Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Food Access & Farmers Market Associate (Americorps VISTA) -- Maryland Farmers Market Association

The Anti-Hunger and Opportunity Corps (AHOC) is an AmeriCorps VISTA project, sponsored by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service, the Corporation for National and Community Service, and the Wal-Mart Foundation, and managed by Hunger Free America. The VISTA members work in both rural and urban areas across the country as part of a public-private partnership to improve access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps) for Americans in need. 

Position Description:
The Maryland Farmers Market Association (MDFMA), in partnership with Hunger Free America, is seeking TWO (2) full-time VISTA members to build the capacity of Maryland farmers markets to promote the use of federal nutrition benefits at market, thereby improving food-insecure Marylanders’ access to fresh, nutritious, local foods. The VISTA members will work out of the MDFMA’s central location in Baltimore, MD. Twice during the year of service, all of Hunger Free America’s VISTA members will convene for a conference to share best practices and attend sessions focused on food access and food justice. 

The full-year VISTA members will support MDFMA’s work in Maryland to expand access to the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by: 

  • Helping recruit and train volunteers to assist in SNAP outreach and raise awareness of the opportunity to utilize benefits at farmers markets; 
  • Improve access to nutritious food options by enhancing awareness of the availability of utilization of benefits at farmers’ markets; support local agriculture efforts; and provide nutrition education information about the benefits of eating locally produced food and opportunities for low-income members.
  • Coordinating with partner organizations to develop innovative and targeted plans to connect communities with farmers markets where benefits are accepted;
  • Updating a farmers market directory that lists farmers markets, vendors and provides indicators that reflect agricultural and environmental practices; and
  • Expanding the MDFMA’s quarterly newsletter in terms of distribution frequency, number of constituents reached, and diversity of content. 

Time Commitment:
Each position is a one-year, full-time position beginning Mid-July, 2016. VISTAs are expected to be available for the needs of the community and project at all times, including days, nights and weekends. Because AmeriCorps VISTA service requires a full immersion in the project and community, there are restrictions on outside full-time employment, along with some restrictions on political and religious activities. For more information, please review the AmeriCorps VISTA Terms, Conditions and Benefits information available here - http://bit.ly/1dAs2FM. 

Learn more and apply at Careers4Terps.