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Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Opportunity: FoodCorps Food Education Service in Petoskey, MI


Groundwork is seeking one Food Education FoodCorps service member for August 8, 2022 – July 7, 2023.

The application portal for 2022-2023 FoodCorps AmeriCorps Service Members is open through March 31. Members for the program year must, at a minimum, serve 1,700 allowable hours between August 8, 2022 – July 7, 2023. 

FoodCorps has host sites across the country. The Groundwork service site is at the Groundwork Center Petoskey office. As a service member, you'll implement FoodCorps' evidence-based strategies to help schools in Emmet and Charlevoix counties become healthier places to grow and learn. The majority of a service member's time is spent teaching in the classroom and garden, and the amount you are spending on each of the below activities will vary. You will lead hands-on lessons, influence healthy school meals, and build a schoolwide culture of health.

The service members will collaborate with schools, food service staff, farmers and students to help them … 

  •     Learn why healthy food matters
  •     Grow, cook and try new things
  •     Eat healthy food every day
  •     Build a foundation for a bright future

Serving as an AmeriCorps member with FoodCorps is a full-time, 11½ - month commitment. The 1,700 hours you will serve August to July will take place mostly during school and business hours, but evenings and weekends are occasionally required. You'll also join us in Portland, Oregon, in early August for a weeklong orientation (don't worry, we'll cover the costs).

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

  • Be 18 years or older by the start of service 
  • Be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or lawful permanent resident of the United States
  • Hold a high school diploma, GED or equivalent

We are seeking a FoodCorps AmeriCorps Service Member with the following qualifications:

  • Experience teaching or working with groups of kids
  • Experience gardening and/or farming, community organizing, studying food systems or agriculture, or working in public health
  • Commitment to public service
  • Connection to and/or knowledge of the community you want to serve
  • Understanding of our mission and scope (school food, farm to school, race & class in the food system)
  • Potential to benefit from a year of serving with FoodCorps

Additionally, Groundwork requires that candidates:

  •  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.

Contact Jen Schaap at Groundwork for more information on serving out of the Petoskey office.

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

FoodCorps offers you a unique and transformative service experience. You'll make a measurable difference in the lives of your students, while gaining professional skills and becoming part of a network of changemakers that will continue to grow beyond your time with FoodCorps.

As an AmeriCorps service member with FoodCorps, you will be eligible to receive:

  • Up to $22,000 living stipend: paid bi-weekly
  • $6,495 AmeriCorps Segal Education Award, upon successful completion of your first (or second) term of service:for future schooling or repay qualified student loans. Learn more here.
  • Student loan forbearance: Learn more here.
  • Health insurance: Basic health, vision and dental coverage. Learn more here.
  • Partial childcare reimbursements: Learn more here.
  • Numerous training and professional development opportunities
  • The experience of a lifetime!

You may also be eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps, based on your total income.

FoodCorps also offers a limited amount of need-based funding to help minimize the cost of housing expenses as you transition to service. We know that the beginning of a FoodCorps service term can be challenging enough without the added worry of maintaining or obtaining safe and secure housing with limited funds. Our need-based housing assistance grants are intended to make this opportunity accessible to more people and to alleviate some of the personal stress that can come with beginning a new term of service. That said, we are working with a very limited amount of funds and cannot guarantee that you will be awarded a grant if you submit an application.

Learn more about the FoodCorps service opportunities, including links to application website.

*My working hours may not be your working hours. Please do not feel the need to respond outside of your working hours.*
JEN SCHAAP  |  Local Food Policy Specialist
Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities

P    231-941-6584 x708
A  313 Howard St, Unit B  |  Petoskey, MI 49770

pronouns: she/her/hers

The Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities is a Traverse City based non-profit. Our work is member-funded and community-driven. Protect what you love. Become a member of Groundwork today.
MIFARMTOSCHOOL is a listserv that links farm-to-school stakeholders and practitioners in Michigan, from school food service directors and school administrators to growers and distributors. Content posted to MIFARMTOSCHOOL does not necessarily reflect the views of Michigan State University or the Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems.

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