Farmers Market Food Security — Full-Year AmeriCorps VISTA Opportunity

Farm Fresh Rhode Island seeks a Farmers Market 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 RI’s programs, the farmers market team 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 in early June, 2022. Application deadline is May 7, 2022. 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.
  • Review Farm Fresh RI farmers market outreach sites to identify new partnership and outreach opportunities.
  • Develop outreach and awareness presentations to foster engagement in the concept of using USDA food assistance programs to support local agriculture.
  • Conduct outreach presentations for local social service agencies, and evaluate participant awareness and overall effectiveness.
  • Conduct customer surveys and facilitate focus groups to improve Bonus Bucks program marketing strategy to: 1) uncover barriers for SNAP shoppers redeeming benefits at farmers markets; and 2) learn more about what programming local communities would like to see to make farmers markets a welcoming grocery shopping location.
  • Pilot strategies to both increase SNAP utilization at farmers markets and enhance community engagement among low income communities at Farm Fresh RI farmers markets.
  • Work with the Volunteer Coordinator in reviewing current Farm Fresh RI strategies for recruiting and retaining volunteers, and apply them to farmers market program volunteer development.
  • Work with the Volunteer Coordinator to 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.
  • Research best practices for nutrition incentive systems at farmers markets and emerging technologies.

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 and/or Google Docs
  • 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 driver’s 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 $575.40
  • $6,345 Segal Education Award upon completion of service to help pay for college, graduate school, or vocational training, or to repay student loans
  • $400 monthly rent credit
  • Monthly bus pass
  • Student loan deferment
  • Mileage reimbursement
  • Professional development opportunities
  • CNCS health benefit & childcare assistance

To Apply
This is a 10-week position starting on June 13 and ending August 19, 2022. The deadline to apply is May 7, 2022

  • Please go to: http://www.americorps.gov/about/programs/vista.asp and review AmeriCorps VISTA information on this site.
  • Then go to https://my.americorps.gov/mp/login.do and click “Search Listings.” For the search, select the “Rhode Island” and “AmeriCorps VISTA” options. Scroll until you find this position. Click on it and choose “Apply Now.” Submit your application including two references.
  • Applications must be submitted through this AmeriCorps VISTA site. Farm Fresh Rhode Island cannot accept applications directly. If you have trouble with the site please email [email protected]
  • No calls or walk-ins please.

About Farm Fresh RI
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 New England 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 local eaters with thousands of New England farmers and producers.

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

Vision: A New England abundant with diverse family farms and fertile soils, with locally and honestly produced food at the heart of every 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.

Farm Fresh Rhode Island is an AmeriCorps grantee and receives funds as part of their State and National program, and to operate our VISTA program.