Employer: St. Mary’s Nutrition Center
Internship Number: 524
Internship Title: Nutrition Center Summer Fellowships

FoodCorps Service Member Positions

Location: Lewiston, Maine
Period of Engagement: Summer
Compensation: Stipends Available
Description of the Internship:
The St. Mary’s Nutrition Center (NC) promotes community health through organizing, advocacy and education. Located in the heart of downtown Lewiston, ME the NC serves as a healthy food hub in the midst of the City’s most diverse and economically challenged neighborhoods. The NC works to build a sustainable regional food system by involving those affected by inadequate food access as partners and supporting area farms as an essential piece of the local economy. The NC is home to a food pantry, cooking and nutrition education programs for people of all ages, and Lots to Gardens, which uses urban gardens to create access to local food, empower youth and build community.

For more information on St. Mary’s Nutrition Center, please visit their website at:  http://www.stmarysmaine.com/nutrition-center/st-marys-nutrition-center

Responsibilities:
Nutrition Center Fellowships:

The NC has several experiential learning opportunities available in our Fellowship Program. Each fellowship is unique but all applicants should be prepared to engage with children, youth, and adults from diverse backgrounds. Fellows work alongside NC staff, Youth Interns, other Fellows and volunteers and are expected to establish respectful and affirming relationships with all members of the community.

  • Schedule: Typically 30-40 hours/week during the summer and varied hours in the spring, Monday through Friday with occasional weekend work;
  • Stipend: Fellows that don’t bring their own stipend/academic credit may be eligible for a modest stipend;
  • All Fellows check-in regularly with NC Staff for work plan development, goal setting and reflection.

Nutrition Center Summer Fellowship’s run from June through August with the possibility of staying on into the fall.

A Nutrition Center Fellow supports all NC program areas including food access, children’s and youth programs, community gardens and cooking education. This opportunity is a way to gain an in-depth understanding of the NC’s mission and work in the community. While responsibilities will vary based on program needs and Fellow interests, activities may include: assisting with cooking programs, gardening, helping in the food pantry, assisting with logistics and overall program support, doing outreach and helping with the Good Food Bus, a mobile market with stops across Lewiston- Auburn.

Potential Focus Areas (depending on applicant interests and NC needs):

1. Growing and Food Access
Fellows would support the NC’s production gardens and food access projects. The production gardens cover about 1 acre of land that is managed by NC staff and tended by Fellows, volunteers and Youth Gardeners. Food grown in the production gardens is used in weekly veggie shares for seniors and youth program participants, cooking and nutrition classes, and for the NC’s food pantry. This position blends urban and organic agriculture, food distribution and an opportunity to participate more fully in the local food system. The Fellow would participate in all aspects of maintaining a large-scale production garden including planting, weeding, watering and harvesting, helping coordinate supplies/equipment and organizing group workdays. Other responsibilities include organizing weekly veggie shares (sorting, preparing and bagging vegetables) preparing food for storage (freezing, canning) and supporting gleaning (harvesting excess food) from local farms.

2. Youth Programs
Fellows help run two 3-week sessions of the Summer Youth Gardener Program where twelve youth (ages 14-18) work together in the gardens, kitchen and during workshops. Fellow responsibilities include planning and teaching lessons (with staff support), leading team building activities, supervising and working alongside youth in the gardens and kitchen, and attending field trips to local farms. Other tasks include riding a bike to and from garden sites with youth, helping to communicate schedules and expectations and working with staff to support individual youth in their learning. Previous experience with teenagers required.

3. Children’s Program
Fellows work with NC staff and the FoodCorps service member to implement regular gardening and cooking programs for children in grades K-8 at partner schools, public housing sites, and downtown gardens. This role focuses on creating outdoor and experiential education opportunities for kids. Fellows support lesson planning, preparation, and implementation. Tasks could include: leading gardening activities at a local elementary summer school program, supporting a middle school summer cooking club, or running a kid’s activity during a downtown garden night. Previous experience with children required.

Additional Opportunities

Depending on the needs of the NC and special projects that arise, there may be additional Fellowship opportunities available during the year. Focus areas could include digital media, Good Food Bus, community garden assistance, and cooking program support. Please contact the NC for more information.

FoodCorps Service Member Positions:

FoodCorps recruits talented leaders for a year of paid public service building healthy school food environments in limited-resource communities. St. Mary’s Nutrition Center has hosted a FoodCorps member for the last several years. We currently have openings for two services members for the August to July service year.

FoodCorps service members receive a bi-weekly living allowance; help with paying for school or repaying student loans; basic health, dental, and vision insurance; and help with childcare expenses. Please visit foodcorps.org to learn if a FoodCorps position may be right for you.

Qualifications:
Nutrition Center Fellowship – Desired Qualifications and Skills:

  • Understanding of and commitment to St. Mary’s Nutrition Center’s mission and programs
  • Desire to gain knowledge and experience in a hands-on learning setting
  • Strong communication and people skills
  • Experience working with youth and/or children strongly encouraged
  • Some knowledge and experience with food systems and food access issues
  • Some knowledge of cooking and the safe handling of food
  • Some knowledge of gardening or garden practices
  • For garden and youth fellows, comfort with biking in an urban environment and physical garden labor
  • Organized and able to manage multiple responsibilities
  • Able to work independently and in a group setting
  • Ability to develop trusting relationships with people of various ages, races, faiths, cultures, sexual orientations, and socioeconomic backgrounds
  • Able to navigate Microsoft Office and other basic computer software
  • Drivers’ License and access to a vehicle or other means of transportation encouraged

FoodCorps Service Members -Desired Qualifications and Skills:

FoodCorps service members at the Nutrition Center serve at depth in several local schools with support from Nutrition Center staff. Service members work alongside school administration, teachers, kitchen managers, parents, community partners, and farmers to develop and sustain nutrition, gardening, and cooking programming at school sites. They also play a vital role in the development of new school garden spaces in the area and engage with the Androscoggin Farm to School Network.

Experience in gardening, cooking, and/or education preferred, and candidates who speak Somali, French, Portuguese, or Arabic or who are local to the Lewiston/Auburn area are strongly encouraged to apply. If you would like to apply for one of the FoodCorps positions, please reach out to Rebecca Dugan at rdugan@stmarysmaine.com or 207-513-3848 to learn about the application process.

For more information, contact: nutritioncenter@stmarysmaine.com, (207) 513-3848 www.stmarysnutritioncenter.org

Application Process:
Application is made through UMF’s Partnership for Civic Advancement and St. Mary’s Nutrition Center as follows:
Interested in Applying for a Fellowship?

Step 1: Fill out the Nutrition Center Volunteer Application at:

http://tinyurl.com/nutritioncentervolunteer

Step 2: Respond to the Nutrition Center Fellow Narrative Questions at:

tinyurl.com/nutritioncenterfellow

Step 3: Send your resume to nutritioncenter@stmarysmaine.com

Interested in Applying for one of the FoodCorps positions?

Please reach out to Rebecca Dugan at: rdugan@stmarysmaine.com or 207-513-3848 to learn about the application process.

Notify your faculty member; forward a copy of your application materials for either or both of these positions to UMF’s Partnership at:  pca@maine.edu

For more information, contact: nutritioncenter@stmarysmaine.com, (207) 513-3848

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