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Applicant FAQs

General FoodCorps Questions



Please read through the below questions and answers. If you still do not see the answer to your question, you can email us at serve@foodcorps.org.

Please note that applications for next year are now closed.

What is a Host Site?

A FoodCorps Host Site is the partner organization within a given state responsible for overseeing the placement, training, and supervision of FoodCorps members stationed in that state. Host Sites coordinate the Service Sites where service members report for their day-to-day service. Host Sites report to the FoodCorps national office on the service taking place in their state.

What is a Service Site?
A Service Site is the location where a service member will report for day-to-day service. While a majority of Service Sites are non-profit organizations, they may also be schools, local health departments or farms. Service Sites and their staff are responsible for overseeing service members and report to the Host Site on the progress of service members and their projects.

How long is a term of service in FoodCorps?
FoodCorps requires service members to complete a minimum of 1,700 hours during the year-long term of service. You should be available for full-time service, during regular school and business hours, throughout your service year. Evening and weekend events are occasionally required. The next term will officially begin September 1, 2014 and run through July 31, 2015. There is also a week-long, required orientation August 9th-15th at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR, that all incoming service members are required to attend. If you cannot commit to the full term, please consider applying to serve with us next year.

 

What is an Education Award?
FoodCorps service members who successfully complete their service will receive a $5,550 Segal AmeriCorps Education Award. Your Education Award can be used to pay qualified student loans or can be invested in future education at a qualifying institution within seven years of service. To learn more, visit AmeriCorps’ Segal Education Award website.


What is student loan forbearance?
As an AmeriCorps member, you may be eligible to put your loans "on hold" while enrolled in service. If you qualify, you would not have to make payments during your service year, and any interest accrued during your service would be paid by AmeriCorps. To see if your loan(s) are eligible, you must contact your loan provider. Visit AmeriCorps’ student loan payment website to learn more.


Can I have a job or go to school while serving in FoodCorps?
Being a FoodCorps service member is a full-time commitment and needs to be your first priority. Service members are expected to be available during all regular school and business hours and will sometimes need to attend evening and weekend events. If you can schedule work or schooling commitments around your FoodCorps service -- and not the other way around -- you're welcome to pursue them.


Will I get housing as a FoodCorps service member?
No. Host and Service Sites will give you guidance on searching for an affordable place to live but finding and paying for housing is the service member’s responsibility.

What majors is FoodCorps looking for?
Our service members come from a wide variety of academic backgrounds and the only formal educational requirement is high school diploma, GED, or equivalent. While most of our service members have earned a Bachelor’s degree, others are recent high school graduates, technical/community college students, career changers, and some have even earned a Master’s degree. Our service members have studied an array of fields, from Psychology, English, Latin American & International Studies to Environmental Studies, Culinary Arts, Dietetics, Biology and every major in between. Far more important to us than your academic background, is your knowledge of and passion for food systems, public health, gardening/agriculture, and education as well as your demonstrated leadership experience.

Can I speak with a current or former service member to learn about their experiences?
Absolutely! If you are interested in connecting with a current or past service member, email us at serve@foodcorps.org and we can introduce you to a service member in your location or position of interest.
Does FoodCorps have any internship or volunteer opportunities?
Please send your inquiries regarding internships to operations@foodcorps.org. You must be able to receive college credit to be considered for an internship.


Application Questions


Can I apply to FoodCorps if I already served in another AmeriCorps program?
Yes, you may serve a lifetime total of four terms of part- or full-time AmeriCorps State or National service, five terms of VISTA service, and two terms of NCCC service. (In theory, you could serve a total of eleven terms in public service if you divided your service in this way.) FoodCorps is an AmeriCorps National program, so your service with us would count for one of your four AmeriCorps State or National terms. You can only receive the value of two full-time Education Awards, however, so if you've already earned those, you would not be eligible for an Education Award for your FoodCorps service.


I'm interested in applying to be a FoodCorps service member, but I don't have experience with school gardens or farm to school programs. Can I still apply?
Yes! We welcome applicants with all levels of experience, as long as they bring something great to the team. Your national orientation at the start of service will help you get comfortable with the part of FoodCorps service that's new to you, whether it's building a garden or helping a community come together to organize a project. More specific training will be conducted throughout the year by Host Site, Service Site, and the FoodCorps national team.


Can I apply to FoodCorps with my partner, spouse, or friend?
There's no way to apply as a "package" to FoodCorps, so both members of a couple would have to apply separately. Such applications will not receive special treatment. You and your partner should mention in your applications that you are hoping to be placed as a team, but the odds of both of you being selected and then placed in the same Service Site are low.


Is the application deadline 11:59 pm Eastern or 11:59 pm in my time zone?
The application deadline will be March 30, 2014 at 11:59 pm Eastern Time. To learn what this translates to in your time zone, visit the Time and Date world clock here. We will not accept any late applications.


Do the application questions have character limits?
Yes, several sections do have character limits, which are listed next to each of those questions. Please remember to include spaces and punctuation in your character count. Most word processing programs can count characters for you. In Microsoft Word, select the text you'd like to count, then see "Word Count" under the "Tools" menu, and be sure you're reading the line for "Characters (with Spaces)."


Can I make changes to an application I already submitted?
Once you have submitted your application you cannot make any changes or submit a second application for consideration, so please be sure to proofread your answers before submitting. Any additional applications you submit will be disregarded. Changes to the short essay responses are not allowed under any circumstance. In special cases you can petition to revise factual information or to add new information, such as an award you received after you submitted your application but before the deadline. Such requests will be reviewed by request and on a case by case basis.

How competitive is the application process?
Very! In the first two years, some 1,000 candidates applied to for just 50-80 spots. We're expanding our service force this year to increase the number of available service member positions but will have a maximum of 175 open positions, pending funding. Candidates who have previous experience in school gardens, farm to school work, public health, education, community building, nutrition, or cooking should highlight that experience. But remember that we're looking to build a diverse and well-rounded class of service members, so there's not any "one" thing we're looking for.

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