Food insecurity, having limited or inconsistent access to quality nutritious foods, reaches every corner of Cook County and is associated with a host of adverse and costly health outcomes for men, women, and children. Specifically, food insecurity is linked to diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, depression, increased hospital visits and increased health care costs. Access to nutritious food, particularly fresh produce, is critical to treatment and recovery from illness in addition to preventing health problems. Many communities served by the Greater Chicago Food Depository and its member agencies report high incidences of diabetes (35 percent), obesity, and high blood pressure (60 percent) -- conditions associated with poor-quality nutrition. AmeriCorps VISTAs working in the health and nutrition role will help Food Depository partners begin to address these community health challenges.
Three VISTA fellows will work with staff at health clinics to expand their capacity to provide food resources and deliver nutrition education to patients experiencing food insecurity. Additionally, VISTAs will help the Food Depository develop the organization’s strategy to deliver nutrition education to clients who visit the network of food programs throughout Cook County to help them make healthier choices and cook delicious, affordable meals.
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, over 100 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.
Candidates who are interested in this role must apply through the AmeriCorps recruitment system.
Please click on the following link to apply: AmeriCorps VISTA: Health & Nutrition Coordinator