Hope's Harvest RI — Food Rescue, Summer AmeriCorps VISTA

Hope’s Harvest RI, fiscally sponsored by Farm Fresh RI, seeks an outgoing and energetic Food Rescue Summer AmeriCorps VISTA with demonstrated initiative and clear organizational communication skills. Hope’s Harvest RI is a gleaning project that mobilizes volunteers to rescue food from local farms that would otherwise go to waste and distributes it to local hunger relief agencies. This position offers a unique opportunity to refine and implement a system for rescuing fruits and vegetables specifically from farms in RI, for distribution to food insecure individuals and families via hunger relief agencies, and recruiting volunteers to participate in ongoing food rescue activities. This is a 10-week position starting on June 21 and ending August 27, 2021. The deadline to apply is 4/30/2021.

About the work: One in four Rhode Islanders rely on the emergency food system to meet their basic needs, a sharp increase since the previous year. In 2020, Hope’s Harvest RI rescued over 255,000 lbs of fresh, nutrient dense fruits and vegetables from local farms and delivered it to over 10,000 individuals a month via our network of emergency food providers. In 2021-22, we expect that Hope’s Harvest RI will rescue and distribute even more produce to our neighbors in need, while also supporting a robust network of volunteers and farms that make this work possible. Hope’s Harvest RI is fiscally sponsored by Farm Fresh RI, a food hub with many different programs working together to build a stronger food system in Rhode Island.

Position Responsibilities

  • Refine and implement a system for rescuing surplus food from local farms throughout RI and distributing it to food insecure individuals and families via a network of hunger relief agencies.
  • Recruit and train volunteers to assist with ongoing food rescue operations, increasing the capacity of Hope’s Harvest program to expand and increase number of food rescue trips and pounds rescued.
  • Maintain volunteer recruitment materials for in-person events, including brochures, displays, and contests/giveaways.
  • Help create and improve on gleaning education for volunteers and community members – including but not limited to crop knowledge, history of the land, hunger relief, and farm systems – to help increase literacy and awareness.
  • Schedule and conduct volunteer recruitment online, or through in-person events (while maintaining COVID safety).
  • Conduct follow up with new volunteers, including welcome communications, training, and orientation as necessary.

Essential Functions

  • 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
  • Comfort and facility driving large vehicles (training available)
  • Must be able to lift 50 lb.
  • Ability to prioritize and handle a variety of assignments simultaneously in a vibrant work environment
  • Willingness to work hands-on in various environments (outdoors at markets, inside at office)
  • Some experience with farming or gardening in a professional capacity (internships, academic learning/service or consistent volunteer work on a farm or in a community garden setting would qualify)

Non-Essential Functions

  • Experience with CRM (Salesforce,) and/or training a plus
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office and Google Suite preferred
  • Spanish skills or other language skills are a plus
  • Background in adult education, leading volunteer/tour groups, and/or organizing service work teams.

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.

Terms of Service & Hours Requirements
Summer AmeriCorps VISTA members must commit to a full week, approx. 36-40 hour/week AmeriCorps full-time service term from June 21 to August 27, 2021, totaling 10 weeks of service.

Primary working hours will be Monday-Friday, 8am-4pm, with ability to work early evenings or weekends as needed. Member schedules can be flexible, and they will be in regular conversation about schedules with their direct supervisor.

Members will be given the opportunity to fulfill all service hour requirements while also allowing for holidays, sick leave, and 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 trainings on AmeriCorps program impacts, history, and prohibited activities, as well as an orientation to local food systems and food justice topics addressed by Hope’s Harvest 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 a six month and end of service performance evaluation. Members will be responsible for submitting weekly timesheets and monthly program narrative reports.

AmeriCorps VISTA Member Benefits

  • Living allowance of $513.94 paid every two weeks
  • Choice between Segal $1342.86 education award or $345.80 cash payment at the completion of service term.
  • Mileage reimbursement

To Apply
This is a 10 week position starting on June 21 and ending August 27, 2021. The deadline to apply is 4/30/2021. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Applications must be submitted through this AmeriCorps VISTA site. Farm Fresh Rhode Island and Hope’s Harvest RI cannot accept applications directly.

About Hope’s Harvest RI
Hope’s Harvest RI and its fiscal sponsor Farm Fresh Rhode Island are committed to equal opportunity in employment. We’re also committed to building an inclusive workplace culture where talented people of widely diverse backgrounds can thrive. We’ve adopted this commitment because we believe the inclusion of racially, economically, and culturally diverse perspectives will improve our work and produce better outcomes for all. We are actively seeking candidates who bring diverse backgrounds and perspectives to join us in this work. Farm Fresh Rhode Island is an Equal Opportunity Employer.