for socially responsible organizations.
Ben’s connection to the outdoors and appreciation for the environment began at a very young age, with numerous family camping trips and outdoor excursions to the rivers and mountains of northern New England and the Adirondacks. He later participated in community outdoor projects in his hometown, Dansville, New York. Ben’s work with Mass Local Food has brought him an ongoing opportunity to help communities and the environment. This, in turn, has fueled his motivation for further studies.
Nancy Burnett, Web Editor
Nancy Burnett first dedicated her professional experience in writing, editing, and creative directing to the conception and development of our website, which launched in August 2010.
Nancy’s voracious interest in relocalization and sustainable food systems has fueled her work with the co-op. In addition to her efforts on the website, Nancy is the organizer and host of the Holden pickup site. She has been connected to Mass Local Food since its inception and looks forward to continuing her work with the co-op in the years to come.
Katherine Anderson, Illustrator
You only need to see our logo and the illustrations on our website to recognize Katherine Anderson’s artistic contributions to Mass Local Food. Katherine lives in Douglas, where she and her partner recently founded Sweet Birch Farm, raising sustainably grown specialty vegetables and herbs on small, intensively managed plots. Sweet Birch Farm supplies the multifarm Stone’s Throw CSA, as well as local markets. The growing interest in local foods excites Katherine, and she hopes that the increase in marketing outlets, including Mass Local Food Co-op, encourages more beginning farmers in Massachusetts. Katherine is also a freelance graphic designer and was happy to lend her creative skills to our co-op.
Those Even Less Visible, but Equally Appreciated
We also have tremendous gratitude for the following individuals and groups for their generosity and ongoing support.
- With Joel G. Kinney, Esq’s pro bono legal services and general guidance, we were able to customize and file our Articles of Incorporation and work through the detailed process of reviewing and amending our Bylaws. Joel works in the law offices of Goldstein & Herndon, LLP, in Chestnut Hill.
- As part of her coursework toward a degree in business, Sharon Barrett created our business plan. The business plan is our compass and will be a necessary document to have in hand when we are ready to secure a bank loan or approach investors.
- Kelley has immense appreciation for all the people who have supported her since 2007: Groton Local, Harvard Local, and the relocalization folks who participated in the visioning event she attended on New Year’s Day 2007.
We encourage all our members to join in the fun of Distribution Day, now and then or regularly, as their schedules allow. If you’re interested in volunteering for any aspect of making the operation of Mass Local Food possible, send Kelley a note.