How It Works

A Closer Look at How the System Works

Mass Local Food’s monthly cycle is anchored in three key events: Orders Open, Orders Close, and Distribution Day.

Ordering Period

Each cycle begins with an Orders Open letter that the Board of Directors e-mails to co-op members about two weeks before Distribution Day. When members receive this letter, they can log on to the Shop page, choose their pickup site preference, and start their order. In the days prior to Orders Open, producer members list the goods they have available for sale during any given cycle. (People who are not yet members of the co-op can browse the product list at any time. They are, however, unable to place an order until they join the co-op.)

The Orders Open period is about eleven days and closes at midnight on the Monday before Distribution Day. During the days between Orders Close and Distribution Day, producer members process, assemble, and carefully label orders according to the instructions detailed in Producer Procedures.

Distribution Day

On Distribution Day, Mass Local Food’s organizers and volunteers gather at the Westminster sorting site shortly after noon. They set up tables, arrange the sorting area by pickup site location, and label coolers with their pickup site destinations. During an allotted time period (about 11–2 pm) producers arrive with their orders. After producers check in their goods, they get paid and volunteers sort the items by customer order and pickup site location.

Volunteer drivers from each pickup site arrive at about 3 pm to load and transport customers’ orders to their chosen pickup sites. Each pickup site has designated times during which customers can pick up their orders. Pickup site volunteers do not have cash for making change, so customers must be sure to bring a check when they pick up their orders.

News and Alerts (Feb/Mar)

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day locally
Mass Local Food producers have all you need for corned beef and tasty leftovers. Check out the Shop page for suggestions.

Welcome University of Massachusetts Medical School
The latest Mass Local Food pick-up site in Worcester opens this month.

A local gift that keeps on giving
For that special locavore, how about a gift certificate for membership in Mass Local Food? You can find gift certificates on your order form. We will include the certificate with your order and the cost will be added to your invoice.