The Idaho Foodbank is lucky enough to have a group of dedicated volunteers who have taken an oath to help fight hunger in Idaho and have teamed up with the Foodbank to get that work done.
They’re called AmeriCorps VISTAs and they survive on a small living allowance while they work full time hours during 12 months of service.
As part of April’s celebration of volunteers for National Volunteer Month, we’re introducing you to each of the Foodbank’s volunteer VISTAs.
Why did you choose to take part in the VISTA program?
“I became a VISTA because I was excited at the prospect of taking on a new exciting project,” she says. “I wanted the opportunity to have an in-depth learning experience while serving my community at the same time.”
Why did you choose The Idaho Foodbank?
“I was an intern for The Idaho Foodbank while a student at Boise State University. I had the opportunity to work with the Cooking Matters program. While I was an intern, I was able to see the impact a class such as Cooking Matters could make within an individual, family or child’s life. I always imagined working in the for-profit world but just with my experience at the Foodbank, I realized what an amazing organization the Foodbank was and the amazing work and services they provide on a daily basis. I couldn’t imagine myself in any other type of work.”
What has the experience been like?
“It is amazing to connect with people who have the desire to help feed food-insecure individuals. The Idaho Foodbank is such an amazing organization. Every individual that works or volunteers there truly has a desire to fight hunger across our state. I have had the opportunity to work under Jackie Yarbrough who was an amazing mentor and has done everything to help propel all of her VISTAs forward in career experience, knowledge and personal gain through their experience. I also had the opportunity to learn from Foodbank President and CEO Karen Vauk. She makes every VISTA feel as if they are a part of The Idaho Foodbank family, even if it is just for the year.”
What did the program change about you?
“This program changed me by teaching me that while someone may be struggling in the moment- whether that’s feeding their family, paying an electric bill or having enough gas money to get to work- there are so many individuals and organizations that are out there to assist and help people not only get out of the struggling time, but to move forward and get themselves in a position to lend a hand to someone else in the future.”
Are you interested in becoming a VISTA like Alicia? CLICK HERE to apply!