Ending Hunger Corps VISTA
Some people talk about changing the world.
Ending Hunger Corps members are actually doing it.
We’re looking for people who want to make an impact in the world by changing lives while earning career benefits.
Maine is the only state in the US that has actually passed a law to end hunger with a strategic plan to do so: Ending Hunger Corps is a foundational element in that plan. Ending Hunger Corps members use their skills to develop systems or social media projects, assess data and provide analysis, write grants, provide community education, or depending on their skills and interests, other programs that have a lasting impact on peoples’ lives throughout Maine.
Ending Hunger Corps members receive a monthly living stipend, professional development opportunities (both built within the program or at your selection), health benefits, student loan interest paid during service, a Segal Education Award to pay down student loans or cash payment at end of service, and preferential hiring for federal positions.
These are but a few of the benefits of being an Ending Hunger Corps VISTA: all while using your passions to change the world. If you are interested in joining us to enact systematic change - to end hunger - let’s talk.
Ending Hunger Corps Program Manager
On this page:
- Who We Are
- Changes in Maine Because of Our Members
- Join Us and Make an Impact!
- Host an Ending Hunger Corps VISTA Project at Your Organization
Ending Hunger Corps is an AmeriCorps VISTA program sponsored by Maine's Department of Agriculture, Conservation, Forestry (DACF), with the goal of building capacity to fulfill Maine’s historic commitment to creating a hunger-free state by 2030.
AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) is a national service program designed specifically to fight poverty, which provides full-time service members, for one-year terms, to nonprofit organizations and local agencies that serve low-income communities. VISTA service projects are focused on capacity-building activities like fundraising, community outreach, program development, and research, which expand the scale, impact, sustainability, and resource-leveraging ability of anti-poverty programs.
Contribute to Maine’s goal of ending hunger by 2030 and gain invaluable professional development and leadership experience through a year-long, paid, public service position! Ending Hunger Corps supports 25 VISTA projects a year, placing service members with organizations across the state that are doing work aligned with the goals of Everyone at the Table: Maine’s Roadmap to End Hunger by 2030. By working at the intersection of poverty and hunger, Ending Hunger Corps members advance long-term, root cause solutions.
Ending Hunger Corps service opportunities are available across the state of Maine with a wide variety of projects which focus on one or more of the goals of Maine’s Roadmap to End Hunger by 2030 (PDF):
- Food Access
- Economic Security & Opportunity
- Advancing Equity
- Empowerment & Narrative Change
- Improving Coordination Across Efforts to End Hunger
- Read more about how Americorps Members Take on Hunger Issues
Changing the world may seem like a momentous task, but it is happening through a group of committed individuals in Maine.
Ending Hunger Corps (EHC) is a foundational element in Everyone at the Table: Maine’s Roadmap to End Hunger by 2030. The Roadmap recognized the existence of resource organizations throughout the State, but that the effectiveness of the organizations was limited by their capacity. Ending Hunger Corps was formed with the purpose of overcoming that limitation. Using the skills of VISTA members from around the country to increase the capacity and effectiveness of food security programs, Ending Hunger Corps is working with organizations in actively stabilizing families throughout Maine.
Please see our member stories, past and present, and open site spotlights below!
Molly is our Equity & Community Impact VISTA at Good Shepherd Food Bank! Her service includes coordinating community outreach, conducting data collection, and organizing data dashboards and visuals. “As a history major, with a concentration in Peace and Conflict Studies and Social Justice, I guided my studies to explore histories of those who experienced oppression. While learning of the past, I continually questioned how we might combat contemporary poverty and other injustices.”
This is Laura’s second year serving as an Ending Hunger Corps VISTA member at Good Shepherd Food Bank! Last year Laura’s focus was on volunteer recruitment, management, and engagement, while this year she will be developing a service-learning program to engage and empower youth.
“I’ve been able to combine my passion for working with youth and ending hunger through creating a service-learning program for Good Shepherd. I’m most excited to see how students come up with creative solutions to fight hunger within their communities!”
|Service Opportunity||Apply on Americorps||Description|
|New Beginnings - Lewiston, Maine||Learn More & Apply||
For over 40 years, New Beginnings has helped children, teens, and young adults find safety, build connections, and access the opportunities for growth that they need to thrive. Our mission is to partner with youth to create lasting change, so all youth have a safe place to live and opportunities to grow, and our vision is a world in which all youth are safe and valued in their communities. Our comprehensive services prevent young people from becoming homeless, support struggling families, and help vulnerable youth grow into stable and healthy adults.
The Outreach Food Project VISTA will be based in our Drop-In Center in Lewiston, Maine's second largest city boasting a vibrant community spirit and easy access to a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities along with quick access to Portland's more traditionally urban environment via I-95. The VISTA will develop systems to better utilize donated food and increase in-kind food donations, volunteers, and community outreach to support project growth. These capacity-building activities will result in increased meals, mobile food pantry utilization, and produce grown on-site at raised bed garden plots to reduce food insecurity among young people served by the Street Outreach Program.
An ideal candidate will be excited about our mission; be comfortable in a youth-focused & designed environment and engaging with a variety of external community partners; and is passionate about the importance of equitable food access. The VISTA will have access to a variety of training opportunities related to the work of New Beginnings at no cost.
|Downeast Community Partners - Ellsworth, Maine||Learn More & Apply||
Downeast Community Partners (DCP) is committed to improving the quality of life and reducing the impact of poverty in Downeast Communities. We recognize that these communities are made up of people who are diverse and vibrant and believe that all people are entitled to be treated with dignity and compassion. We are in Down East Maine, a large geographic area that encompasses rural communities of Hancock and Washington counties on the scenic bold coast Maine from Penobscot Bay to the Canadian border - an area of unspoiled natures that includes our rocky coastline, lakes, blueberry fields and diverse wildlife. For a rewarding experience, join DCP's Food and Nutrition Initiative to play an integral role in improving food security and quality of life in our community.
The VISTA Food Security Coordinator will build capacity of DCPs food and nutrition initiatives by creating a strong network of providers-made up of Downeast Community Partners (DCP) employees, community agencies, first responders, and volunteers that will collaborate to provide food assistance and by establishing community gardens to support families and individuals in our communities that are experiencing poverty and food insecurity.
We are seeking a self-starter that is well organized, with skills in effective communication, teamwork, and network-building. You will be working with a compassionate grassroots team that has been working from the ground up to alleviate hunger and reduce the impact of poverty.
|Alfond Youth Community Center - Waterville, Maine||Learn More & Apply||
The Alfond Youth & Community Center (AYCC) is looking for an impassioned individual to join our team as the Workforce Ready Grant VISTA. As a part of our team, you will collect and analyze data on current community needs, research funding opportunities, and write grants that are focused on childcare, workforce readiness, and resource management, and opportunity.
The AYCC serves more than 8,000 children and families from 191 communities in central Maine. Created by the Waterville Boys & Girls Club, the Waterville YMCA, and the City of Waterville in 1997, the AYCC stands as the only successful collaboration of a Boys and Girls Club of America (BGCA) and YMCA in the United States. Currently AYCC is an approved CACFP sponsor to 3 afterschool sites in Waterville and 1 in Oakland, Skowhegan, Norridgewock, and Benton, with additional summer programs. Throughout the year AYCC also sponsors free holiday meal events for the community and during COVID AYCC gave out over 85,000 meals. AYCC also has a Farm to School grant that is focused on the development of a Garden to Table educational curriculum.
As the Workforce Ready Grant VISTA, you will also be a part of a VISTA cohort that spans the state of Maine: Ending Hunger Corps, a 25-member cohort model VISTA program sponsored by Maine's Department of Agriculture, Conservation, Forestry (DACF).
|Maine Credit Union League - Westbrook, Maine||Learn More & Apply||
The Maine Credit Union League (MECUL) in Westbrook, ME, just outside of Portland, is seeking a well-rounded individual who is passionate about ending hunger to join its mission-driven team.
The Community Outreach and Development Coordinator VISTA will play a key role in MECUL's project to alleviate food insecurity and financial hardship in Maine through projects aligned with "Everyone at the Table: Maines Roadmap to End Hunger by 2030". The VISTA member will generate ideas and lead efforts to increase fundraising capabilities of Maine Credit Union Leagues long-standing Campaign for Ending Hunger. The member will also conduct research and create toolkits and resources to help build and encourage workplace programs that support workers and customers who are facing food insecurity and economic hardship by connecting them with resources. The VISTA member will engage the support of credit unions and their partners to promote and disseminate these resources and will provide training and implementation resources. The role requires a great balance between the creative (right-brain) and the analytical (left-brain) led by a people helping people philosophy, which the heart of credit unions.
|Cumberland County Food Security Council - South Portland, Maine||Learn More & Apply||
The Cumberland County Food Security Council (CCFSC) works with community partners to initiate, strategize and innovate solutions to hunger by advocating, sharing information and resources, and taking collective action. CCFSC's focus is to build food security with economically disadvantaged people with limited access to healthy food.
The VISTA member at CCFSC will help connect Maine residents with local, culturally appropriate and nutritious foods through infrastructure building, increasing the capacity of local organizations, and collecting data for a report on food access disparities. The VISTA member at CCFSC will have the opportunity to be a part of Maine's historic plan to end hunger in the state by 2030, and will join a cohort of VISTAs across the state doing similar work with different organizations.
USDA research reports that 13.6 percent of Maine households are food insecure - a rate significantly higher than the national average of 11.7 percent. Additionally, in September of 2019 Maine ranked 16th in the nation for child food insecurity with one in five Maine kids food insecure and an 18 percent child poverty rate. This data does not account for disruptions in the food system by the pandemic.
|Quality Housing Coalition - Portland, Maine||Learn More & Apply||
Quality Housing Coalition is a housing nonprofit located in Portland, Maine and serving Cumberland, York, and Androscoggin counties. QHC's mission is to provide quality housing opportunities for all in need in Maine. QHC meets its mission by advocating for statewide policies to end homelessness and housing insecurity, and through Project HOME, a program that partners with landlords and housing readiness programs to remove barriers to applying to housing and providing year-long support for each tenant.
The VISTA member will be a part of the Project HOME Team that moves people experiencing homelessness from shelters to stable, affordable housing with housing subsidies and essential needs benefits, including food and health care. In 2022-2023, Project HOME's goal is to support 200 households and increase our year-long tenancy success rate from 97% to 98%. To meet this goal, the VISTA member will build the capacity of the Project HOME Team to support the tenant's needs, including accessing additional resources, and problem-solving issues that arise around the tenancy.
The VISTA applicant must have good communication skills and be comfortable working on a team to support Project HOME tenants, including working closely with tenants to provide available resources to meet their needs. The applicant will work well independently to create asset maps in each community and surveys for Project HOME partners. Fluency in French and/or Portuguese is preferred.
|Alan Day Community Garden - Norway, Maine||Learn More & Apply||
Surrounded by ponds, lakes and rivers and nestled in the beautiful western foothills of Norway, ME, at Alan Day Community Garden we believe that everyone should have access to nutritious foods. For over a decade we have worked to create local food access, provide produce and meals to families experiencing low income, and create an inclusive culture around growing food, teaching cooking skills and preparing nourishing meals with the community. Our youth leadership program provides students with valuable lifelong skills and our summer farmers' market brings fun, connection, and nourishment to our community.
Our VISTA service member will join our dynamic and hard-working organization as we work toward building a community food center and kitchen. They will need to be comfortable working with the public, friendly, welcoming and professional, organized and efficient, extremely adaptable and patient, willing to work with a wide range of people, and demonstrate support for diversity, equity, & inclusion. Our VISTA will enhance our existing programs while developing additional resources to meet the needs of families experiencing low income, grow leadership among our youth and community members by engaging them directly in growing and harvesting food, preparing meals, and serving the community. Our VISTA will also be adept with record-keeping, written & verbal communication, and completing time-sensitive tasks by the deadlines, including reports, grant application, newsletters, and social media updates. Our VISTA will have access to free seasonal produce, an extremely supportive community of volunteers, hands-on learning opportunities in gardening & carpentry, and flexibility around working onsite and offsite depending on season and needs of our organization.
|Aroostook County Action Program - Presque Isle, Maine||Learn More & Apply||
For fifty years, Aroostook County Action Program, Inc. (ACAP) has provided the people of Aroostook County with services and resources that help individuals and families achieve greater economic independence in the areas of community health, early care and education, energy and housing, homelessness prevention and mitigation, and workforce development services. Annually, ACAP serves more than 14,000 of the 68,000 people living in our vast rural county. Food insecurity is an increasing challenge in our community, and we are looking for an innovative and energetic individual to join our team to address that challenge. The right individual will assist our team with a diverse array of tasks that collectively will make a powerful impact in our community.
Duties will include: Grant prospecting, writing, editing, and reporting; Coordinating activities with community partners to increase efficiencies; Recruiting, training and supervising volunteers. As a community action agency, we provide over 40 programs and services to low-income members of our community. It is our experience that while you are enrolled in this incredible program that, you would qualify for many of those programs including but not limited to our rental relief program and home energy assistance program. We love to connect members of our team with available services. You can learn more about our agency and the work we do by visiting www.acap-me.org or our Facebook page.
Expand your impact, build your organization’s capacity to contribute to Maine’s goal of ending hunger by 2030, and support the development of future community leaders by hosting an Ending Hunger Corps VISTA project!
Who can host VISTA members? Non-profit organizations (public, private, and faith-based), schools, and local government agencies.
What host sites are saying:
"Laura is steadily developing a new service-learning program for Good Shepherd Food Bank. She is currently vetting two curriculums she created for 3rd-5th grade and 6th-8th grade students with educators who focus on these grade levels. Her goal is also to create a high school level curriculum. This program educates students on food insecurity, why it exists, and how they can get involved in ending hunger in their communities. Laura has also adapted an educational tool that incorporates experiential learning and participants learn about the myriad of systemic factors involved with food insecurity." - Jane Clifford, Volunteer Engagement Manager, Good Shepherd Food Bank
"Having an AmeriCorps VISTA member as a grant writer has been a valuable asset to the Alfond Youth & Community Center (AYCC). They have brought in significant funding through successful grant applications, allowing the community center to expand and improve its programs and services. Their expertise and dedication have helped the AYCC better serve the community and make a positive impact on the lives of youth and families in the area." - Chris Nordenson, Grants Manager Boys & Girls Clubs and YMCA of Greater Waterville
"It’s powerful to see a recent EMCC graduate and TRIO alum have an immediate impact on combatting food insecurity and poverty on campus. In the relatively short time Cathy has served as our VISTA, she has put on successful fundraisers, earned a $10,000 capacity-building grant, laid the foundation for our community garden, and more importantly, significantly decreased the number of EMCC students facing food insecurity. Usage at our food pantry is the highest it has ever been, and our VISTA deserves all of the credit for that." - Mike Schwabenbauer, Director of TRIO Student Support Services at Eastern Maine Community College
Contact Kim Lengert to learn more about becoming a host site. Sign up to receive updates about future opportunities.