Alamosa, Colorado

Local Foods Project Associate

San Luis Valley Local Foods Coalition -- Alamosa, Colorado

1 or 2 year term
Ages 20+
Mennonite Voluntary Service



Filled until 2025

The San Luis Valley Local Foods Coalition (SLVLFC) is the parent organization for several projects, including the Valley Roots Food Hub (Hub), Cooking Matters (CM), Local Foods Guide, Rio Grande Farm Park (RGFP) and other local initiatives that reconnect Valley residents to the seed, soil, farmers, animals, and stories of where and how their food is grown. This position will involve activities related to two or more of these projects, with the possibility of being split into half-time positions that draw on a volunteer's skills and interests and can be matched with another part-time community placement elsewhere. The full-time position encompasses both Food Hub activities, as well as initiatives based primarily in the Coalition's central office – such as Cooking Matters and the Local Foods/Local Places project. Note that a separate full-time volunteer position is listed for the Rio Grande Farm Park.

Valley Roots Food Hub: Valley Roots Food Hub was launched in 2015 as a key distribution link in building a sustainable local foods economy. The Hub serves producers, small grocers, restaurants, schools and CSA subscribers with high quality local foods via online statewide distribution and a retail outlet that is launching in 2023. With our receipt of EPA funding for an anaerobic digester facility, we are building out a one-of-a-kind Renewable Energy Park (RePark) to serve the agro-tourism campus in Mosca, CO.  This placement site involves an average of 18-32 hours/week at the Hub warehouse and campus, located 10 miles from the Coalition office in Alamosa. The project associate will assist the Hub manager with a variety of tasks that may vary seasonally that includes aggregating local foods, assisting the retail outlet operations, RePark administration and operation, agro-tourism and education, and more. These range from getting your hands dirty in packing, delivering, amnestying stocking fresh foods from around the region, to administrative tasks related to managing and growing this social enterprise and helping coordinate occasional community gatherings, educational events, and workdays. While much of the work for this position can be done during normal weekday hours, there may be a long aggregating day for packing orders during high-season months.

Cooking Matters: A key link in the Coalition's local food equity is Cooking Matters, a national program which provides nutrition education and works to provide increased access to local foods for low-income households with young children. Spend an average of 5-10 hours/week supporting the local CM teaching team, including coordination of logistics and enrollment for cooking classes for families throughout the region. Some attendance at evening classes will allow more indepth experience of the Cooking Matters model.

Local Foods/Local Places and other central office initiatives: Spend 5-10 hours on average per week helping to implement the Local Foods/Local Places action plan, a community-wide collaboration to integrate local foods and culture more systematically into downtown Alamosa restaurants and retail outlets, special events, the seasonal Farmers' Market, etc., as well as work on core food equity issues and economic development options for lower-income consumers and new small farmers. These activities can include a range of organizational development tasks, administration, grant-writing, marketing, research and events organizing. Work with the Executive Director and a great team of project managers, volunteers and diverse community partners.

Qualifications (may vary by areas of work focus)

  • Education and/or experience in sustainable ag, local foods movement, nutrition and/or non-profit or social enterprise development a plus
  • Ability to be flexible and transition between varied project teams, settings and needs
  • Comfortable relating to a diverse range of community partners and participants
  • Experience in a Latino cultural setting and/or moderate Spanish fluency a plus
  • Good verbal, written and computer skills
  • Able to work hard, including physical labor as required
  • Ability to drive for work, including use of the Hub delivery truck if needed

 Program info



Mennonite Voluntary ServiceMennonite Voluntary Service<p>​<strong class="ms-rteFontSize-4">Serve in community</strong><br></p><p>Join an intentional community with peers, serve with a local nonprofit, and plug into your neighborhood and local congregation</p><p>MVS <span><span>is a program of Mennonite Mission Network.</span></span><br> </p>

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Constituent ID: 538517