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AmeriCorps VISTA

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Wake County AmeriCorps VISTA Food Security Program

AmeriCorps VISTAs, or Volunteers in Service to America, build capacity in nonprofit organizations and communities to help bring individuals and communities out of poverty. Each VISTA serves one year under the following core principles: ending poverty, empowering communities, building capacity, and creating sustainable solutions.

The Wake County AmeriCorps VISTA Food Security Program battles root causes of food insecurity and increases food access within Wake County through collective impact and partnership development. During our 2023-24 grant year, the VISTA project will seek to increase access to healthy foods, build sustainability, and increase awareness of food system issues among decision makers, partners and beneficiaries and expects to benefit more than 35,000 individuals.

Our 10 full-time VISTA members and 20 Summer Associates will contribute to the goals of the project by performing activities such as:

  • innovating and enhancing distribution to improve food access in targeted geographic regions;
  • innovating and improving strategies to increase food access for targeted populations (residents with diverse cultural backgrounds including seniors, Latinx & Hispanic groups, refugee populations, individuals with disabilities, etc.);
  • creating sustainable partnerships and funding streams to connect locally produced foods with emergency food programs;
  • developing trainings and programs to help partners enhance economic strength in low-income regions;
  • and building relationships among partners to develop collective impact programs over the course of three years.

The Wake County Cooperative Extension main office intends on serving as both a host site and intermediary sponsor within Wake County in order to build the capacity of our entire food security collective impact model. Currently, our VISTAs serve at seven different locations across Wake County:


2023-2024 AmeriCorps VISTAs

Name

Position

Location

Robin Smith VISTA Leader Wake County Cooperative Extension
Dabreon Davis Grass Roots Support Wake County Cooperative Extension
Nathalie Uriarte-Ayala Food Access Specialist Wake County Cooperative Extension
Josephine Rainer Sollee Food Security Operations Specialist Urban Ministries of Wake County
Morgan Biese Community Health Educator Inter-Faith Food Shuttle
Lauren McLaughlin Food Security Operations Specialist Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian
Emily Baird Food Security Specialist Wake Forest Community Table
Gordon Gibson Agriculture Educator Inter-Faith Food Shuttle
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