2020-21 Penn State Americorps Service Opening

The Sustainable Food Systems Program (SFSP), part of the Sustainability Institute at Penn State, enables hands-on learning and service across the food system. The SFSP integrates the Student Farm, the Lion’s Pantry, course-client collaborative projects, a Student Farm Club and diverse community partnerships.

Sustainable Food Systems Program AmeriCorps

The SFSP is seeking a full-term AmeriCorps member to build capacity in support of our community wellness goals to 1) educate people about food system sustainability and health, and 2) strengthen the local community through growing, promoting and donating local foods. Under supervision of the SFSP Associate Director, the AmeriCorps member will collaborate with students, faculty, community organizations and volunteers to design, implement and evaluate programs that support local food security, economic development and personal engagement with our food system.

AmeriCorps responsibilities include:

  1. Collaborate with community partners, students and faculty to develop and sustain SFSP programs.
  2. Develop and coordinate partnerships between university faculty and courses, and local food and agriculture systems organizations, such as area food banks, local food coops and local farms.
  3. Recruit, train and provide support to volunteers serving with the SFSP and community partners, including produce for donation to area food banks and pantries through Community Harvest.
  4. Coordinate and lead Student Farm tours for students, youth, community members and others.
  5. Assist and support student leaders with farm and program tasks, trainings and events.
  6. Research, develop and conduct educational and outreach initiatives on topics such as food security, gardening, nutrition and healthy food access.
  7. Coordinate with the Centre County partners to plan and carry out county-wide events and activities focused on enhancing the food system.
  8. Develop and implement tools for continuously tracking program outcomes. Present program outcomes and data to university, governmental and community stakeholders.
  9. Complete various other projects that help to develop and sustain the SFSP.


  1. Must meet all Penn State clearance and background check requirements.
  2. Superb written, interpersonal and oral communication skills.
  3. Able to learn quickly, prioritize multiple projects, manage schedule independently, meet deadlines and enjoy a fast-paced work environment.
  4. Relevant ability working with underserved and/or underrepresented populations.
  5. Able to work with diverse groups and individuals in indoor and outdoor settings.
  6. Interest in and knowledge about food systems concepts and/or community organizing preferred.
  7. Valid driver’s license, own transportation.
  8. Bachelor’s degree preferred. Current Penn State students are eligible as well.

Position location: Penn State University in State College, PA. The position may require remote work due to COVID-19.

Service term: August 20, 2020 – August 6, 2021; avg. 38-40 hours per week (1700 hours total)

AmeriCorps stipend: $654 distributed biweekly over the term, and a $6195 education award upon service term completion. Office space provided at University Park campus. Please see http://www.pmsc.org/become-a-member/ for additional information about AmeriCorps service.

To apply: Submit a resume, cover letter and two references’ contact info with the subject line 2020 SFSP AmeriCorps Application to Angela Corcoran at anc5690@psu.edu. Interviews will begin July 13, 2020.