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As a Farmer’s Market Nutrition Assistance VISTA, you will amplify the reach and impact of several programs at our area’s farmer’s markets. Veggie Vouchers are distributed through several local clinics and community organizations, and can be used like money at farmer’s markets, which provides free and nutritious food to families and a valuable revenue source to farmers. As a coordinator of this program, you will establish plans for consistent distribution of vouchers to partners, analyze and interpret utilization rates and share findings with diverse stakeholders, and maintain strong communication with current and future partners. In order to grow this program, you will also create self-sustaining outreach plans in collaboration with partner sites and area markets, and create solutions to improve redemption rates of vouchers. You will develop incentives and educational plans for both SNAP participants and vendors who accept SNAP, with the goal of increasing use of benefits at markets and other local outlets. This will include expanding the presence of the Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB) program at College Hill Farmers Market and Waterloo Urban Farmers Market. You will become a subject matter expert on the local, state, and federal nutrition programs available to the populations we serve. This position is based at the Center for Energy and Environmental Education at the University of Northern Iowa. The Farmer’s Market Nutrition Assistance VISTA will serve among a cohort of 10 Community Food Security VISTA members throughout Iowa, and will have frequent opportunities to share knowledge within this community through regular visits to sites and members in other communities we serve. In addition to all standard Americorps VISTA benefits, you will engage regularly with thought leaders in community nutrition, food justice, agriculture, and environmental policy, and be invited to regular professional development opportunities coordinated by a VISTA Leader in your cohort.

Member Duties : As a Farmer’s Market Nutrition Assistance VISTA, you will develop and expand existing programs: Veggie Vouchers, SNAP outreach, community cooking classes, and a local assessment of food stores. You will also regularly engage potential partners for expansions of these projects or development of new ones. This experience will further develop your abilities in program management and evaluation, community nutrition education, and collection and analysis of both quantitative and qualitative data.