We are happy to highlight another of our very dedicated volunteers who help make the market an inviting space. PFM staff recently interviewed Zero Waste volunteer, Sydney Rittershaus, to learn more about her and her volunteer experience at the market.
PFM: How long have you lived in the Prescott Area?
Sydney: 18 years, I was born and raised here!
PFM: What work do you do in your professional career?
Sydney: I am currently a student and I also work in customer/food service.
PFM: Tell me how you first got involved in volunteering with PFM.
Sydney: I came to the market for the second time and met Misha at the Zero Waste booth. She was very friendly and explained how I could be a volunteer. I emailed her and the next week I came back to the market as a volunteer.
PFM: What volunteer roles have you taken in the past? What roles do you look forward to in the future?
Sydney: I’ve been involved with various volunteer positions through my clubs at school, but my favorites so far have been being a volunteer assistant volleyball coach at Glassford Hill Middle School, and volunteering for Feed My Starving Children by making food packets for people in different countries.
In the future, I plan to volunteer with community gardens in Flagstaff and work with their farmers market as well.
PFM: What do you wish other people knew about PFM as a market and also as a volunteer?
Sydney: The Prescott Farmers Market is an awesome community if you care about quality food and like-minded people. Being a volunteer has integrated me into the market’s community and has allowed me to meet incredible people in the Prescott-area community with similar interests and focuses that I have. The vendors are very generous as well and frequently give gifts to show their appreciation for the volunteers. Being a part of the Zero Waste program allows me to experience first-hand the impact that even just a few hours of an event can make in our landfills. We sort compostable items and recyclable items out of the trash bins to ensure that we are doing everything we can to prevent unnecessary waste from the customers and vendors. Next year I will be studying Environmental Science and Sustainability at NAU, so this portion of the volunteer work is very important to me.
PFM: Why do you volunteer with PFM as opposed/in addition to other local organizations?
Sydney: I believe that eating high-quality and locally-grown food is essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I am very passionate about natural living, and the Prescott Farmers Market has a fantastic variety of natural and delicious food, beverages, skincare, etc. that also support the local economy. The atmosphere of the market is very positive, and it is easy to drive a half-hour each Saturday to come and spend time with the wonderful staff and the market’s community. It is something I look forward to every weekend.
PFM: What excites you about volunteering with PFM?
Sydney: Witnessing a community being brought together through locally-grown food is incredible to me. It is exciting to see the growing number of customers come by and watch them be genuinely present and happy to be there. When I volunteer at the market, I am not only excited to work with the fantastic staff, but to see and converse with the different vendors as well. It is fun to ask them questions about their businesses, especially if you are planning on pursuing any career regarding natural foods and products.
PFM: Anything else we should know about you as a volunteer?
Sydney: Thank you for making Saturday my favorite day of the week!
PFM: Thank YOU, Sydney! Your willingness to sort through trash, gather data and discuss with market-goers how they can make a Zero Waste impact is impressive! We can’t wait to see what the future holds in store for you; it certainly looks bright!
Interviewer’s note: Are you interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities at PFM? Send us an email for more information.