Food Inspired Resilience & Equity Internship
Photo credit: Young people supporting Craven County food initiatives.
From February to May 2022, 6 college students or recently graduated student interns are supporting local food councils’ community and equity work.
Applications for the next cycle of interns will open in June 2022. Sign up for our interest form to get notified when the application opens!
Eligibility: Students currently enrolled in an undergraduate, graduate, or professional degree program at any North Carolina university, college, or community college across the state, or students that have recently graduated from one (within the last 6 months).
These interns will support local food councils across the state with projects like research, meeting facilitation, logistical support, and communications.
Applications for 2022-2023 Internships will open in June.
2022 FIRE Interns & Host Sites
Participating food councils in Spring 2022:
- Alamance Food Collaborative
- Cape Fear Food Council
- Charlotte-Mecklenburg Food Policy Council
- Men & Women United for Youth and Families
- Rutherford Food Network
- Watauga Food Council
Six interns have been matched with six food councils.
1) Anna Whitaker is working with the Cape Fear Food Council to identify food policy gaps in the Cape Fear region by using needs assessments, asset mapping, and community conversations. This project supports equity because of the focus on how the food council can help meet community needs (determined by a needs assessment survey and community conversations) and develop policy that will create systems level change.
2) Alyssa Delts is working with Men and Women United for Youth and Families to build their organizational structure, including youth empowerment, communications, and community outreach. Equity plays a role in her youth empowerment work, where she is creating opportunities for youth to engage with their communities in meaningful and sustainable ways.
3) Joanna Brette Pattillo is working with the Watauga Food Council to build their communications capacity to expand community outreach to local communities, especially those that are experiencing food insecurity.
4) Charlie Robinette is working with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Food Policy Council and is supporting their SNAP Double Bucks program at the Farmers Market, food waste and recovery organizing efforts in the county, and completing an annual report. These efforts will facilitate equity by connecting people who receive SNAP benefits with local fresh produce, as well as through the food waste and recovery efforts.
5) Vanessa Amankwaa is working with Alamance Food Collaborative and helping them identify ways to improve recruitment models and increase participation. This effort supports equity in that it aims to engage new community members, specifically farmers and small businesses, in this food council that aims to strengthen Alamance’s local food system.
6) Grace Baucom is working with Rutherford’s Food Council to support the equitable development of their new food council, in part by organizing a community listening session, creating their website and guiding documents with more language accessibility, and leading a survey that will collect quantitative data on the needs and opportunities in Rutherford’s local food system.
Spring 2022 FIRE Internship Overview
- This program will host up to six student or recently graduated student interns, during Spring 2022 (February to May), to support local food councils’ community and equity work. These interns will support local food councils across the state with projects like research, meeting facilitation, logistical support, and communications.
- Interns will be paid $15/hr for approximately up to 15 hrs/wk for 12 weeks. Interns must be able to commit to working at least 12 hours per week.
- Potential for internship extension based on grant and intern fit.
- Opportunity to connect with and learn from community leaders across the state.
- Ability to support grassroots food initiatives working to uplift their community assets.
- Applications open late November, 2021
- Applications due January 3rd, 2022 by noon
- Interviews the week of January 17th, 2022
- Offers made February 1st, 2022
- Proposed start date February 14th, 2022
- Enthusiasm for local foods and a respect for health equity work in diverse communities
- Must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate, graduate, or professional degree program at any North Carolina university, college, or community college across the state, or have recently graduated in the past 6 months
- The interns will be chosen based on the communities and local food councils they will serve, as well as student interest and experiences.
Preferences: (Specific skills necessary will differ based on internship placement.)
- Must be passionate about local food systems (e.g. food, agriculture, health), are hard-working, self-motivated, and have a positive attitude.
- Ability to take direction, show initiative, and work well in a team as well as independently
- Excellent communication and organizational skills, strong attention to detail, and the ability to be flexible – to adapt to a changing work environment responding to community needs.
- Must be flexible and open to working with multiple mentors (Food Council leaders, CEFS staff, Community Food Strategies staff)
- Experience/study in agriculture or food systems related field, including Biology, Agriculture, Agriculture Business, Public Administration, Recreation, Social Work, Political Science, Health, or Criminal Justice
- Students who:
- Live or attend school in communities in close proximity to the host site organization of their choice
- Are from underrepresented communities
Community Food Strategies works to inspire connections and amplify collective action so that community voices are heard and food policy shifts toward more equitable outcomes.
Our ultimate purpose is to help build an equitable, community driven food system that improves the quality of life for all people. Learn more here.
North Carolina Local Food Council serves as a collaborative network across various organizations, agencies, and groups whose statewide work supports vibrant farmers and fisheries, healthy people, strong communities, thriving local economies, and resilient ecosystems through a common aim: NC’s local food system. Learn more here.
This internship program is financially supported by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
CEFS envisions a future of vibrant farms, resilient ecosystems, strong communities, healthy people, and thriving local economies. CEFS is one of the nation’s most important centers for research, extension, and education in sustainable agriculture and community-based food systems. It is recognized as a national and international leader in the local foods movement, and celebrated for its work in building consensus around policies, programs, and actions that facilitate a vibrant local food economy.
CEFS was born from the shared conviction that a land-grant-university-based research, education, and extension program focused on organic and sustainable agriculture could have a significant and essential impact in North Carolina.