The Hunger Action Corps is an AmeriCorps program that engages and cultivates social justice leaders who want to gain experience while fighting hunger. Since 2009, AmeriCorps members have supported Food Depository programs that connect food insecure individuals to vital programs with the vision of creating stronger, healthier communities. 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.
• Understand the current status of breakfast programs within Cook County.
• Identify districts to target and conduct outreach meetings.
• Identify community leaders/groups to work with to improve their knowledge of childhood hunger and the role of school breakfast; enlisting them to advocate for their schools.
• Work with targeted school districts to overcome issues that would limit participation in school breakfast.
• Assist in connecting and providing schools technical assistance and identify methods for implementation and expansion.
• Hold breakfast summit to engage schools and communities in school breakfast programs.
Community Need Addressed
Currently in Cook County, one in five children are food insecure, not knowing when or from where their next meal will come from. Childhood hunger has lasting effects - increased hospitalizations, developmental problems, headaches, stomachaches, and colds. The number of children in Illinois who qualify for free and reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program has been on the rise. In response to the need, the Food Depository collaborates with area schools, after-school and summer programs to provide nutritious food year-round to approximately 250,000 children in Cook County.
VISTA members will establish and cultivate new partnerships with schools, teachers, administrators, parents and the community on the promotion of school nutrition for children through No Kid Hungry Illinois.
Increase access to food for youth, increase participation in school nutrition programs
Childcare assistance if eligible, Education award upon successful completion of service, Health coverage, Non-competitive eligibility (federal jobs), Relocation allowance (if applicable), Stipend, Student loan forbearance, Training
Skills you will gain
project management, public speaking, knowledge of Cook County community and food insecurity issues
Competencies You Will Develop
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, Write cleary and effectively
Interact professionally and respectfully with supervisors and co-workers
Identify and prioritize the key issues involved to facilitate the decision making process, Involve people appropriately in decisions that may impact them
Able to prioritize various competing tasks, Create plan of action, schedule tasks so that work is completed on time, 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