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Founded in 1965, Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) is an anti-poverty program designed to provide needed resources to nonprofit organizations and public agencies to increase their capacity to lift communities out of poverty. AmeriCorps VISTA provides opportunities for Americans 18 years or older from a diverse range of backgrounds to dedicate a year of full-time service with an organization (“sponsor”) to create or expand programs designed to empower individuals and communities in overcoming poverty.
Field & Fork Network’s Double Up Food Bucks AmeriCorps VISTA Members focus on community engagement and outreach, identifying gaps in the food system that would benefit from DUFB, education, and much more. Our VISTAs are passionate members of their community who have a deep understanding of how the current system operates and the uniqueness of how their friends and neighbors interact with each other and food.
Grace graduated from Canisius University with a Bachelors in Environmental Studies and a minor in Business Management.
Through her education, her eyes were opened to just how much the food industry contributes to climate change. Her passion for the environment… and food, are what led her to Field & Fork Network, Inc. and working in the food access space.
In her free time Grace enjoys reading, thrifting, foraging/ plant identifying, and spending time with her cat Alice. She also looks forward to the connections and experience she will gain during her AmeriCorps term.
Chloe completed her undergraduate studies at Cornell University where she studied Animal Science and Biology & Society in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Throughout her academic career, Chloe gained an appreciation for plant-based diets and the many benefits they offer personal, public, and environmental health. Chloe continued to explore the potential of plant-based interventions in graduate school, where she received her Masters in Public Health with a concentration in food systems. Chloe is especially passionate about issues related to food justice and access. She looks forward to applying her background in outreach, advocacy, and public health communication, to support Field and Fork’s efforts to facilitate and expand the implementation of Double Up Food bucks in Syracuse. In her free time, Chloe likes to draw, hike, visit antique shops, and scour local markets for vegan treats.
Thomas is our AmeriCorps Vista in the Westchester Region and also a Psychology undergraduate student with a minor in Biology at Bernard M. Baruch College. He will be working to reduce food insecurity in Westchester and Putnam counties to facilitate and expand the implementation of Double Up Food Bucks NY. His passion for psychological health and the improvement of health in individuals and within families is what led him to Field & Fork Network. Throughout his academic career, he has been passionate about psychology and the ways to combat mental illness at its core, including, but certainly not limited to, a healthy diet and lifestyle. He hopes to beneficially impact the effects that Field & Fork Network has on those in poverty and experiencing food insecurity and the individuals benefiting from using our program within his community. In his free time, he loves reading, writing poetry, spending time in nature, and hanging out at the café.
While an undergraduate student at the University of Dayton, where he earned a B.A. in Economics & International Studies, Samuel felt drawn towards development work which focuses on a people-centric model of global development. For this reason, Samuel wanted to get involved with a grassroots nonprofit using data and innovative solutions to improve the lives of others. He is excited to be returning to his hometown and to work with a nonprofit which is active in removing barriers to access and strengthening the local economy and food system and brings applied development experience interning with nonprofits and the U.S. Department of State as well as theoretical experience conducting academic research on localizing the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Sam has three sisters and two dogs and in his free time likes to go hiking, read, and is a big soccer and Buffalo sports fan.
Shannon brings great enthusiasm, a knowledge of the struggles small business owners face, and a host of local farm connections to her new AmeriCorps position. She was born and raised on a homestead in rural, mountainous Maine so she felt right at home when she and her husband moved to the Adirondack Mountains to raise their three daughters. She has been working with farmers in the area for nearly ten years sourcing food for her family and ceaselessly promoting the benefits of fresh, local food to anyone who will listen. After a decade long career in small business ownership she took some time off to raise her children. But when the opportunity arose to serve her community by connecting all members of her community with the locally produced food she is so passionate about as well as strengthening existing local food networks she couldn’t pass it up!
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