• Hunger Action Corps: Health Program Specialist

    Internship Locations US-IL-Chicago
    # of Openings
  • Overview

    Position purpose:
    Food insecurity and adverse health outcomes often go hand-in-hand.  According to Feeding America’s Hunger In America 2014 study, the Food Depository learned that 60% of the households we serve include someone with high blood pressure, 35% include someone with diabetes, and 73% of clients knowingly purchase inexpensive, unhealthy food to make ends meet.  In response to this need, the Food Depository aimed to create programming that builds a bridge between preventive health care, nutrition education, and quality food.  In partnership with area hospitals, health centers and health systems, the Food Depository is working to implement a two question screening to identify patients as food insecure.  Patients who screen positive receive referrals for SNAP benefit assistance, local food pantry referrals, and a voucher to access food and fresh produce in the clinical setting. One of these responses, the FRESH Truck, is part of an innovative partnership with community healthcare providers offering fresh produce for food insecure patients at community health centers throughout Cook County. 


    Duties & responsibilities:
    Two half-time (18-24 hours per week) Hunger Action Corps members will work alongside the Food Depository’s Health & Nutrition Team to support food interventions in a healthcare setting, execute nutrition education programming at healthcare partner sites, and provide healthy food to those experiencing food insecurity.  The AmeriCorps members will collaborate with a team of three AmeriCorps VISTAs to carry out healthcare center food distributions on the front lines. 

    • Develop an in-depth knowledge of the Food Depository’s health programs and stay up-to-date on developing partnerships between health systems, health organizations, and the Food Depository
    • Oversee the logistics of food interventions in a healthcare setting
    • Manage volunteers at food distributions: assign volunteer roles, support volunteers throughout distributions, share distribution stats totals at the conclusion of volunteer shifts
    • Plan and execute the set-up, distribution, and tear-down at each site
    • Ensure efficient distribution of product to health system partners


    Qualifications & competencies:

    • Some college experience preferred, or 2+ years of relevant experience in social services, community outreach, project management or volunteer management
    • Bilingual (Spanish) preferred
    • Strong interpersonal & customer service skills required, with an ability to communicate clearly and diplomatically in both written and oral communications
    • Proven commitment to volunteerism and passion for engaging the public in service
    • Strong problem-solving skills required, with an ability to think creatively to resolve issues and adapt to changing environments
    • Good organizational abilities and ability to multitask required
    • Must be friendly and outgoing
    • Members must have access to a working vehicle and valid insurance, as regular travel throughout Cook County is required


    Working conditions:

    • This role requires frequent travel done in a personal vehicle (travel expenses are reimbursable): approximately 75% of a member’s time will be spent in the field, and 25% of their time will take place in the office. Members must be comfortable traveling to rising communities throughout Cook County.
    • Members will be subject to outside environmental conditions: Fresh Truck distributions occur outdoors year-round.
    • Members will serve part-time (18-24 hours per week, not including meal/break times).
    • The role requires a flexible schedule designed around health center distributions – schedules will be provided several weeks ahead of time.
    • Members may occasionally interact with individuals who are experiencing mental illness.
    • Members may be exposed to infectious disease due to client contact in healthcare settings.


    Physical requirements:

    The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by Hunger Action Corps members to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.  All duties and responsibilities are essential job functions and are subject to possible modification to reasonably accommodate individuals with disabilities. To perform this job successfully, the candidates will possess the skills, aptitudes, and abilities to perform each duty proficiently.


    • Physical Activity:
      • Manual dexterity to use computer, mouse, telephone, and other standard office equipment.
      • Medium work: exerting up to 50 pounds of force occasionally, and/or up to 20 pounds of force frequently, and/or up to 10 pounds of force constantly to move objects.
    • Visual:
      • Close visual acuity (with correction) to read needed work documents, papers, and computer terminal.
      • Visual acuity (with correction) to operate a motor vehicle for the purpose of site visits.
    • Other:
      • Verbal skills – member must be able to communicate with others in person and over the phone.


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