Jacob White joined JFS in March 2017 as an AmeriCorps Vista. For this one-year full-time position, his stated goal was “to expand operating hours at the Brookside pantry.” When he started, the pantry was open to clients one day a week. The pantry is now open the equivalent of two and a half days a week.
Jacob also helped JFS build capacity in the food pantry to implement nutrition education, work toward a community garden, and assist new volunteer groups, including Junior League, to make their time meaningful. Jo Hickey, JFS Food Pantry Director, shares,
“We are very fortunate to be a part of the AmeriCorps VISTA program as it helps us expand our services to more clients and Jacob has been a great addition to the volunteer and food pantry team at JFS.”
AmeriCorps VISTA is in partnership with Wichita State University, and provides Jacob with training and support. According to their website: “AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) members bring their passion and perseverance where the need is greatest: to organizations that help eradicate poverty. The most pressing challenges we face as a nation require the most courageous and creative people to address them. An AmeriCorps VISTA member serves as a catalyst for change, living and working alongside community members to advance local solutions.”
Jacob brings along his passion for food, “I have been interested in the food system since going to college in rural Iowa, where I studied anthropology and worked on a farm during the summers. I am working on my Master’s in Library Science and I was attracted to the opportunity to get more involved in food issues and learn more about the non-profit world outside the library. I live in Midtown Kansas City and in my free time, I am interested in Jewish Kansas City history, the Royals, riding my bicycle, and working in my garden.”
Having dedicated volunteer’s means that we are able to make a bigger impact for the community,” says Taly Friedman, JFS Volunteer Director, “We couldn’t do our work without them!”
To find out where you can help, contact Volunteer Engagement at 913-730-1410 or firstname.lastname@example.org.