AmeriCorps VISTA Position: Food and Environmental Outreach VISTA
The Food and Farm VISTA will support and expand the St. Louis Food Policy Coalition’s (STLFPC) reach into low-income communities and work to increase these communities’ access to healthy, locally grown food from environmentally-responsible farmers.
1. Work with the Food and Farm Director and other STLFPC members to carry out projects that support increasing food access in low-income communities.
2. Implement strategies with Food & Farm Director and other stakeholders to increase access to land for food production for the region’s most food insecure.
3. Work with STLFPC members to expand awareness of environmentally-responsible farmers in the region and where their products can be purchased by people of all income levels.
4. Support the work of the STLFPC by assisting MCE’s Food & Farm Team and work group members in various capacities, including administrative support for STLFPC and regular communication with STLFPC members.
5. Provide support to the Food Justice Organizer in their community outreach efforts.
Background in food studies, public health, environmental studies, social work, or related field
Excellent organizational skills with a track record of excellent time management
Strong written and verbal communication skills, including professional communication with colleagues and allies and communication to new audiences about the work of MCE and STLFPC
Understanding of social inequality and/or interest to learn
Ability to work independently as well as a team
Action-oriented and illustrated commitment to the success
Experience with Google Drive, Microsoft Office, Adobe, Constant Contact, and Wordpress
Experience with social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
Experience with planning and executing fundraising events
This is an AmeriCorps VISTA position that requires 40 hours/week, and is compensated by a VISTA living allowance. Click here for more information on becoming an AmeriCorps VISTA. Position is one‑year term, requires use of a personal laptop, and will start in September. Applications will be accepted until position is filled. Click here to apply for this position on the VISTA platform.
Food Justice Organizer
To educate, organize, and advocate in defense of Missouri's people and their environment.
The Missouri Coalition for the Environment (MCE) is Missouri’s independent citizens' environmental organization for clean water, clean air, clean energy, and a healthy environment.
MCE began its work in 1969 in St. Louis as the region’s first independent citizens’ group created to address a broad range of environmental policy issues. Today, we work to enforce the laws that protect our public land and natural resources, and advocate for change at all levels of government for the protection of environmental and public health.
MCE convenes the St. Louis Food Policy Coalition. The coalition works toward a thriving local food economy in the Greater St. Louis area where everyone has access to affordable, healthy food from local producers who are stewards of our soil, air, and water resources. Members of the coalition represent 30 organizations in health, nutrition, urban agriculture, sustainable agriculture, community development, and the environment.
This is a full-time, grant funded position that will be re-evaluated at the end of a one-year cycle.
The Food Justice Organizer plays a critical role in the implementation of the St. Louis Food Policy Coalition, which is convened and coordinated by Missouri Coalition for the Environment (MCE). The Organizer is responsible for 1) coordinating residents and local community groups to advance community goals around local food and 2) supporting the Food Policy Coalition by developing a Food Equity Advisory Board composed of community members. The Organizer reports to the Food and Farm Director and supports both the Director and the Local Food Coordinator.
The Food Justice Organizer will be trained in grassroots organizing and be provided with the tools necessary to continue and expand the work of the Food Policy Coalition in engaging local communities. The Food Equity Advisory Board has been identified as a critical component of the Coalition to ensure a strong foundation of community input and investment. Current Coalition members generally represent organizations and businesses and meet during the work day. The Advisory Board will be designed to suit the needs of the community and their recommendations will be reflected in the goals and priorities of the Coalition.
The Food Justice Organizer will continue to engage in the following four communities where Coalition already has a presence: 27th Ward in the City of St. Louis, the City of Berkeley, unincorporated community of North St. Louis County, and the Gravois/Jefferson neighborhood in South St. Louis City. The Organizer will also explore other opportunities to engage additional communities based on need and other relevant factors. Within these communities the Organizer will work with local leaders to design community goals around local food and connect local communities to the work of the Coalition.
The Organizer will support the Food and Farm Director and the Local Food Coordinator in the coordination of full Coalition meetings and Coalition work group meetings. The work groups bring together stakeholders committed to improving healthy food access and connecting local farms to St. Louis markets. The Organizer will be responsible for connecting the work of the food access work group to the local community groups, specifically shaping action agendas based on community input and needs as identified by the community.
1. Meeting on a regular basis with community leaders in the four participating community groups to establish collective goals to advance local healthy food options. Collective goals may include raising awareness of local food options, developing advocacy strategies to bring higher quality food to local grocery stores, developing a community garden, and engaging elected officials on nutrition assistance programs.
2. Serving as a conduit for sharing Coalition resources with community members, such as cooking classes from MU Extension, gardening workshops from Gateway Greening, workforce development in food system jobs through HOSCO and the North City Food Hub, and the hours of operation of the St. Louis MetroMarket and United People Market.
3. Recruiting community members for a new Food Equity Advisory Board to inform the work of the St. Louis Food Policy Coalition and, with the help of the Food and Farm Director, coordinating the Advisory Board by facilitating the development of a values statement and a process for the inclusion and influence of the Advisory Board in Coalition decision-making.
4. Meeting regularly with the Food and Farm Director and the Local Food Coordinator to determine action plans and evaluate progress.
Candidates should have a basic understanding of:
The connection between sustainability, hunger, health, equity, and nutrition
The health and resource disparities seen throughout the St. Louis region
Health benefits of consuming fresh produce
Health effects of organic versus conventional farming methods
Successful candidates will have the following skills and qualities:
Good written and oral communication skills
Demonstrated ability and effectiveness working in a team
Valid driver’s license, satisfactory driving record, and proof of auto insurance required
Experience with basic computer programs, such as MS Office and social media applications
Self-directed and organized to develop and carry out a work plan
Flexible to adjust to changing circumstances and schedules
Highly motivated to work with local community groups around local food issues
Annual salary of $36,000
Deadline to Apply