vista job

Appalachian Mountain Advocates is recruiting for a VISTA position that begins May 2014.

VISTA volunteer position: Supporting sustainable farming in Greenbrier Valley, WV

Appalachian Mountain Advocates is a non-profit organization based in Lewisburg, West Virginia. Its mission is to protect the natural resources of central Appalachia and promote a sustainable economy in the region. Its local agriculture project, and its home base of Montwell Park, seek to foster sustainable economic opportunity and poverty reduction in the Greenbrier Valley through a variety of programs.

The VISTA volunteer will be responsible for initiatives that help increase low-income community members’ access to local foods and that increase demand for local farm products. Responsibilities will include:
-Staff “SNAP Up Local Foods” – a partnership of 3 regional farmers markets to increase use of federal nutrition benefits at the markets and to provide (pending funding) a matching coupon that doubles the customers’ SNAP, senior, and WIC values. There are opportunities here and in other projects to develop and carry out educational outreach.
-Design and implement a pilot program that engages volunteers to connect home gardens and food banks to deliver home-grown produce to families in need.
-Assist in planning for a new farmers market building in Lewisburg (e.g. organizing meetings of farmers and community members).
-Help coordinate with local farmers to procure produce for The Spring, a not-for-profit farm-to-table restaurant and canning kitchen, as well as assist in the canning kitchen.

There is opportunity for the VISTA volunteer to develop small new projects as well. This is a dynamic and new initiative, and we are looking for someone who wants to help build it.

Desired qualifications: Excellent verbal and written communication skills; Self-starter who can work well independently and collaboratively. Background in agriculture or sustainability issues a plus.

About the AmeriCorps*VISTA Program: AmeriCorps*VISTA is the national service program designed to specifically fight poverty. Members commit to serve one year fulltime in the program where you will work alongside local non profit leaders working to bring about sustainable change to bring people out of poverty. While you are building capacity with community members you will be expanding your skills in community development, advocacy, and program management.

Members receive a living allowance, health benefits, training, and a college education award on the completion of their year of service.

To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to Laura Bozzi, by March 18.

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