Currently in Cook County, one in six children are food insecure, not knowing when or from where their next meal will come. Childhood food insecurity is linked to increased hospitalization and obesity, and children experiencing hunger are more likely to experience serious short- and long-term health issues into adulthood. They also often have trouble learning and are more prone to behavioral and emotional problems. Research indicates that even mild under-nutrition experienced by children during critical periods of growth may impair brain development. Because hunger and academic performance are closely linked, the Food Depository strives to provide every child in Cook County with access to the nutrient-rich foods necessary to thrive and achieve success both inside and outside of the classroom. In particular, the organization focuses on ensuring all children have access to breakfast as they begin the school day.
Two VISTA fellows will establish and cultivate partnerships with schools, teachers, administrators, parents and the community on the promotion of Breakfast After the Bell for children through the National School Breakfast Program. Additionally, VISTAs will support schools that currently have Breakfast After the Bell to maximize program efficiency.
The Food Depository’s Hunger Action Corps program engages and cultivates social justice leaders who want to gain experience fighting hunger. Through a combination of service, experiential learning and formal training opportunities, Hunger Action Corps members make a difference in the lives of Cook County residents while gaining valuable skills that will transform their own.
Since 2009, 90 AmeriCorps members have supported Food Depository programs that connect food insecure individuals to vital programs with the vision of creating stronger, healthier communities. In that time, Corps members have also enhanced their skills to become the next generation of social justice leaders.
Throughout their service term, VISTAs receive a modest living allowance of $14,196 (paid bi-weekly). Upon successful completion of their term of service, AmeriCorps VISTA members have an option to receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award ($5,920) or an end of service stipend ($1,800). AmeriCorps VISTAs may also be eligible for health benefits, child care assistance, and student loan forbearance.
Please click on the following link to apply for this opportunity: AmeriCorps VISTA - Breakfast Outreach Coordinator