Americorp VISTA Community Engagement Coordinator

AmeriCorps VISTA Community Engagement Coordinator - Food Recovery (FT)

We offer a chance to make a difference.

The Company: FareStart is a James Beard Award-winning nonprofit organization that empowers adults and young people experiencing poverty and homelessness through job training and employment in the foodservice industry. FareStart’s restaurants, cafes, catering and contract meals businesses provide opportunities for students, apprentices and employees to work side-by-side creating great food and better lives.

The Job: FareStart is seeking an outgoing, passionate and energetic individual to commit to 1 year of service in our Community Engagement Program, creating volunteer opportunities supporting Food Recovery efforts. This role is supervised by the Community Engagement Manager. 

The FareStart VISTA Community Engagement Coordinator, Food Recovery, will ensure that FareStart is actively providing quality and nutritious food to our community through the cultivation of community volunteer engagement opportunities and food donor partners that will increase quality and nutritional value of our Community Meals Program. In our Community Meals Kitchen, FareStart students, staff and volunteers create over 900 meals a day for local homeless shelters. The individuals and groups that become involved as a result of your capacity building will have a direct impact on the poverty and hunger crisis in Seattle by supporting real programs, with real solutions to poverty, that place an importance on food security through a variety of channels. Emphasizing Food Recovery will ensure FareStart is able to provide opportunities to engage families and youth in volunteerism, along with expanding the geographical reach of our Community Engagement Program. The utilization of directly gleaned farm recovered produce will increase the nutritional value of our food product for a population that would not otherwise have access.  Donated product accumulated by volunteers also has a direct impact through budget relief for the FareStart Community Meals Program and lowers the necessity for frozen and pre-prepared product. 

In this role, you will support and create volunteer opportunities that sustain FareStart’s Food Recovery process and enable FareStart to expand its ability to engage volunteers across the Greater Seattle Area. 

Role & What the Candidate Will Learn: 

1. Audit and build capacity within existing community engagement (volunteer) opportunities that focus on food security. 

2. Develop new engagement volunteer opportunities that fulfill organization needs and increase capacity for providing nutritious, secure and cost-effective food for the community. This includes:

  • Creating written scope and process maps for existing and new opportunities to systematize group engagement.
  • Inventory FareStart programs and identify needs that can be turned into community engagement (volunteer) opportunities.
  • Creating job descriptions for new volunteer opportunities that meet the needs of the program and the organization. 
  • Recruiting and training volunteer leads to implement the opportunities

3. Develop, refine and steward partnerships with local farms to increase opportunity for FareStart community meals program clients to obtain fresh food. This includes:

  • Compiling lists of new organizations to engage that will diversify access to food recovery and gleaning opportunities. 
  • Creating communication and outreach guidelines and timelines for engaging partners in donations and volunteer events.

4. Developing and implementing reporting processes to track volunteer and partner outreach, activation and donations.

5. Assess the current state of engaged groups and expand outreach capacity by identifying and developing relationships with diverse groups. 

6. Audit current community involvement and identify gaps in location, group types, and values of community partners using a diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging lens to parallel work being done in the organization’s DEI strategic plan.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily.  The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required to perform the job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made, to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential job functions


  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Must be a US citizen, national or legal permanent resident alien of the US; For this federally-stipend program, F1 Visas are not sufficient
  • Must be available and on-site 40 hours a week Monday - Friday from March 16, 2020, through March 15, 2021
  • Must already live (or be willing to move) within a 15 minute drive or 60 minute public transit commute from your service location

Preferred Skills and Qualifications: 

  • Enthusiastic people-person experienced in relationship development
  • Passionate advocate for food security and ending hunger and poverty in our region
  • Cultural humility and experience working with diverse populations
  • Flexibility!  Ability to manage multiple tasks of competing priorities, doing what it takes to get things done in a fast-paced environment with minimal supervision
  • Microsoft Office Suite, especially Excel
  • Experience managing people and volunteers a plus

The Benefits:

  • Living allowance of $1,583.00 (pretax)
  • Loan deferment and payment of interest accrued during service year on qualified student loans (loans must be federally-backed; personal/private loans not eligible)
  • Health benefits that meet the minimum standards of ACA compliance
  • ORCA LIFT card
  • $5,815 Education Award or $1,500 cash stipend upon successful completion
  • Childcare assistance
  • 10 days sick leave, 10 days personal leave, 9 federal holidays
  • Enrollment in an assistance program with 24-hour access to phone counseling
  • Noncompetitive eligibility for federal jobs for up to one year after completing service
  • Professional work experience
  • In-service training, skill-building and professional development
  • Dailey student/staff lunch

The Location: FareStart's administrative office, 700 Virginia St, Seattle.

 Why Should You Apply?

  • Be part of our mission to disrupt poverty.
  • Join a supportive, respectful and celebratory community among our staff, students, board, and volunteers
  • Organizational commitment to a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace
  • FareStart encourages the personal and professional growth of its employees

FareStart is an Equal Opportunity Employer serving people of various communities and backgrounds. We seek applicants who value diversity and inclusivity. Women, People of Color, and Members of the LGBTQIA+ Community are encouraged to apply.