Overview of AmeriCorps:
AmeriCorps provides opportunities for Americans to make an intensive commitment to community service through a network of local, state, and national service programs. Each year AmeriCorps engages more than 80,000 Americans in service. Since the program’s founding in 1994, over 1 million AmeriCorps members have contributed more than 1.2 billion hours. AmeriCorps members serve through more than 3,000 nonprofits, public agencies, and faith-based and other community organizations, helping meet critical needs in education, public safety, health, and the environment.
Greater Chicago Food Depository-AmeriCorps State and National:
AmeriCorps members receive a modest living allowance during their year of service (11 months). After successful completion of their term of service (1700 hours), AmeriCorps members earn a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award in the amount of $5,815.00 to be used to pay for college or graduate school at Title IV schools, or to repay qualified student loans. Fulltime AmeriCorps members also receive health care benefits, child care assistance, student loan forbearance, professional development and training. With 78 members serving since 2009, candidates join a network of individuals committed to National Service and the Greater Chicago Food Depository.
Volunteer Outreach and Programs Coordinator:
In Cook County, 812,000 men, women and children rely on the Food Depository’s network of 700 community programs. Volunteers are vital to supporting the Food Depository’s mission of “providing food for hungry people while striving to end hunger in our community.” From helping repackage food to distributing food to those in need, volunteers make the Food Depository’s impact in Cook County possible.
One full-time AmeriCorps member will serve alongside the Volunteer Services team at the Food Depository to enhance volunteer engagement. The Food Depository currently hosts eight structured volunteer sessions in our warehouse each week, bringing thousands of volunteers through our doors each month. In addition to in-house volunteer sessions, volunteers play a critical role in distributions throughout Cook County’s communities, at biannual produce harvests, and at food rescues at the close of food industry trade shows. Over the course of FY16, the Food Depository received the support of over 23,000 unduplicated volunteers.
The AmeriCorps member serving in this capacity will play a vital role in allowing the Food Depository to bring repack sessions out of the GCFD warehouse and into the heart of downtown Chicago during the holiday season, which will expand volunteer opportunities and ensure quicker turnaround of food drive donations. The member in this role will also support our newly developed youth-based engagement series, which focuses on the three key components of the Food Depository’s 2020 strategic plan entitled Nourish: Food, Community, and Voice. The AmeriCorps member’s final project is to use our volunteer tracking database to analyze the demographics of current volunteer groups and develop proposals on how to expand outreach to increase volunteer engagement.