Commissioner Miller Calls on Texans to Join TDA and Americorps Vista for Community Engagement Initiative (9/20/2016)

One in four Texas children is food insecure, meaning they don’t always have access to enough food for an active, healthy life. That’s why the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) has embarked on a partnership with AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA), in collaboration with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, to promote healthy living in communities across Texas and connect food-insecure children with the healthy meals they need to thrive in school and life. TDA’s collaboration with AmeriCorps VISTA will bring highly motivated volunteers to Texas communities facing food-insecurity challenges with the goal of engaging local leaders and developing strategies for decreasing food insecurity, increasing availability of fresh local products and enhancing the community’s overall health and wellness.

“By partnering with AmeriCorps VISTA, the Texas Department of Agriculture is bringing a whole new level of expertise to communities that can benefit from our nutrition programs and support healthier lifestyles for children in Texas,” Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller said. “Expanding partnerships that strengthen Texas communities is a priority at TDA, and I encourage our friends out there to get involved. If you have a passion for promoting child nutrition, I hope you’ll apply for the AmeriCorps VISTA program and turn your talent and motivation into building a healthier future for the Lone Star State.”

Applications are now being accepted for this program. Successful applicants will become AmeriCorps VISTA members in five regions across the state: South, Central, West/Panhandle, North and East Texas. Volunteers will live in a designated region and work to identify barriers to the success of federal nutrition programs.

Additionally, VISTAs will form advisory committees to engage parents and key community members in working to overcome barriers, enhance local school wellness policies and strengthen TDA’s Summer Food Service Program and Farm to School efforts. At the end of their year of service, members will have created a sustainable framework within each community that ensures children practice TDA’s 3E’s of Healthy Living — Education, Exercise and Eating Right.

AmeriCorps VISTA members will be provided a monthly living allowance. Membership is open to U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents age 18 or older. The term of service is from Fall/Winter 2016 through Fall/Winter 2017. Applications will be accepted until all positions are filled. 

Applications must be submitted through theAmeriCorps portal. For more information about how to apply, visit TDA’s Food andNutrition Community Engagement at SquareMeals.org/JoinAmeriCorps. For questions, contact TDA at FNCommunityEngagement@TexasAgriculture.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.