Participants believed that further outreach and incentives were needed for increasing education among the public. They believed that the best tool for education was informing their volunteers and empowering them to become advocates. Developing volunteers into larger roles allows them to have a personal stake in their work and increases the organization’s outreach efforts. They also saw educational opportunities as a recruitment tool for potential volunteers.
For getting people in the door, the group believed that incentives were needed for their educational classes. Giving out ingredients, gift cards, and kitchen tools at a minor cost could increase overall efficiency and gleaning efforts if the attendees become volunteers with the organization.
For educational programs to be successful, participants stressed that they don’t need to recreate the wheel. Starting small, meeting people where they are and creating sustainable programs with minimal administrative time are steps that can be undertaken to increase educational outreach.
The group wanted to create shared education programs and coordinate with other local organizations already providing classes and information. Sharing educational resources will decrease the staff time involved and allow organizations to provide the best information possible through collaboration.