Sustainable Food Center Community Health Organizer AmeriCorps*VISTA Position | KEYE Austin - Green Right Now Austin News, Weather, Traffic KEYE-TV Austin - HOME
May 072012


Sustainable Food Center (SFC) cultivates a healthy community by strengthening the local food system and improving access to nutritious, affordable food. Sustainable Food Center is hiring an individual through the Americorps*VISTA program of the Corporation for National and Community Service to organize school-based wellness teams that will plan and implement comprehensive health programming. SFC’s Sprouting Healthy Kids project is a farm-to-school and food-systems education initiative that includes incorporation of locally grown fresh foods into school cafeterias, plus in-class and after-school gardening and cooking educational activities. SFC partners with Marathon Kids, a free six-month endurance building running/walking and nutrition program for K-5th public, private and home-schooled children and their families. We are looking for a dynamic, bilingual, relational individual to organize community members in schools and neighborhoods for a Sustainable Food Center/Marathon Kids partnership project and provide capacity building support of SFC’s other program areas. Monthly living allowance and end-of-service stipend or education award provided through the Corporation for National and Community Service.


Position Description

The AmeriCorps*VISTA member will work through under-served middle and elementary schools in Austin to develop, support, and facilitate school wellness teams consisting of parents, teachers, and community leaders. VISTA will support the teams through the planning, implementation, and leadership development phases of a comprehensive school and community-based nutrition program, with a focus on local food systems efforts such as local food in cafeterias, community and school gardening, healthy cooking classes, and the Marathon Kids physical activity program. The AmeriCorps*VISTA member will also work with SFC Farmers’ Market staff to improve the capacity of the markets to serve lower-income clients and to meet environmental sustainability goals. Candidate must be fluent in Spanish and pass a written and oral fluency interview.



The ideal candidate will have an ability to relate to and connect with individuals and groups within the communities in which the work will be done. Candidate must be fluent in both English and Spanish, and must be able to commit to the Americorps*VISTA terms of service. The ideal candidate will have extensive community organizing skills and experience, a familiarity with both school settings and farmers’ markets, and knowledge of farm-to-school, community gardening, and healthy cooking. Bachelors degree preferred, but appropriate experience may be substituted. Applicants must be able to inspire school, neighborhood, and parent stakeholders to commit to building a program that addresses the fitness and nutrition needs of the community. Candidate must have their own transportation.


Primary Functions

  • Identify and meet with potential leaders from among school stakeholders (current district and school program leaders, teachers, parents, neighbors, other community organizations) to identify those who will lead the nutrition/fitness program that includes elements of Marathon Kids and Sustainable Food Center’s Cultivating Healthy Communities initiative.
  • Organize planning and training sessions with wellness teams on healthy food efforts, local food systems projects and physical activity programs.
  • Connect wellness teams with SFC resources and other community resources to provide support and monitoring for school and neighborhood programming activities.
  • Assist in the development and delivery of both formal and informal team leadership development training for wellness team members.
  • Assist market staff with improving connections between SFC Farmers’ Market efforts and traditional underserved customers.
  • Review current farmers’ market operations and develop recommendations for environmental sustainability.


Sustainable Food Center is an equal opportunity employer; women and people of color are encouraged to apply. This is a full-time (40 hours per week), one-year position. Members of AmeriCorps*VISTA are eligible for a: living allowance of $11,232 per year, health insurance, childcare assistance, student loan deferment, and, upon completion of the program, a choice of a $4,725 education award or a $1,200 cash stipend.


Application Instructions

To apply, send by email a cover letter, resume, three references, and Spanish and English writing samples (1 page each) to Andrew W. Smiley, Projects Director,


Interested applicants MUST also apply through AmeriCorps at


Applications accepted until May 25, 2012. Position begins July 17, 2012.


To learn more about Sustainable Food Center, go to: To learn more about VISTA, go to