This is an AmeriCorps VISTA position working in collaboration with Plowshares Peace & Justice Center and the Gardens Project of North Coast Opportunities, Inc.
The VISTA will develop and implement a volunteer recruitment and mentoring program to support the garden with strategies that enable the senior volunteers to pass on their invaluable experience and be instrumental in the training of our future volunteers. The VISTA will leave a sustainable impact within the community by developing and implementing a donor development plan to support the garden, broaden the scope of collaboration and funding efforts, create program manuals, and hone a marketing strategy by enhancing visibility on social media and promotion of an updated website. Key partnerships with like-minded organizations can prevent duplication of services and promote programming to empower the community to emerge from poverty through education in growing and cooking nutritious food, hands-on experience and classroom training which will enhance life skills, better health and promote employment opportunities for volunteers and Plowshares dining hall guests.
Service term: February 2019-February 2020
Since its inception in 1983, Plowshares Peace and Justice Center has expanded over the years and is now entering its tenth year at the current location, a 6,569 square foot facility that has the capacity to operate the Meals on Wheels program and the Community Dining Room. The dining hall serves anyone who is hungry and the Meals on Wheels program serves hot lunches to homebound seniors 60 years and over. With support from North Coast Opportunities Garden’s Project, South Ukiah Rotary, and California Conservation Corp., the garden was developed. The garden development included a 6’ fence, irrigation, and raised beds. In previous years, the Plowshares garden has produced over 2000 pounds of produce a season for the Plowshares kitchen but has yet to reach its full potential. Due to limited funding and underdeveloped programs, the Plowshares garden currently produces minimal produce for use in the Plowshares kitchen. The garden has potential though with its spacious raised beds and proximity to Plowshares community dining hall and kitchen making it an excellent site for community education opportunities.
Benefits include Living Allowance, Health Coverage, Choice of Education Award or End of Service Stipend, Childcare assistance if eligible, Education award upon successful completion of service, Relocation Allowance, Training.
About NCO Gardens Project:
North Coast Opportunities, Inc. (NCO) is the Community Action Agency that serves Lake and Mendocino Counties, as well as parts of Humboldt, Sonoma, Del Norte, and Solano Counties. NCO was established in 1968 as part of President Johnson's War on Poverty, with the mission of assisting low-income and disadvantaged people to become self-reliant. NCO provides a safety net of emergency assistance, employment, and training services for low-income individuals and families. The Gardens Project is one of NCO's Community Wellness Projects and facilitates the development of community-supported gardens throughout Lake and Mendocino Counties. We seek to relieve hunger and inadequate nutrition throughout Mendocino and Lake Counties by creating access to community-based food production and local, nutritious food. We work with local government and private landowners to lease underutilized land around low-income neighborhoods for the creation of new community gardens. In addition, we work to educate the community about sustainable food production and healthy eating through garden and nutrition workshops and work to empower our gardeners through leadership training.
Experience with sustainable food systems, homelessness services, nonprofit fundraising, grant writing, volunteer management, and/or community organizing a plus. Bilingual English & Spanish preferred but not required.
Please send a cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org by December 7th, 2018