Food insecurity, having limited or inconsistent access to quality nutritious foods, reaches every corner of Cook County and is associated with a host of adverse and costly health outcomes for men, women, and children. Specifically, food insecurity is linked to diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, depression, increased hospital visits and increased health care costs. Access to nutritious food, particularly fresh produce, is critical to treatment and recovery from illness in addition to preventing health problems. Many communities served by the Greater Chicago Food Depository and its member agencies report high incidences of diabetes (35 percent), obesity, and high blood pressure (60 percent) -- conditions associated with poor-quality nutrition. AmeriCorps members working in the health and nutrition role will help Food Depository member agencies begin to address these community health challenges.
VISTA members will work with the Food Depository’s member agencies to increase their capacity to provide health and nutrition education to their clients. VISTA members will facilitate the training of member agency representatives and Food Depository volunteers on a program designed to use nutrition information to make healthier choices and cook delicious, affordable meals.
• Assist in implementing and facilitating the creation of nutrition education and cooking demonstrations within GCFD member agencies and programs.
• Coordinate and facilitate nutrition training for volunteers.
• Provide technical assistance to member agency representatives and volunteers who will implement nutrition education curriculum in their organizations.
• Build partnerships with healthcare organizations to ensure partners have access to and are knowledgeable about food programs in the Food Depository’s network for patient referrals.
• Work with external partnerships with health providers to facilitate chronic disease screenings and primary care referrals during GCFD member distribution.
Community Need Addressed
increased access to healthy food options and knowledge about different produce varieties.
increased education opportunities for member agencies regarding health and nutrition.
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, program development and logistics, knowledge of Cook County community and food insecurity issues
Competencies You Will Develop
Speak clearly, in precise language and in a logical, organized and coherent manner, Write cleary and effectively
Creativity & Problem Solving
Able to identify and define the problem, Communicate the problem to appropriate personnel
Interact professionally and respectfully with supervisors and co-workers
Identify and prioritize the key issues involved to facilitate the decision making process
Carefully consider which tools or technological solutions are appropriate for a given job
Able to prioritize various competing tasks, Create plan of action, schedule tasks so that work is completed on time
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, Understand the importance of one's role in the functioning of the organization, Understand the significance of maintaining a healthful and safe environment