When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, nearly everything changed — including FoodCorps service.
Almost overnight, our AmeriCorps service members completely modified their routines to meet our shared new reality. Some pivoted from in-person food and nutrition lessons to Zoom and YouTube classes. Some supported their communities with emergency food distribution. All of them added stylish FoodCorps masks to their wardrobes.
The end of the pandemic is within reach, but service may still look different for a while. And the traits that helped our service members persevere throughout the pandemic — like flexibility, creativity, and motivation — will still be important when COVID is long gone.
Ready to serve, regardless of what the future holds? Here are some of the qualities we’re looking for in a rock-star service member through COVID and beyond.
- Adaptability. Service is full of surprises. Sometimes the farmer’s market doesn’t have the right herbs for your lesson. Other times, the kids in your class just aren’t listening to your cooking demo. What do you do next? FoodCorps service is all about being flexible and adaptable — to the needs of your students and to the particulars of the community where you’re serving.
- Creativity. Do you see challenges as an opportunity to learn something new? Tell us about it! One great example of creativity during service is our members’ quick pivot to video lessons at the beginning of the pandemic. Though video skills weren’t expected of our corps members, many of them learned to record and edit fun, informative videos to keep their students engaged through remote learning.
- Motivation. Our work is meant to get kids excited about growing, cooking, and eating healthy food. And our service members should be excited along with them! If you’re enthusiastic and passionate about connecting kids to nutritious food, you’ll thrive as a service member. Tell us about your passion in your application by sharing a personal experience or a moment in your life that connects you to our mission.
- Compassion. Your students, school community members, and fellow service members bring all kinds of experiences with them to the classroom, garden, and cafeteria. It’s important to approach your role with compassion and care for everyone you’ll encounter during service. Tell us in your application — what motivates you to serve the community this way? And how will you center compassion in your work?
- Commitment to equity. Our work is about ensuring that kids of all races, places, and classes have positive, nutritious experiences with school food. That takes a dedication to social justice, to undoing racism, and to dismantling the oppressions that have created an inequitable, unjust food system. How do you carry out these values in your life, and how will you bring them to your service? Let us know.
- Commitment to self-care. Social justice work can be draining — especially during a global pandemic — and you can’t show up for your students if you aren’t showing up for yourself. While resilience and perseverance are important, so is taking the time to care for yourself and your well-being. Consider how you’ll recharge your solar panels and take care of your needs if selected to serve.
Sound like you? Apply to serve with FoodCorps today!