Members serving with CitySquare Food serve from May 28-August 19, 2019. Members will travel around the Dallas-Fort Worth area in teams to provide a free, nutritious meal and fun summer activities to children in their apartment communities. Each team is assigned a geographic route consisting of 5-7 daily stops to provide meals, recreational activities, and enrichment to youth during the summer months. Members distribute meals in accordance with TDA and USDA regulations.
Before children arrive on site, members will set up the designated food service area with the appropriate equipment and games as available. This may include setting up tents, laying blankets, and setting out cones or signs to distinguish the area. When the food truck arrives, members assist in unloading and setting up the food table. When the children begin to arrive, members will establish an orderly line to receive food, deliver the meals, and guide children to the designated eating area. Members will adhere to Texas Department of Agriculture standards and regulations when distributing food. While waiting for the food truck and through the meal service, members will engage the children in active games and activities. Service sites will be cleaned up before departing for the next stop. Team meetings may be arranged and any required data collection will be completed at this time, including time sheets and meal counts. Other data collection requirements will vary and teams will be notified accordingly.
Community Need Addressed
In Texas, more than 1 in 3 households with children did not have enough money to buy food at some point in the previous 12 months (Food
Action Research Council 2010). "Rates of food insecurity are particularly high in households with incomes near or below the federal poverty level" (Feeding America 2014). In Dallas ISD, 89% of students are economically disadvantaged and qualify for free or reduced-price meals through National School Lunch Program. In the summer months, this leaves 89% of students in DISD without a nutritious and regular meal that they can count on. Maintaining food security throughout the year is important for children; a study conducted by Alaimo et al. (2011) shows that "food insecure children and teenagers miss more days of school, have lower test scores, and were more than twice as likely to
have repeated a grade." It is important that children do not fall victim to decreased levels of food security simply because the school year ends.
CitySquare's Food Program supplies a nutritious and valuable meal to youth living in Dallas. AmeriCorps members deliver meals directly to apartment sites where the majority of children are eligible for free or reduced lunch. CitySquare Food program is a collaboration between the Texas Department of Agriculture's Summer Food Service Program, Pepsi Co (who provides the meals), and AmeriCorps. Service for members consists of delivery of a nutritious meal, supervision of the meal site, and implementation of fun summer games and activities. The goal of the program is to increase food security among the children served, and is measured through a pre- and post-test survey of the children in the program.
Education award upon successful completion of service, Living allowance, Student loan forbearance, Training
Members serve 30-40 hours per week over the summer. For these service hours, members receive a living allowance starting at $2,000 for the entire summer (broken down and paid in biweekly installments) and a minimum $1,252 education award (contingent upon successful completion of a term). Members also receive position-specific on-boarding training, as well as professional development opportunities. Members will also have the opportunity to participate in Nelson Mandela Day of Service.
Skills you will gain
Project management, professional communication, logistics, task coordination
Competencies You Will Develop
Demonstrate sensitivity and empathy, Listen to and consider others' viewpoints, Maintain open lines of communication with others, Speak clearly, in precise language and in a logical, organized and coherent manner, Turn taking
Creativity & Problem Solving
Able to identify and define the problem, Capable of generating possible solutions, Communicate the problem to appropriate personnel, Improvise, Provide relevant expertise, Select and implement well-considered solution
Derive consensus, Develop constructive working relationships and maintain them over time, Establish a high degree of trust and credibility with others, Interact professionally and respectfully with supervisors and co-workers, Stay positive and outcome oriented, Use appropriate strategies and solutions for dealing with conflicts and differences to maintain a smooth workflow
Accepts responsibility, Anticipate the consequences of decisions, Identify and prioritize the key issues involved to facilitate the decision making process, Involve people appropriately in decisions that may impact them, Quickly respond with a back-up plan if a decision goes amiss
Seek opportunities to improve knowledge of tools and technologies that may assist in streamlining work and improving productivity
Able to prioritize various competing tasks, Create environment of contribution, Create plan of action, schedule tasks so that work is completed on time, Demonstrate the effective allocation of time and resources efficiently, Drive decision making, Effectively delegate tasks, Facilitate group planning, Set goals
Be pleasant, courteous, professional and respectful when dealing with internal and external customers or clients, Evaluate customer or client satisfaction, Honor the privilege of being able to work with and for those being served, Provide personalized, prompt, and efficient service to meet the requirements, requests and needs of customers, Recognize the importance of maintaining privacy and confidentiality of those being served, Understand and anticipate the needs of others, Understand the importance of one's role in the functioning of the organization, Understand the significance of maintaining a healthful and safe environment