Food Justice VISTA

START/END DATE: 4/8/2024 - 3/7/2025

PROGRAM OVERVIEW:

**UWKC AmeriCorps members must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to the first day of service.**  

United Way of King County’s vision is to build a community where people have homes, students graduate, and families are financially stable. As part of our work to end poverty, we are committed to ensuring that children, particularly children of color, have access to healthy food in the places where they live, learn, and play.

Everyone deserves access to nutritious and culturally relevant food, but during the COVID-19 pandemic, local experts estimate that hunger in our community tripled. Low-income families and families of color were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and are experiencing hunger at unprecedented rates. United Way is working to support an equitable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic in our community, by developing and scaling high-impact strategies to reduce food insecurity. As an AmeriCoprs VISTA member, you will  support projects that fight poverty by increasing the sustainability of the emergency food distributions that began during the COVID-19 pandemic, which have primarily supported low-income and BIPOC individuals.

The Food Security AmeriCorps VISTA team is a dynamic cohort of direct service AmeriCorps members working in partnership with United Way staff, AmeriCorps HungerCorps members, school districts, and community-based organizations to connect families with the food they need. As a VISTA member, you will serve indirectly with United Way’s Food Security Team or with partner organizations across South King County –food banks, collectives, and community organizations – all who prioritize increasing food justice and food security in our community.

MEMBER ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Develop marketing materials and an outreach strategy to support agency in reaching new clients, with a particular focus on BIPOC individuals and households with children under 18
  • Build and sustain relationships with community members experiencing food insecurity and connect households to the appropriate community resources, including Basic Food and school meals.
  • Provide technical assistance and capacity building support to community organizations including material and toolkit development
  • Develop systems to collect stories highlighting local successes in connecting families to food resources
  • Support organization in developing additional partnerships to sustain and/or expand food security efforts.
  • Manage confidential client data and track ongoing food security interventions
  • Develop volunteer recruitment practices to support assigned agency’s direct service activities.

Position Length: 1200 hours

Benefits & Compensation:

  • Bi-weekly stipend of $1,117.06 (pre-tax)
  • $7,395 Education Award
  • Loan deferment and payment of interest accrued during service year on qualified student loans (loans must be federally-backed; personal/private loans not eligible)
  • Noncompetitive eligibility for federal jobs for up to one year after completing service
  • Health benefits that meet the minimum standards of ACA compliance
  • Childcare assistance
  • 10 days sick leave, 10 days personal leave plus 11 federal holidays
  • Enrollment in an assistance program with 24-hour access to phone counseling
  • Access to emergency assistance program to mitigate unforeseen financial emergencies that put your continued participation in AmeriCorps service at risk
  • Monthly team meetings, high-quality training, professional development, and networking opportunities
  • Lifelong friends and colleagues who are passionate about service!

Professional Development Benefits:

  • Robust professional development to support your personal, professional, and service goals and growth
  • Skills to be gained include but not limited to: Interpersonal and Intercultural communication, community outreach, adaptability, relationship building, conflict management, customer service, resource navigation, data entry, knowledge of WA public benefits, knowledge of inner workings of non-profits and community college systems
  • Career development trainings provided by UWKC AmeriCorps team
  • Previous trainings include: How to Network, Resume Workshops, Mock Interviews, How to make your LinkedIn Profile Shine
  • Networking opportunities within United Way and Community Partners

As a member of this cohort, you will be supported with a robust orientation, ongoing professional development opportunities, training, check-ins, and the tools and resources you need to succeed.

What We’re Looking For:

  • Hunger and poverty disproportionately affect people who identify with multiple intersections of marginality—including people that identify as Black, Native, POC, queer, trans, disabled, first generation, etc. We believe that these communities must be centered in the work we do. Hence, we strongly encourage those that identify with these communities to apply
  • Understanding of systemic racism and commitment to anti-racist work to ensure outputs are relevant and accessible to community members
  • Flexibility and quick problem-solving skills to balance the variety of service activities and any potential shift in program priorities
  • Experience working on multiple projects at once and ability to self-manage
  • Ability to communicate clearly with staff members, partners, and AmeriCorps members
  • Ability to build and maintain collaborative relationships with team, partners, and community members.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills including public speaking skills

AmeriCorps Program Eligibility:

  • Must be over 18 years old on the first day of service
  • Must be a U.S. citizen, national, or legal permanent resident of the United States. Unfortunately, F1 visas are not sufficient.
  • Must be available 40 hours per week. Exact hours may vary by site placement, but will primarily be Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Must undergo a Washington State Patrol background check, FBI background check and National Sex Offender Registry Check, plus state of residence background check if not currently living in Washington
  • High school diploma/GED
  • Per United Way of King County Policy, AmeriCorps members must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the first day of service. Being fully vaccinated means that an individual is at least two weeks past their final dose of an authorized COVID-19 vaccine regimen. If you are a selected candidate, you will be required to provide proof of vaccination. Please reach out to unitedwayamericorps@uwkc.org if you need information on medical or religious accommodation.

Please note that United Way of King County has moved to remote and limited in-person operations. As such, be prepared to participate in interviews remotely and to complete service responsibilities in a hybrid environment (in-person and remote) should we move forward with your candidacy. If technology presents a barrier to applying, interviewing, or accepting the position, please reach out to unitedwayamericorps@uwkc.org for accommodations.

Additionally, per United Way and public health guidance, all AmeriCorps members must be able to transition from working hybrid to commuting to their site to serve 40 hrs. per week at any time during their service year. Service schedules will be based on your service site’s needs.

To Apply: Create an application on My AmeriCorps Portal or click here: https://my.americorps.gov/mp/listing/viewListing.do?fromSearch=true&id=121483

  • No resume or cover letter is required.
  • The application process moves quickly, please expect a response within 1-2 days.
  • Please contact unitedwayamericorps@uwkc.org with any questions.