In-Store Shareholder Volunteer Hours

Q. What is a Shareholder?

A. A Shareholder is an owner of the Brattleboro Food Co-op. Currently, there are over 8,000 shareholders of the Co-op. There are many benefits of becoming a Shareholder, from community support and engagement, annual dividends when the Co-op is successful, and even volunteer programs that may allow you receive a discount on purchases.

Q. How do I (as a Shareholder) obtain a discount?

A. You can earn 5% off your Co-op purchases when you volunteer two hours per month working in our Commitment to Community program (working with one of our non-profit community partners), volunteering for shareholder TeamWork Opportunities (fun and social events create for the benefit of the Co-op and/or the community), or by working in-store volunteer shifts at the Co-op (usually helping to pack bulk items, assisting with bagging at the register, and other engaging tasks).

Please Note: Elder Shareholders are not required to do volunteer hours to maintain their discount, however, may do so and donate their hours to other shareholders in need of hours.

Q. How do I sign up?

A. Visit our Shareholder Registration page for more info and a link to sign up online, stop by the store and speak with someone at our Customer Service counter, call Shareholder Services at 802-246-2821,  or email Shareholder Services at

Q. Where do I report when I show up at the Co-op to do my volunteer hours?

A. You will receive instructions on where to go and who to report to if you schedule your volunteer work in-store or are attending a TeamWork Opportunity. If you are doing Commitment 2 Community work, you will make arrangements with the non-profit you are helping. If you have any questions, please contact Shareholder Services at 802-246-2821 or email Shareholder Services at

Q. What are the clothing or equipment requirements when performing volunteer work?

A. Commitment 2 Community organization partners can give you advice on what to wear for their particular field of work. If you are working in-store or attending a TeamWork Opportunity event, you will be given specific instructions if needed. If you are working in-store, please be sure to observe the Co-op’s apparel protocols by wearing closed-toed shoes which are non-skid, a top that has short sleeves or longer (no sleeveless apparel), and do not wear clothing with loose ends, frays, or long ties, or dangling jewelry for safety reasons. If you are working with food items, you will be asked to tie your long hair back and wear either a hat or hairnet (a beard net will be required if you have facial hair) and food-safe gloves. Refrain from using perfumes and scents. Cancel your volunteer work if you are feeling ill.

Some in-store work may include the following tasks when working in certain departments. If any of these is uncomfortable for you, be sure to discuss details with Shareholder Services prior to signing up for your volunteer hours.

  • In the kitchen, you may be near or asked to use knives and other cutting tools. You will also be in areas that have hot ovens, burners, steamers, fryers, and traffic (it is a busy department). 
  • You may be exposed to cold temperatures for short periods, such as walk-in coolers and freezers.
  • When working near open food, you will be expected to follow all ServSafe food safety procedures (You will be given this information to read and review if it applies. Basic protocols follow:
    • You are expected to wash your hands at the start of your shift and after any rest break
    • Please remove bracelets, arm bands, and other jewelry which may either impede your work or create a safety hazard (this may include earrings and piercings)
    • Your head (whether you have hair or not) MUST be covered with a hat or hairnet. Long hair must be tied back as well. If you have facial hair, you must also wear a beard net. Knit hats are not allowable. Your supervisor will provide what you need.
    • You will be provided with food-safe gloves when working with open foods.
    • If you are ill, you should not take any volunteer shifts until you are well again.
  • You will be advised on proper lifting techniques and the use of any machinery you may be using while working at the Co-op.

If you have any questions, please contact Shareholder Services at 802-246-2821 or email Shareholder Services at