About the Role
As a Garden Resource VISTA, your service will revolve around ensuring that all who desire to grow their own food have access to the equipment, knowledge, and any other resources needed to do so. This will primarily be acted out through further development of the A Garden in Every Lot (GEL) program, strengthening the necessary connections between would-be home food producers and tool and seed libraries, educational opportunities, and other community resources, while also partnering with providers of these services to expand their capacity.
As a Community Food Security VISTA Project in Iowa VISTA member, you will analyze the scope of gardening efforts happening in the Cedar Valley, becoming familiar with the gardening and urban food production culture of the region. You will coordinate with Green Iowa AmeriCorps members to develop a plan for GEL services for the 2023 season. Exploring potential partnerships and collaborations, you will expand knowledge of existing gardening services and resources to key community organizations and historically underserved communities in the Cedar Valley. These tasks will help ensure program sustainability for the continuation of GEL services, increase community support, and foster intentional, transformational partnerships.
The Garden Resource Standard VISTA will earn a biweekly living allowance totaling $17,600 over the entire year, and is eligible for a post-service benefit of either the Segal education award (Currently $6,500 - equal to the value of a full semester Pell Grant) or a cash alternative ($1,800).
VISTAs are also eligible for over $8,000 in supplemental medical benefits, a childcare subsidy, paid sick and vacation days, and Noncompetitive Eligibility when applying for federal employment for 1 year after completing service.
You should work alongside diverse groups of people with accountability & compassion; be eager to establish & maintain positive working relationships; & have an equity centered mindset, excellent communication, & interpersonal & organizational skills.
About the Organization
As a CFS VISTA member, you will serve among a cohort of Community Food Security (CFS) VISTA members throughout Iowa, sponsored by the Center for Energy & Environmental Education at the University of Northern Iowa, and will have frequent opportunities to share knowledge within this community through regular cohort-wide meetings and site visits. In addition to all standard AmeriCorps VISTA benefits, you will engage regularly with thought leaders in local food via the Cedar Valley Regional Food & Farm Network and Regional Food Systems Working Group, in addition to being invited to professional development opportunities coordinated by a VISTA Leader in your cohort.