FoodCorps Service Opportunity

February 13, 2020 |

Above: FoodCorps Service Member Casey Haggerty (standing, second from far left) on a FoodCorps training retreat.

The application portal for 2020-2021 FoodCorps AmeriCorps Service Members is now open through March 13, 2020. Members for the program year must, at a minimum, serve 1,700 allowable hours between August 3, 2020 and July 16, 2021.

FoodCorps has host sites across the country, and there are two based in northern Michigan. One is in Traverse City with MSU Extension and one is at the Groundwork Center Petoskey office. In both cases the service member(s) will collaborate with schools, food service staff, farmers and students to help …

­1. Learn why healthy food matters

2. Grow, cook and try new things

3. Eat healthy food every day

4. Build a foundation for a bright future

FoodCorps offers service positions in 18 states and cities, including communities throughout AZ, AR, CA, CT, DC metro area, GA, HI, IA, ME, MA, MI, MS, MT, NJ, NM, NYC, NC, and OR. To see a list of our State Partners, please visit FoodCorps Service Sites.

In Michigan, we currently serve in the following communities: Boyne Falls, Detroit, Ferndale, Flint, Muskegon, Pellston, Suttons Bay, and Traverse City. For a description of these sites, visit: FoodCorps Michigan Website . If applying for a Michigan placement, be sure to select the state as a preferred location on your application.

To be considered for a FoodCorps service member position, you must:

• Be 18 years or older by the start of your service term

• Be a legal, permanent resident of the United States

• Hold a high school diploma, GED or equivalent

Who Is FoodCorps

In order to successfully complete your term of service, you must, at a minimum, serve 1,700 allowable hours between August 3, 2020 and July 16, 2021.

FoodCorps is a nationwide team of AmeriCorps leaders that connects kids to real food and helps them grow up healthy. We do that by placing motivated leaders in limited-resource communities for a year of public service. Serving under the direction of local partner organizations, our service members focus on three areas of service:

· Hands-on learning: students grow, cook, and taste new foods, which builds their skills and changes food preferences

· Healthy school meals: the cafeteria experience steers students towards the healthiest options and gets them excited to try new healthy foods

· Schoolwide culture of health: as a whole, the school community and environment – from hallways to classrooms to cafeteria to grounds – celebrates healthy food. We measure our success in terms of changes in children, schools, and systems.

Who Is Groundwork Center and What is a Host Site?

The Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities (formerly known as the Michigan Land Use Institute) works to protect the environment, strengthen the economy, and build community. We raise awareness and support for cleaner energy, more local food, and expanded transportation choices. Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities' Food & Farming program was launched in 2002 to grow jobs, save farmland, and build healthier communities through a strong local food economy. While Groundwork is based in Traverse City, in 2017 we opened a satellite office in Petoskey in order to better serve the residents of the northern portion of our 10-county primary service area. Our service member(s) will work out of the Petoskey office with the Groundwork’s farm to school program, helping schools serve locally grown foods by connecting them to farms and related resources. Our service member(s) will also meet and collaborate with many other community organizations with which the Groundwork Center collaborates and will travel to schools in up to two rural school systems in two counties that share a diverse agricultural region.

FoodCorps Qualifications

  • Passion for building a healthier future for schoolchildren
  • Commitment to working hard in order to make a difference
  • Demonstrated leadership ability
  • Motivation to serve full-time in a limited resource community
  • Perseverance in the face of challenges and creativity in finding solutions
  • Respect for diversity of opinion, experience, and background
  • Experience working in or studying food systems, agriculture, public health, education, community organizing, or public service
  • Experience working or volunteering in education, youth development, or other teaching settings
  • Knowledge of the culture, history, and/or language of the communities we serve
  • Desire to gain hands-on experience for your career
  • Demonstrated ability or dedication to performing the activities listed below

Groundwork Center Qualifications:

  • Must have the ability to jump into a fast-paced school environment.
  • Must be able to relate well to youth, teachers, administrators, parents, other youth facilitators, and community partners.
  • Must be willing to attend wellness committee meetings, family nights, and other activities within the community.
  • Possess some knowledge of and experience with the food system and/or agriculture.
  • Must have excellent organizational and communication skills.
  • Must be reliable, accountable, and a team player.
  • Must have access to reliable transportation.
  • Passionate about strategic systems change, and interested in all of Groundwork’s programs.
  • Must have gardening experience.
  • Knowledge of indigenous history and culture is a bonus.

What You’ll Do

Service members work with schools, service site organizations and local communities to build healthy school food environments. They do this in a variety of ways:

  • Service members focus on teaching children in grades K-8 about food and nutrition in the classroom by developing and teaching lesson plans, integrating activities into subjects such as math, science and history, working with teachers and school administrators to increase food and nutrition education in curricula, and more.
  • Service members grow healthy food with students, teachers, and community members in school and community gardens, dynamic educational settings where kids can get their hands dirty and experience what they’re learning first-hand. While some service members expand/maintain already-existing school gardens, greenhouses, and hoop houses, others work to establish new gardens. Service members develop garden sustainability plans and recruit community volunteers to ensure that the projects they start last into the future.
  • Service members impact what's for lunch by sourcing food from local farms for cafeterias, promoting local foods through cafeteria taste tests, working with school food directors and staff to integrate healthier foods into breakfast, lunch and snack programs, and more.
  • Service members help build schoolwide cultures of health by working closely with teachers and school administrators, recruiting and training volunteers, organizing committees and running meetings, talking to press and public officials.
  • Service members spend time learning and participating in trainings, raising money to help support the local projects, and helping FoodCorps and schools assess the impact they are having.

What You’ll Gain

· $18,250 living stipend paid out in biweekly increments over your 11-month term

· $6,095 AmeriCorps Segal education award upon successful completion of your term of service, which can be used for additional schooling or to pay off student loans

· Student loan deferral or forbearance upon approval from your lender

· Health insurance if you aren't already covered

· If you have children, you might be eligible for childcare reimbursements

· Numerous training and professional development opportunities

· The experience of a lifetime!

For More Information

Contact FoodCorps Michigan Program Coordinator Ana Cristina Cujar -

Apply Today!

Video: FoodCorps Service Member Casey Haggerty Shares the Why

Why I serve in FoodCorps! Casey Haggerty, Groundwork-sponsored FoodCorps Service Member, shares her reasons for serving in FoodCorps in this video she made to apply for the second year of her service term.