Food Literacy Instructor AmeriCorps Service Member
Full-time Positions (10 total)
- APPLICATION DEADLINE: 5 pm, October 10, 2016
- Service Dates: September 12, 2016 to July 15, 2017
- Service Term: One-year commitment (Two year eligibility)
- Hours: 40 hours/week, generally Monday through Friday
- Location: Sacramento, California
Join the Corps
Want to be a Food Genius? We’re looking for dynamic change-makers ready to roll up their sleeves, throw on a vegetable costume, and inspire kids to eat their vegetables! AmeriCorps members will become certified Food Geniuses while working hands-on to teach cooking and taste vegetables with elementary school kids.
We’re looking for energetic folks with a positive attitude and a can-do spirit. We want team players who can also independently problem-solve. Most of all, we’re looking for dynamic, bright people who are ready to dedicate two years of their lives to advancing food literacy education in under-served, low-resource public schools.
Food Literacy Center seeks candidates to fill 10 full-time (average 40 hours/week) AmeriCorps positions. This is a 10-month appointment with a 1,700 hour (full-time) commitment each service term. The position will begin September 12, 2016 and end July 15, 2017.
About Food Literacy Center
Food Literacy Center is a largely volunteer-run agency in a period of high growth and expansion throughout the Sacramento region. We believe food education should be fun. We teach kids to love foods that are good for them—and good for the planet.
Food Literacy Center was founded in July 2011 to fill a critical gap: help children improve their knowledge, attitude, and behavior towards fruits and vegetables through community food education. We teach food literacy education to over 5,000 low-income K-6th graders annually, teaching them to cook, about nutrition and where their food comes from. We work in after-school programs to accomplish this work.
Our mission is to inspire kids to eat their vegetables. We teach low-income elementary children cooking and nutrition to improve our health, economy and environment. Our vision is to ensure every child has access to food literacy education.
Teaching children with our curriculum Your Sandwich Can Save the World! is our primary objective. We help kids develop healthy food habits while they are young, creating healthy lifestyles that will last a lifetime.
AmeriCorps is an 10-month national service commitment that meets a community’s critical needs in education, public safety, health, and the environment. Food Literacy Center partners with AmeriCorps to provide full-time service opportunities in Sacramento supporting communities’ critical needs in food literacy education. Food Literacy Center AmeriCorps members dedicate 1,700 hours of service per term in exchange for leadership and career development, a living stipend, and health care benefits supported by our AmeriCorps grant. AmeriCorps is an exciting opportunity for service-minded individuals who are passionate about education and the nonprofit sector. For more information, please visit www.americorps.gov.
About the Position
Food Literacy Center serves low-income public K-6 schools in Sacramento, California. As a service member, you will serve a one-year term and be trained as a certified Food Genius instructor to teach hands-on food literacy classes to students in grades K-6. Sacramento public school district is a large, ethnically diverse district, with a high percentage of low-income children and many English-language learners. Corps members must be committed to social justice and have cultivated cultural competence and humility. In addition, some students in these schools speak a variety of languages, including Spanish, Hmong, Cantonese, Mandarin, or Korean, as well as in English.
Good judgement: The candidate knows what decisions to make on their own, and which ones to bring to team leadership. They learn our goals and help stay on course to achieve them.
Interpersonal skills: The candidate has excellent communication skills, both written and verbal, and can engage with volunteers, staff and teammates in a positive way, building lasting relationships. The candidate is a positive leader and can inspire volunteers to work towards our mission with our team.
Entrepreneurial attitude: A “go-getter,” the candidate anticipates challenges and can foresee outcomes. The candidate is creative and thinks outside of the box.
Team attitude: The candidate doesn’t watch the clock and is always ready to push our programs to the next level, pitch in when the team needs help, and recruit and delegate to volunteers to fill in.
Results-Focused: The candidate accepts responsibility, prioritizes tasks, and takes initiative on tasks.
Flexible: The candidate “goes with the flow” and can change track regularly according to the needs of the day.
Fun: The candidate is friendly, outgoing, and has a sense of good humor. The candidate never forgets that the objective is to make learning about food FUN!
Attention to Detail: The candidate lives up to the high standard the community expects from our nonprofit, showing attention to detail. Typos annoy this candidate and a polished product makes them feel proud.
Mission-Driven & Genuine: The candidate understands that this is a start-up, grassroots nonprofit and is willing to go the extra mile to meet the needs of the mission, always with an eye on the reason we’re here: to teach food literacy to kids.
AmeriCorps Member Commitment
- Commitment to serve a minimum of 1,700 hours over an 10-month term
- Commitment to serve for two years
- Participation in a minimum of 2 National Days of Service
- Active participation in ongoing meetings and professional development with Food Literacy Center’s corps member team
Food Literacy Center’s AmeriCorps Members will be responsible for teaching weekly food literacy classes to students in after-school programs at elementary schools throughout the Sacramento area. Tuesdays through Thursdays are dedicated to teaching in kitchen classrooms. Mondays and Fridays will be reserved for program preparation, training, and professional development. Duties include:
- Co-teaching hands-on food literacy cooking classes to elementary students
- Preparing and packing program boxes with materials and supplies to deliver lessons
- Procuring produce and supplies for weekly lessons
- Inventory management of program supplies and equipment
- Evaluation data collection and reporting
- Complete documentation of service activities as required
- Attend ongoing training
- Recruit, train and support community volunteers to support classroom programs
Eligibility & Qualifications
Service members must:
- Pass state criminal and FBI background checks
- Be negative for tuberculosis
- Be able and willing to commit to the one-year service term
- Be able to lift 30 lbs. or more
- Must be at least 18 years of age or older and have a high school diploma or GED
- Must be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident
- Reliable transportation and possession of a valid Driver’s License
- A commitment to Food Literacy Center’s mission and vision
- A commitment to food systems and social justice
- Basic cooking skills (Home cooking is OK!)
- Understanding or familiarity with local food, food systems and nutrition
- The ability to thrive in an environment characterized by significant growth, ambiguity, and constant change
- The ability to juggle many tasks at once and quickly shift from one situation or task to another
- Strong organizational skills and attention to detail
- Strong interpersonal, written, and verbal communication skills
- Comfort speaking in front of students and working with groups
- Ability to be responsive to email, phone calls, and other means of communication
- Bachelor’s Degree
- Experience in education, nutrition, environmental science, or agriculture
- Experience prioritizing and managing projects
- Experience recruiting and managing volunteers
- Experience working with children and adults from diverse backgrounds
- Experience teaching and working with groups of students (especially ages 5-12)
- Volunteer or paid experience with socially, economically, and/or ethnically diverse populations
- Experience working with food service in schools, restaurants, or other institutions
- Competency in Spanish or Hmong is a plus, but not required
About Sacramento, California
Sacramento has one of the most vibrant food movements in the nation, and sits at a vital farm-to-fork crossroads. Here, collaboration occurs among leaders across our food system from large and small scale agriculture to chefs to school systems and nonprofits to university experts and legislators. In 2012, chefs and restaurants worked on a resolution with the City of Sacramento and the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau to declare Sacramento the Farm-to-Fork Capital of America—a celebration of local, seasonal food, and an identity that the citizens have embraced.
A few other advantages of being in Sacramento:
- Our region leads the nation in farmers markets and roadside farm stands, with over 40 farmers markets and the largest California Certified Farmers’ Market in the state.
- Some of the world’s most renowned food writers got their start here or currently live here, including James Beard Award-winners Hank Shaw, Elaine Corn, Georgeanne Brennan and Deborah Madison.
- While other cities have shuttered their newspaper food sections, our local newspaper has not one—but two—dedicated food sections, and even the local business journal has a dedicated food beat.
- Sacramento’s culinary scene delights! Our year-round farmers markets allow for fresh meals sourced directly from more than 1.4 million acres of regional farmland. This food inspires top Zagat-rated, Four Diamond chefs. There are more restaurants with high Zagat ratings in Sacramento than anywhere else in Northern California.
- Due to California’s influence on the rest of the nation, leaders like Sam Kass, Dr. Oz, Dan Barber, Jamie Oliver, Alice Waters and others have visited our state capital because they understand the importance of connecting with our region’s thought leaders. California is the 8th largest economy in the world, and Sacramento is the capital. What happens in California often has ripple effects across the country.
This position is part of the AmeriCorps service program. As an AmeriCorps member, you will serve your community through Food Literacy Center and receive a modest living stipend of $13,000 for the full, completed 10-month term, as well as health benefits. Eligible AmeriCorps members may qualify for child care expenses. For more information, please visit https://www.americorpschildcare.com/
Additionally, at the successful completion of your service term, you may be eligible for an education award of approximately $5,775.00 to be used for college, trade school, or other educational expenses, including qualified federal loans. (Education awards are only granted twice for serving two AmeriCorps terms. If you have served and received an education award twice, you are not eligible for a third education award.) During your service in AmeriCorps, you may also be eligible for forbearance on outstanding federal student loans. For more information, please visit http://www.nationalservice.gov/programs/americorps/alumni/segal-americorps-education-award.
How to Apply
To apply, you must create a profile on the My AmeriCorps Portal and complete the application to serve. Applications not registered through the My AmeriCorps Portal will not be considered. Be sure to periodically save your application as you move through the portal so that you don’t lose any information. We are hiring 10 full-time and 20 part-time positions. Applicants are welcomed and encouraged to apply for both the full-time and part-time positions. Please note you have to submit a separate application for each position.
We strive for a service corps that reflects the diversity of the students and communities we serve. We strongly encourage applications from people of color and other underrepresented populations in the public education system.