Farm Direct Food Security AmeriCorps VISTA — Apply Now!

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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-late August, 2020. Applications accepted on a rolling basis by August 4, 2020.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Support efforts to enhance capacity for farmers markets, CSAs, and farm stands that accept USDA food assistance programs.
  • Create trainings for farmers and market managers on facilitating USDA food assistance programs onsite.
  • Create toolkits and printed resources for farmers and market managers on facilitating USDA food assistance programs onsite.
  • 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 at local social service agencies, and evaluate participant awareness and overall effectiveness.
  • 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 Farm Fresh Rhode Island
Begun in 2004 as a student thesis project at Brown University, Farm Fresh RI has grown briskly to capture the public interest in locally grown food and translate it into sales for RI farmers and producers. Strongly mission-driven, Farm Fresh achieved 501c3 status in 2007, and has since implemented a variety of programs to enhance the local food system of the Northeast region, with particular attention to farm viability and low-income access to fresh food. Farm Fresh RI operates a wide range of marketplace programs (retail, wholesale, processing) that engage and connect tens of thousands of eaters with thousands of local farmers.

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

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

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 Benefits

  • Bi-weekly living allowance of $479.08
  • Student loan deferment
  • Mileage reimbursement
  • Professional development opportunities
  • CNCS health benefit and childcare assistance
  • $6,195 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 in mid-late August, 2020. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis by 8/4/2020. Applications must be submitted through the AmeriCorps VISTA site, as described below. Farm Fresh Rhode Island cannot accept applications directly.

  • Please review the AmeriCorps VISTA information here: americorps.gov/about/programs/vista.asp.
  • Then visit my.americorps.gov/mp/login.do and click Search Listings. For the search, select the “Rhode Island” and “AmeriCorps VISTA” options.
  • On that page, scroll until you find this position. Click on it, and click “Apply Now.”
  • Submit your application including two references.

Farm Fresh RI Foundational & Organizational Outcomes

As an organization, we feel it is important that all employees in all programs of Farm Fresh Rhode Island are expected to uphold the following outcomes in addition to their specific job responsibilities:

  • Diversity, Inclusion, & Respect: All staff and volunteers are committed to equality in the workplace, demonstrate respect for each other and those we serve, and work to create a more equitable food system.
  • Food Safety: Certifications are maintained and standard operating procedures are followed to ensure safe food handling at all times.
  • Health & Safety: Staff, volunteers, and visitors are safe in our office, café, and at all program sites. Staff and volunteers feel safe and supported in the workplace.
  • Food Systems Knowledge: All workers can speak about local, sustainable, and equitable food system development and understand how Farm Fresh RI programs address different aspects of these topics.
  • Service Orientation: Staff and volunteers are helpful and respectful in all interactions with each other and with all constituents of all Farm Fresh RI programs.

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.

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