Deadline Extended 4/9 — Farm Direct Food Security AmeriCorps VISTA

Farm Fresh Rhode Island seeks an outgoing and enthusiastic Farm Direct Food Security AmeriCorps VISTA with demonstrated initiative and clear organizational communication skills to increase awareness and understanding of how to use USDA food assistance programs to support local agriculture and food businesses. An integral part of Farm Fresh Rhode Island’s team, the farmers market program believes that the root cause of hunger is poverty — and therefore increasing local economic opportunities must be a part of hunger relief solutions. This position offers a unique opportunity to educate businesses and social service agencies about how to invest federal dollars in local economies and agriculture, creating more jobs and healthier, more resilient communities. This position requires a one-year commitment to begin mid-May, 2021. Application deadline extended to April 9, 2021. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Support efforts to enhance capacity for farmers markets, CSAs, and farm stands that accept USDA food assistance programs.
  • Identify strengths and challenges for farmers currently accepting USDA food assistance programs.
  • Update trainings for farmers and market managers on facilitating USDA food assistance programs onsite.
  • Update toolkits and printed resources for farmers and market managers on facilitating USDA food assistance programs onsite.
  • Foster networking across outlets currently utilizing USDA food assistance programs at farmers markets, CSAs, and farmstands
  • Review Farm Fresh RI farmers market outreach sites to identify new partnership and outreach opportunities with a focus on partner social service agencies.
  • Develop outreach and awareness presentations to foster engagement in the concept of using USDA food assistance programs to support local agriculture.
  • Pilot outreach presentations for local social service agencies, and evaluate participant awareness and overall effectiveness.
  • Pilot volunteer delivery of fresh produce to homebound older adults using Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program vouchers.
  • Review current Farm Fresh RI strategies for recruiting and sustaining volunteers, and apply them to farmers market program volunteer development.
  • Enhance Farm Fresh RI volunteer onboarding practices to foster volunteer engagement in farmers market support activities.
  • Consistently engage with community stakeholders to encourage volunteer participation in farmers market activities.
  • Create how-to guide for managing volunteers in outreach and farmers market programs.

Skills Required

  • Excellent professional communication skills (written and verbal)
  • Great attention to detail
  • Self-starter and ability to maintain a self-motivating attitude
  • Ability to collaborate and work as part of a team
  • Excellent time-management skills
  • Ability to think, react, iterate, and redirect in a fast-paced environment
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office Suite
  • Ability to prioritize and handle a variety of assignments simultaneously in a vibrant work environment
  • Spanish or other language skills a plus
  • Willingness to work hands-on in various environments (outdoors at markets, inside at office)
  • Able to bend and lift loads up to 50 pounds
  • Must have a valid drivers license and access to reliable transportation (Mileage reimbursement will be provided for personal vehicle use.)

About AmeriCorps VISTA
AmeriCorps is a network of national service programs, made up of three primary programs that each take a different approach to improving lives and fostering civic engagement. AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) members bring passion and perseverance where the need is greatest: to organizations that help eradicate poverty. AmeriCorps VISTA members serve as a catalyst for change, living and working alongside community members to meet our nation’s most pressing challenges and advance local solutions.

AmeriCorps VISTA Member Benefits

  • Bi-weekly living allowance of $513.94
  • Student loan deferment
  • Mileage reimbursement
  • Professional development opportunities
  • CNCS health benefit & childcare assistance
  • $6,345 Segal Education Award upon completion of service to help pay for college, graduate school, or vocational training, or to repay student loans

To Apply
This is a full-year position starting May 10, 2021. Application deadline is April 9, Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Applications must be submitted through this AmeriCorps VISTA site, Farm Fresh Rhode Island cannot accept applications directly.

About Farm Fresh RI
Farm Fresh has grown briskly since achieving 501c3 status in 2007, to capture the public interest in locally grown food and translate it into sales for local and regional farmers and producers. Strongly mission-driven, Farm Fresh RI hosts a variety of programs to enhance the local food system, with particular attention to farm viability and low-income access to fresh food. Farm Fresh also operates a range of marketplace programs (retail, wholesale, processing) that engage and connect tens of thousands of eaters with thousands of farmers and food producers across the Northeast region.

Mission: Farm Fresh Rhode Island is growing a local food system that values the environment, health, and quality of life of farmers and eaters in our region.

Vision: A Northeast region abundant with diverse family farms and fertile soils, with locally and honestly produced foods and flavors at the heart of every dinner table.

Farm Fresh Rhode Island is committed to the principle of equal opportunity in employment for all employees. We encourage enquiries from candidates who will enrich and contribute to the cultural and ethnic diversity of our organization. Farm Fresh RI does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, creed, color, religion, marital status, gender, sexual orientation, veteran status, national origin, or disability status in employment or programming. Farm Fresh Rhode Island is an Equal Opportunity Provider.