Monday, September 17, 2012

Sarah Jamieson, 2011, in Montana with No Kid Hungry

After graduating from the University of New Hampshire with a BS in Environmental and Resource Economics and EcoGastronomy this May, I had the opportunity to serve as an AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associate with Montana No Kid Hungry.  For ten weeks, I worked on increasing outreach, participation, benefits, and education regarding the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), and the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program.

This summer I:
  • surveyed clients at the Helena Food Share,
  • provided nutrition education and a smoothie presentation for foster teenagers,
  • reviewed the online SNAP application process,
  • conducted phone interviews with SNAP participants,
  • designed a “Welcome to SNAP” brochure to be dispersed upon benefit approval,
  • solicited farmer’s market managers across the state to encourage EBT-program implementation,
  • gave suggestions for improvement to SNAP management,
  • created and handed out a flyer at the farmer’s market featuring a specific product and recipe with other food assistance information,
  • visited a Boys and Girls Club Afterschool Meals site,
  • compiled and analyzed lists to locate eligible Afterschool Meals sites,
  • developed postcards, a flyer, and a sample menu for CACFP site recruitment,
  • brainstormed events/activities for Food Day,
  • planned the implementation of Shopping Matters for WIC agencies across Montana,
  • expanded positive working relationships with groups such as the Montana Food Bank Network, MSU Extension, and the Montana Department of Agriculture,
  • trained the incoming full-term VISTA
This wide array of projects and research contributed to reaching the goals of the MT NKH work plan and ending childhood hunger in the state. The summer position was a truly rewarding experience and thank you so much to Share Our Strength, MT NKH, and AmeriCorps for making it possible!

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