FoodCorps is currently recruiting service members throughout Hawaii who are passionate about teaching children what healthy food is, where it comes from, and expanding hands-on nutrition education programs.
The deadline to apply for the 2015–2016 school year is March 31.
FoodCorps is a national organization addressing childhood obesity and food insecurity in underserved communities, and currently operates in 16 states and the District of Columbia. Through its partnership with AmeriCorps, FoodCorps recruits, trains, and places emerging leaders, known as service members, into limited-resource communities for a year of service.
Hawaii was added to the roster of states FoodCorps serves in 2013, with Hawaii Island-based nonprofit The Kohala Center serving as the state’s host site.
Applications are currently being accepted for positions nationwide for the 2015–2016 academic year, including several in Hawaii. Applicants must be 18 years or older by the start of service and hold a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent. Hawaii residents are especially encouraged to apply.
The service member application and additional information are available online at foodcorps.org/become-a-service….
Service members dedicate 11 months of full-time (35.5 hours on average per week) public service in select public schools, charter schools, and non-profit organizations, known as service sites.
They each receive a $17,500 stipend; basic health, vision, and dental insurance; potential student loan forbearance; and partial childcare reimbursements. Those who complete their 1,700 hours of service receive a $5,730 education award, which may be used to pay tuition or repay qualified student loans.
All service members receive two national trainings, mentoring from food system leaders, as well as local and online training on topics related to food, farming, nutrition, cooking, and public health.
To expand the connection between hands-on learning and core curriculum, service members work with teachers to integrate a series of food and nutrition activity lessons into classes as diverse as health, math, English, and science. FoodCorps service members grow healthy food with students, teachers, and community members in school and community gardens, connecting children with their food and the aina (land, earth).
They also assist in building relationships between the islands’ farms and local schools in an effort to increase children’s access to healthy food in school cafeterias.
Service members selected for the program must be motivated to serve full-time in a limited resource community, and should have experience working or studying food systems, agriculture, public health, education, community organizing or public service.
For FoodCorps positions in Hawaii, candidates must “demonstrate an appreciation of local culture, values, and history; dedication and commitment to just and peaceful communities; a sense of kuleana (responsibility) to foster youth and community; the ability to engage community stakeholders toward positive action; and openness and willingness to create innovative practices around building food systems,” according to Nancy Redfeather, director of The Kohala Center’s Hawaii Island School Garden Network.
FoodCorps is a nationwide team of leaders that connects kids to real food and helps them grow up healthy. FoodCorps places motivated leaders in limited-resource communities for a year of public service where they teach kids about what healthy food is and where it comes from, build and tend school gardens, and bring high-quality local food into public school cafeterias. Funding for FoodCorps is provided by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, AmeriCorps, and a diverse array of private and public donors.
Founded in the year 2000, The Kohala Center is an independent, community-based center for research, conservation, and education. We turn research and traditional knowledge into action, so that communities in Hawaii and around the world can thrive—ecologically, economically, culturally, and socially.