Harvest Kitchen Youth Education AmeriCorps Fellow

The Harvest Kitchen project is Farm Fresh RI’s 20-week culinary and job-readiness training program for youth ages 16-19 who are currently in the care of RI Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) programs. During the first 15 weeks, youth learn basic culinary arts skills and earn a food handlers industry certification. As part of their culinary training, youth create a line of high-quality preserved foods using ingredients sourced from local farms. Products made by the youth at Harvest Kitchen are sold at local stores, farmers markets, and wholesale markets. During the final five weeks of the program, youth participate in supported off-site internships to further develop employable job skills as they prepare to exit state care.

Purpose of Role
The Harvest Kitchen Youth Education AmeriCorps Fellow will support Harvest Kitchen program staff in youth job training, attendance tracking, mentoring, in-class teaching, and the organization of off-site field trips and guest speakers for the Harvest Kitchen program. They will receive training on all aspects of the position and will receive additional mentoring and support from the Harvest Kitchen Program Director and Education Manager. The ideal candidate is a self-starter with basic cooking and/or kitchen experience, experience working with youth, and a passion for the local food system.

Harvest Kitchen youth trainees require positive support and honest mentorship. With that in mind, this position must be able to work closely with the students and support them throughout their time in the program. The desire to work with opportunity youth in an intimate, hands-on setting is paramount to success in this role. Being empathetic and having an open mind are necessary qualities to have.

Description of Duties

  • Working closely with up to 16 marginalized youth in each session to teach, mentor, and build relationships resulting in confidence and skills to succeed both inside and outside of Harvest Kitchen
  • Processing up to 50,000 pounds yearly of B-grade produce into value-added products
  • Working closely with internship sites to ensure both the site and the trainee are having as enriching an experience as possible, with the goal of having a site for each trainee
  • Documenting youth attendance and progress reports
  • Organizing up to 10 off-site trips for trainees
  • Being a positive figure of consistency in the kitchen with the students
  • Assisting with the training of students in our retail cafe
  • Serving as a mentor to education program participants
  • Complying with department and organizational Standard Operating Procedures in safe food handling, supply purchasing, and mileage reimbursement
  • Completing weekly and monthly data reports on program activities for AmeriCorps and Harvest Kitchen grant reporting

Essential Functions

  • Must have high school diploma/GED, college degree — or be working toward one (preferred but not required)
  • Must be willing to undergo a National Criminal History Background Check
  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Must be a U.S. Citizen, U.S. National, or Permanent Resident and be able to provide documentation of citizenship
  • Must uphold AmeriCorps state and national branding and uniform standards
  • Excellent time-management skills
  • Must be able to build relationships with people from varied cultural, economic, educational, racial, and religious backgrounds
  • Must be able to collaborate with others and work as part of a team
  • Must be able to bend and lift loads up to 50 pounds
  • Must be a self-starter and have the ability to maintain a self-motivating attitude
  • Must be able to think, react, iterate, and respond in a fast-paced environment

Non-Essential Functions & Preferred Skills

  • Maintain positive relationships with external partners and organization staff.
  • Assist with ongoing grants and projects related to the aforementioned off-site education programs.
  • Basic understanding of local food systems, education, and food justice.
  • Excellent professional communication skills (written and verbal) preferred.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office and Google Suite preferred.
  • Spanish skills or other language skills are a plus.

Term of Service & Hour Requirements
AmeriCorps Direct Service Members must commit to a full 37-weeks, approx. 26 hours/week, AmeriCorps service term starting January 2023 through September 2023 — totaling 900 hours of service.

Primary working hours will be Monday-Friday. We are flexible in shifts being either 9am-2pm or 2-7pm.

Members will be given the opportunity to fulfill all service hour requirements while also allowing for holidays and 50 hours of Paid Time Off (PTO). Missed hours can be made up on site or off site depending on supervisor approval. All Members must participate in AmeriCorps national, state, and local service projects as a part of their service term.

Orientation, Training & Evaluation
Members will receive one-on-one training on AmeriCorps program impacts, history, and prohibited activities as well as orientation to the local food system and food justice topics addressed by Farm Fresh RI programs. Training will not exceed more than 20% of the members total service hours completed.

All members will have opportunities for weekly one-on-one check-ins with supervisors as well as mid-service and end-of-service performance evaluations. Members will be responsible for submitting weekly timesheets and monthly program narrative reports.

AmeriCorps Member Benefits

  • $13,000 living stipend, divided and paid weekly
  • $3,247.50 Segal Education Award (upon completion of 900 hours of service)
  • Student loan forbearance
  • Mileage reimbursement
  • Professional development opportunities

To Apply
Members must commit to a 900 hour term of service, starting in January 2023 through September 2023. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

About AmeriCorps
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. Members commit their time to address critical community needs like increasing academic achievement, mentoring youth, and fighting poverty. Members commit to a fixed term of service and receive a weekly living allowance and end-of-service education award.

Organizational Info
Strongly mission-driven, Farm Fresh RI achieved 501c3 status in 2007, and has since implemented a variety of programs to enhance the local food system of Rhode Island and the New England region, with particular attention to farm viability and low-income access to fresh food.

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 New England 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.

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.