(Fredrick, MD) AmeriCorps A*STAR Opportunity

Looking for opportunities to gain volunteer experience, beef up your resume, and make a difference in your community?

Support our work at Hood College’s Frederick Food Security Network as an AmeriCorps A*STAR! Member.

The Frederick Food Security Network is a program based out of the Hood College Center for Coastal and Watershed Studies (Frederick, MD). It operates a network of community gardens in Frederick City food deserts and coordinates food distribution in order to alleviate food insecurity in our neighborhoods.

We are looking for current, future, and past students to volunteer for us at the Frederick Food Security Network, based out of Hood College as AmeriCorps 300-hour interns. AmeriCorps is a nationally-funded service program in the United States, a domestic Peace Corps. It’s widely recognized and would be a terrific resume builder and way to build experience and get references.

Requirements include completing 300 hours of service between August 15, 2019 and August 14, 2020.

What we expect from our AmeriCorps members:

  • Reliability in coming at set hours (though we of course understand when things come up and just need good communication)
  • Positive attitude
  • Flexibility in understanding we work in an environment where things change frequently
  • Hard working and can work independently from instructions
  • Team player, ability to work with others in a collaborative environment

Benefits of working with us:

  • Flexible volunteer hours to fit around your student/work schedule
  • Positive working environment with a team atmosphere
  • Guidance and training when needed but autonomy in completing tasks
  • Room for creativity, problem-solving, and opportunities to present your own ideas
  • Having AmeriCorps on your resume for future employment activities
  • Education award of ~$1,200
  • Great work experience and references

We are looking for the following (though please note that positions are fluid, and you will likely be engaged in a variety of tasks depending on what’s currently going on in the FFSN. Therefore, we are looking for flexible people who can perform a variety of tasks on any given day. No two days are alike at the FFSN!):

Greenhouse/urban agriculture support
We will be operating 3 greenhouses/hoop houses year-round (1 on-site at Hood College, 2 an 8-minute drive away). During the spring, summer, and early fall, we have 5 gardens around Frederick City.

  • Duties include: seed starts, transplants, watering, harvesting, data tracking and other duties related to growing vegetables in a greenhouse or garden site such as signage, pest management and scheduling of starting seeds, helping train and work with other volunteers, assist with occasional community events, wash and prepare produce for distribution, assist with distribution, help with garden construction as needed, and more.
  • The work of these AmeriCorps members is essential to our success each growing season. They provide the power we need to manage our growing operations and get produce where it’s needed in the community.
  • Should have their own transportation and the physical ability to garden, shovel, bend, and lift
  • Should be flexible and willing to fill in with whatever tasks may unexpectedly come up

Program support

  • Duties include: developing gardening / nutritional educational materials and distributing to produce recipients, developing a social media outreach strategy, creating flyers and graphics, working with partners to implement farming metrics data collection, surveying program beneficiaries, assisting with newsletters, and more.
  • The work of the AmeriCorps member offering program support will allow us to expand our outreach efforts into the community, particularly in our community education effort, and promote the longevity of the network’s activities.

If interested, email your resume and cover letter to Connie Ray at ray@hood.edu.

Here’s what some past students have said about working with us:

 “This has been the best part of my summer!”

 “It was my most rewarding job experience, and made me a part of something much bigger than myself.”

 “When I left work, I was sad that I didn’t get to come back until next week.”

 “I had very limited gardening experience [before starting this job], but everyone is so kind and so eager help that it’s really easy to pick up things. And I’ve really met some wonderful people along the way… It’s just been overwhelmingly good.”