Cooking Matters by Share Our Strength AmeriCorps National Direct Program
Cooking Matters is helping end childhood hunger by inspiring families to make healthy, affordable food choices. Our programs teach parents and caregivers with limited food budgets to shop for and cook healthy meals. Cooking Matters is a campaign of Share Our Strength, an organization working to end hunger and poverty.
Our programs include interactive grocery store tours, hands-on cooking classes, online programming, and delivery of other resources and education – all free and offered in partnership with local community organizations. While traditional hands-on and in-person programming is currently limited in response to COVID-19, Cooking Matters continues to find innovative ways to work with community partners in support of families across the country. We are a trusted leader in providing food skills education, conducting research, and supporting partners reaching families in need.
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.
We are seeking two full-time AmeriCorps members for our Massachusetts program. The Cooking Matters AmeriCorps members will work with Cooking Matters staff in Massachusetts to implement programs that teach parents and caregivers of children 0-5 with limited food budgets to shop for and cook healthy meals. Member responsibilities and duties may include, but are not limited to:
- Work with volunteer culinary or nutrition educators and agency/site managers to implement in-person courses as well as tours and other programs, delivered both online and in-person.
- Use Cooking Matters curriculum to facilitate programs with adult participants, mostly caregivers of kids 5-0, and sometimes also with participating adults’ children.
- Complete all preparations for programs including, but not limited to, communication with volunteers and/or partner organization staff and updating and adjusting teaching materials for online delivery. As in-person programs resume, additional responsibilities may include in-person tasks such as assembling and transporting equipment, materials, and groceries.
- Ensure all necessary programmatic reporting is entered accurately in appropriate databases.
- Participate in actively seeking out, working with, and maintaining positive relationships with agencies serving parents and caregivers of children 0-5 to host Cooking Matters programs.
- Assist with the development of Cooking Matters outreach materials and handouts for Cooking Matters audience, as needed.
*Applicants should note that while courses and tours are the main priority for the service year, COVID-19 has impacted program delivery. As of this posting, we are still conducting all programming online.
Volunteer Management and Training:
- Roles and responsibilities for working with volunteers will evolve as programing changes in response to COVID-19 and could include some or all the following components:
- Provide volunteer instructors with training and materials needed to teach courses 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 communication, feedback, and recognition to 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.
- Work with supervisor to set personal goals and follow the work plan created for the AmeriCorps National Direct Members.
- Submit timesheets in accordance with AmeriCorps and Share Our Strength guidelines.
- Complete additional reporting and communications contributions as required, which may include blog posts, newsletters, photographs, and using intentional listening to gather participant stories.
- Participate in national, state and other trainings as requested – some may require travel out of state when it is safe to do so.
- Participate in additional learning opportunities related to systemic causes of hunger and poverty, nutrition standards and food-related regulations, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Collaborate with various, Massachusetts, Colorado, and National Cooking Matters staff and AmeriCorps members to conduct special projects, as appropriate.
Cooking Matters AmeriCorps members are part of local and national Cooking Matters teams and take part in all associated training and activities. AmeriCorps members will receive orientation training from Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters staff as well as Partner Cooking Matters staff. Members will be part of a peer network of AmeriCorps members from around the nation and be a part of regular training opportunities including monthly webinars and one in-person retreat (if possible, in compliance with the most up-to-date guidance regarding COVID-19).
- Share Our Strength is committed to staff and AmeriCorps member safety and health, including considerations during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time of this posting, Cooking Matters team members have limited direct community-facing work and limited work in shared-spaces. This arrangement will continue to evolve according to organizational policy, public health guidance, and local laws and regulations.
- We are looking for members to be based in the Greater Boston Area because when in-person programming resumes, the members must be able to travel throughout Massachusetts.
- The Cooking Matters Massachusetts is a remote-based team, with staff and AmeriCorps members working primarily from in-home offices. Members will be expected to have a space in their home from which they can attend meetings as well as deliver live online cooking lesson. Needed filming and cooking equipment will be provided as well as a phone/internet stipend.
- Out-of-home work environments could include various community settings (schools, community centers, Head Starts, etc.). We also have a storage unit in Somerville housing shared supplies.
- Standard working hours are 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. However, the nature of our community-based work means that schedules fluctuate, and members should anticipate shifted schedules to include 1-3 evenings per week and occasional weekend work.
- Over the course of the service year, members can expect to spend approximately 50% of their time on program planning, delivery, and engaging in direct partner follow-up, but this fluctuates week to week. Members will use computer and phones extensively.
- When leading in-person programming, members regularly lift, move, and carry objects of up to 40 pounds, such as food and classroom supplies. Exposure to a variety of foods in residential, community, and industrial kitchens. When leading an in-person class or tour, members may stand and work at tables and stoves for extended periods of time.
- Members are required to have their own personal vehicle, since they will be expected to drive frequently when in-person programs resume. Mileage reimbursement is provided for work-related travel at the federal rate.
- At least 18 years of age
- High school diploma, or GED
- Interest in nutrition, culinary arts, education, public health, and/or food justice
- Public speaking and/or presentation skills, including ability to present in front of groups
- Computer skills (such as Zoom and Microsoft Suite: Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint)
- Ability to balance a variety of tasks simultaneously
- Volunteer management experience desired
- Experience working with adults and children in formal and/or informal education programs
- Bilingual (English/Spanish) candidate desired.
- Enrollment contingent on successful passing of criminal background search (including a FBI fingerprint-based criminal history check).
- Driver’s license and good driving record, as well as a reliable personal vehicle
- Ability to lift and move up to 40 pounds regularly
- Must be fully vaccinated prior to return to in-person programming
TERMS and BENEFITS
Full-time member term: 1700 hours of service within a 12-month period. Positions to start September 1 or September 16, 2021. The full-time members will receive a living allowance of $18,250, a basic health plan, training, childcare (based on income eligibility), and an AmeriCorps education award of $6,095 upon successful completion of service.
For questions about Cooking Matters AmeriCorps National Direct program, contact: Chef Ellen Damaschino, National Program Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Submit your resume and cover letter stating why you want to take part in Cooking Matters Massachusetts AmeriCorps program to Veronica Palladino, Program Associate, at email@example.com. To complete your application, please visit the AmeriCorps Recruitment Site at https://my.americorps.gov/mp/listing/publicRequestSearch.do. Equal Opportunity Employer.