Cooking Matters AmeriCorps member sought! 

Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters® empowers low-income families with the skills to stretch their food budgets so their children get healthy meals at home, as part of the No Kid Hungry® campaign to end childhood hunger in America. Cooking Matters serves families across the country through hands-on, six-week cooking courses; interactive grocery store tours; and mobile, online and educational tools. Participants learn to shop smarter, use nutrition information to make healthier choices, and cook delicious, affordable meals.

AmeriCorps programs provide opportunities for Americans to make an intensive commitment to service. The AmeriCorps network of local, state, and national service programs engages more than 80,000 Americans in projects around the nation each year.

Second Harvest Food Bank is leading the fight against hunger in Southeast Louisiana through food distribution, advocacy, education and disaster response. Second Harvest provides food to more than 220 nonprofit and faith-based agencies throughout its 23-parish service territory, serving nearly 250,000 people annually and distributing food to provide an estimated 63,000 meals each week.

The Cooking Matters AmeriCorps member will work with Second Harvest Food Bank staff to implement effective hands-on courses and tours teaching families at risk of hunger that healthy cooking can be delicious, enjoyable, and affordable. Member responsibilities and duties may include, but are not limited to:

Cooking Matters Program Coordination:
• Work with nutrition educators, culinary educators, and agency/site managers to implement six- week courses using Cooking Matters core curriculum.
• Complete all preparations for class including, but not limited to, assembling and transporting equipment, materials, and groceries, and preparing volunteer staff.
• Complete program evaluation and other program reporting documentation as necessary.
• Participate in actively seeking out, working with, and maintaining positive relationships with agencies serving low-income clients to host Cooking Matters courses.
• Assist with the development of Cooking Matters outreach materials and handouts for Cooking Matters audience, as needed.

Cooking Matters at the Store Event Day Management:
• Work as lead point person for all Cooking Matters at the Store event days.
• Build relationships with local food pantries, grocery stores, and community partners.
• Train event day volunteers and provide on-site support during events.
• Create all event day nutrition education materials, participant handouts, and all necessary paperwork.
• Complete program evaluation and program reporting documentation as necessary.

Volunteer Management and Training:
• Provide volunteer instructors with training and materials needed to teach courses and tours and make sure they follow procedures and course guidelines.
• Support and manage volunteer instructors during class to make sure they have all required materials and communicate key messages.
• Provide timely and consistent communications with volunteers.
• Identify and participate in opportunities to recruit volunteers. Build relationships with chefs, dietitians, nutritionists and other potential volunteers to maintain enough trained instructors to reach course goals.
• Manage volunteer Cookbook Club by holding bi-monthly meetings, gathering and testing recipes, and analyzing recipes for nutritional content.

• Work with supervisor to set personal goals and follow the work plan created for the AmeriCorps National Direct Member.
• Ensure all necessary course reporting is in order in database and network resource center.
• Complete additional reporting and communications contributions as required, which may include blog posts, newsletters, photographs, and volunteer and participant story gathering.
• Submit timesheets in accordance with AmeriCorps and Share Our Strength guidelines.
• Participate in national, state and other trainings as requested – some may require travel out of state.
• Maintain a high level of working knowledge related to hunger, nutrition standards, regulations, and trends.
• Collaborate with other Second Harvest departments, as necessary, to ensure high quality service to individuals within our network of agencies.

Work is performed in a variety of office and kitchen settings inside and outside Second Harvest. Member will use computer and phones extensively. Regularly lifts, moves and carries objects of up to 50 pounds, such as food and classroom supplies. Exposure to a variety of foods in residential, community, and industrial kitchens. In a class or tour setting, may stand and work at counters and stoves for extended periods of time. Frequently works outside normal working hours such as evenings and weekends, and will drive frequently due to work performed in the community.

• At least 18 years of age
• High school diploma, or GED
• Interest in nutrition, food justice, and culinary arts
• Driver’s license and good driving record
• Public speaking skills
• Computer skills
• Ability to balance a variety of tasks simultaneously
• Volunteer management experience preferred
• Experience working with youth and/or adults in formal and/or informal education programs
• Enrollment contingent on successful passing of criminal background search (including a FBI fingerprint-based criminal history check)

Full-time member term: 1700 hours of service within a 12-month period. Position to start September 1, 2016 and end September 1, 2017.
The full-time member will receive a living allowance of $12,300, a basic health plan, training, child care (based on income eligibility), and an AmeriCorps education award of $5,550 upon successful completion of service.

To apply, please submit a resume and cover letter to Jasmine Meyer,, stating why you want to take part in Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters AmeriCorps program.

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