Join Stichting de Groentedeler as a volunteer

Every year, our team of volunteers makes an effort to harvest fresh vegetables for the clients of Voedselbank Leiden. During the season, we come together on Tuesday mornings. We meet at Zelfoogsttuin Bij Mei in Zoeterwoude, for a fulfilling morning. Would you like to join us as a volunteer? Let us know through the form beneath.

    Vrijwilligers De Groentedeler

    Promote nutrition and sustainability

    Creating awareness around healthy nutrition, encouraging donations to help hundreds of people get fresh vegetables annually, and having lots of fun. That’s social media management at Stichting De Groentedeler!

    We are looking for someone to help us share a fun or interesting post every week. Someone passionate about green living, sustainability and nutrition. Someone with a network in Leiden to help us reach more people in our community. Someone who can occasionally visit the garden, attend collections at various locations, or join our events and share about these experiences. Together, we can do more. Together, we ensure everyone has access to healthy food, which we believe is a basic right.


    Volunteer at the benefit performance of the year: Verse Blik

    This year, Benefiet Vogels organizes another amazing benefit performance for Stichting De Groentedeler, and you can help! On October 26 and 27, we will transform Theater Ins Blau in Leiden into a hub for Groente Delers.

    With performances featuring dazzling acts, from music and dance to breathtaking aerial performances, we are set for a fantastic weekend. Naturally, this doesn’t happen by itself. We are looking for volunteers to help with ticket scanning, manning the bar, providing snacks and drinks for all volunteer performers, and more.

    Do you want to contribute and enjoy the show at the same time? Sign up now!


    Valuable work as a volunteer at the garden

    Our collaboration at the garden initiates new connections, both with each other and with the earth and the food you eat. You get to know new people and crops, help the customers of Voedselbank Leiden, enjoy the outdoors and learn a variation of harvesting techniques during the season.

    Whether you have years of experience or none at all, as a volunteer you will learn everything you need to know. “Moreover, it is at least a 1000 times more fun to work in the garden than to go to the gym,” says Mariska, owner of Zelfoogsttuin Bij Mei.

    A day at the garden

    Depending on the weather conditions, harvesting can take place from mid-April to early May. From that moment on, we harvest, rinse and portion the vegetables with a group of four volunteers. We prepare the entire harvest in boxes so that the volunteers of Voedselbank Leiden can collect them.

    Would you like join us to help as a volunteer at Stichting De Groentedeler? Below, you can see a rough timetable of our weekly tasks.

    8:30 AM – Time to harvest!

    Our volunteers come together and start the harvest. During the very hot summer days, we often arrive a little earlier to avoid the worst heat.

    10.30 am – Leiden Food Bank collects the harvest

    As soon as the big Voedselbank Leiden bus appears, we help to load all the crates with fresh vegetables. These will be transferred into the grateful hands of their customers the same day.

    10.45 am – Coffee with all volunteers

    As soon as De Voedselbank has left, we drink a cup of coffee with all the volunteers and Mariska’s team during a well-deserved break.

    11am – Garden maintenance

    Maintenance is at least as important as harvesting. After coffee, we help keep the beds clean.

    12:00 – Time to go home

    Most volunteers go home around noon. Some stay a little longer to complete the final touches, but the main work is done by then.

    With this schedule, no fewer than 8,000 portions of fresh vegetables were harvested in the season of 2023. A fantastic result for which we are genuinely grateful to our volunteers, Mariska and her team!


    The harvest

    About 40 to 50 different crops are planted and harvested every year. In a mix of well-known and lesser-known varieties, it is a surprise to our volunteers, what we can harvest every week and what new crops we get to know.

    For example, do you already know root parsley? The taste of this vegetable is reminiscent of parsnips, celeriac and parsley. Thanks to the varied harvest from Zelfoogsttuin Bij Mei, we get to know new vegetables every season.

    The clients of De Voedselbank also look forward to the fresh vegetables they receive every season. Vegetables that they are not always familiar with, but which they enjoy tasting.


    Experiences of current volunteers

    Would you like to know how our volunteers experience harvesting? Let us know, we would love to talk to you!

    Meanwhile, you can read the blog in which our volunteer Chris Oppenheimer talks about his experiences.

    “It’s wonderful that you get immediate results. Since the vegetables are collected at the end of the morning, we have to continue working. Afterwards we can enjoy a cup of coffee with all the volunteers, which is always very nice!” says Chris. “Come and visit the garden to see how you can help out as a volunteer.”