AmeriCorps National Direct Program Member




Reports to Cooking Matters program director, Alex Handfinger

Applications will be accepted through the Americorps website at

Position Description:

The ideal candidate for this AmeriCorps position is someone who values education, collaboration, and innovation and cares deeply about addressing the problems of hunger and poverty in the community.

The AmeriCorps member will work with Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance staff to implement effective hands-on courses and tours that teach families at risk of hunger that healthy cooking and eating can be delicious, enjoyable, and affordable. Participants learn to shop smarter, use nutrition information to make healthier choices, and cook delicious, affordable meals. Cooking Matters serves families across Arkansas through hands-on, 6-week cooking courses and interactive grocery store tours.

Cooking Matters AmeriCorps members are part of the local and national Cooking Matters team and take part in all associated training and activities. AmeriCorps members will receive orientation from Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters national staff as well as locally, from the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance Cooking Matters staff.  Members will be part of a peer network of AmeriCorps members from around the nation and be a part of regular training opportunities including monthly webinars and two in-person retreats.

The Cooking Matters AmeriCorps member is being sought for a term of service starting no later than September 1st but will keep the position open until it’s filled. The position will end approximately 1 year from start date.  Share Our Strength and Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance are equal opportunity employers and do not make hiring decisions on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, or religion.

As an AmeriCorps Member you can expect

The Cooking Matters AmeriCorps member will work with the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance Cooking Matters staff to implement effective hands-on courses and tours teaching families at risk of hunger that healthy cooking can be delicious, enjoyable, and –most important–affordable.  Member responsibilities and duties may include, but are not limited to:

Class and Tour Coordination and Facilitation:

  • Work with chefs, nutrition educators, and agency/site managers to implement courses and tours using Cooking Matters and Cooking Matters at the Store curriculum.
  • Complete all preparations for class including, but not limited to, assembling and transporting equipment, materials, and groceries, and preparing volunteer staff.
  • Complete program evaluation and other program reporting documentation as necessary.
  • Participate in actively seeking out, working with, and maintaining positive relationships with agencies serving low-income clients to host Cooking Matters courses and tours.
  • Assist with the development of Cooking Matters outreach materials and handouts for Cooking Matters audience, as needed.
  • Co-facilitate Cooking Matters at the Store Event Days with the Cooking Matters team throughout the state

 Volunteer Management and Training:

  • Provide volunteer instructors with training and materials needed to teach courses and tours and make sure they follow procedures and course guidelines.
  • Support and manage volunteer instructors during class to make sure they have all required materials and communicate key messages.
  • Provide timely and consistent communications with volunteers.
  • Identify and participate in opportunities to recruit volunteers. Build relationships with chefs, dietitians, nutritionists and other potential volunteers to maintain enough trained instructors to reach course goals.
  • Provide recognition of volunteers.
  • Help with special events such as volunteer appreciation/recognition events.
  • Utilize online salesforce database to track volunteer hours.


  • Work with supervisor to set personal goals and follow the work plan created for the AmeriCorps National Direct Member.
  • Ensure all necessary course reporting is in order in database and network resource center.
  • Complete additional reporting and communications contributions as required, which may include blog posts, newsletters, photographs, and volunteer and participant story gathering.
  • Submit timesheets in accordance with AmeriCorps and Share Our Strength guidelines.
  • Participate in national, state and other trainings as requested – some may require travel out of state.
  • Maintain a high level of working knowledge related to hunger, nutrition standards, regulations, and trends.
  • Collaborate with other Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance departments, as necessary, to ensure high quality service to individuals within our network of agencies.


Member commits to 1700 hours of service within a 12-month period.  The full-time member will receive a living allowance of $12,764, a basic health plan, training, child care (based on income eligibility and need), and an AmeriCorps education award of $5,815 upon successful completion of service.

 Benefits offered: 

  • Childcare assistance if eligible
  • Education award upon successful completion of service
  • Health coverage
  • Living allowance
  • Training
  • Eligibility for a partial housing stipend of $300/month after three months of service

Terms and conditions of member service:

  • Car recommended
  • Permits attendance at school during off hours
  • Permits working at another job during off hours

Minimum Age:  18

Skills we would like potential members to possess

  • Communications
  • Community Organization
  • Public Speaking
  • Teaching/Tutoring
  • Nutrition and/or culinary

Language requirement:  English

Fields of service in which Direct members will be serving:

  • Health
  • Hunger


Applications will be accepted through the Americorps website at

Any questions can be sent to Cooking Matters Director Alex Handfinger, or (501)-399-9999.