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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.
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.
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.
Jennifer is an Upstate New York-native, originally from Schoharie, NY, where she grew to love and appreciate small, rural communities. She went on to earn her BS in Environmental Science from SUNY Plattsburgh and supplemented her time learning to boulder/rock climb and taking yoga classes at Memorial Hall. Jenn also interned with the Essex County Planning Board and the Town of St. Armand, specifically focusing on needs assessments and asset mapping, was active in student government in college, and is excited to start her year as an AmeriCorps VISTA member. Jennifer and her high school sweetheart relocated to Plattsburgh last year with their pup Al and cat Lyra. She enjoys volunteering and being out in her community as well as in nature.
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!
If you are interested in learning more or hosting a VISTA at your non-profit,
please reach out to Nichole at email@example.com.
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