Americorps

Meet Public Allies North Carolina Americorps member Chelsea Travis

It’s Americorps week, so each day we’re featuring one of the dedicated Americorps members currently serving with Inter-Faith Food Shuttle! Today, meet Chelsea Travis, our  Mobile Markets Health Coordinator, who  is actually in her second term as an Americorps member with Public Allies North Carolina and Inter-Faith Food Shuttle – she spent her first year as our School Pantry Coordinator, expanding the number of our school pantries in Durham from a single pilot to pantries at 5 middle and high schools. This year, she is working with our Medical Mobile Farmers Markets held at area health clinics as a means of improving chronic health issues related to diet.  Partnering with medical centers, we provide "prescription produce" of free fresh fruits and vegetables for low-income patients with diabetes, high blood pressure, and other ailments so that they can adhere to their doctor's dietary instructions, supporting their progress towards a healthy life.

What made you decide to become an Americorps Member? I chose to become an Americorps member because I wanted to spend some hands-on time helping others and gaining some invaluable training in the meantime. I hoped to travel some as well, and I have done all this and more in and around the community I've grown up in, and my eyes have been opened up to so many new perspectives and realities. It has been so rewarding!

What’s been your favorite moment working with IFFS so far? My best moments working with IFFS so far have been so numerous and varied that I cannot just choose one! So I'll give you a melange of my best moments: learning how to drive a delivery truck, culinary class lunches, warehouse surprises, awesome trainings and conferences, and funny/inspiring/home-y gatherings with amazing co-workers!

What do you like to do when you’re not working to end hunger? I like to dance, practice Capoeira, watch good movies- I am currently finishing the Star Wars trilogy, admire good art, and spend time with friends and family.

What’s your favorite movie? This is so hard I cannot pick just one favorite movie, but one of my favorites is Inception.

What would your last meal be? My last meal?! No clue. I just hope that it is good and cheesy. :)

Meet Americorps VISTA Sarah Burch

It's Americorps week, so each day we're featuring one of the dedicated Americorps members currently serving with Inter-Faith Food Shuttle! Today, meet Sarah Burch, an Americorps VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America) and our Cooking Matters at the Store Coordinator. She is currently working on a marketing strategy for expansion of Satellite Cooking Matters at the Store programming, project management of our NC Cooking Matters at the Store Day on Food Day 2013, and has doubled the IFFS-led Cooking Matters at the Store programming.

An England native, Sarah attended the University of Oxford in England, graduating with an Bachelor of Arts degree in Jurisprudence.  She worked as a chartered accountant in London, England, Hartford, Connecticut, and Nashville, Tennessee before taking time off to start a family.  She is now the mother of four and seeking to obtain a Master of Science in Nutrition from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.  Sarah hopes to eventually work as a nutritionist in the public health field.

What made you decide to become an Americorps Member?

I decided to become an Americorps member to gain experience with nutrition in the public health field, especially as regards feeding the hungry.

What’s been your moment working with IFFS so far?

I have really enjoyed running Cooking Matters at the Store tours. The tours are fun as well as informative, and I am touched by the appreciation shown by tour participants.

What do you like to do when you’re not working to end hunger?

I like to read, travel, and inflict new recipes on my family.

What’s your favorite movie?

There are two: Finding Nemo and The English Patient.

What would your last meal be?

Hard question.… probably Chicken Tikka Massala with lots and lots of Naan bread.

Meet Americorps VISTA Yvonne Wagner

It's Americorps week, so each day we're featuring one of the dedicated Americorps members currently serving with Inter-Faith Food Shuttle! Today, meet Yvonne Wagner, an Americorps  VISTA member who is joining us  on March 25th after training in Dallas, and will be primarily responsible for developing a marketing strategy to secure $10 gift cards for Cooking Matters & Cooking Matters at the Store programs, as well as ongoing support for our Cooking Matters satellite partners and expansion of Cooking Matters programming in Communities in Schools locations throughout the state.

What made you decide to become an Americorps Member?

I had friends that had great experiences as AmeriCorps members that made me initially start looking into opportunities. When I found out I could use my business and marketing skills to work on hunger and poverty issues, I was sold.

What are you most excited for regarding your new role at Inter-Faith Food Shuttle? 

I am excited to bring more attention to the issues of hunger and poor nutrition in our country. I am always passionately discussing these things with my friends, so it is a dream to be able to make a real difference and get involved.

What do you like to do when you’re not working to end hunger?

I am always working on ending my own hunger - I love cooking and experimenting with gluten-free and vegan recipes. You can find me at the gym daily. I like Pilates, yoga, kickboxing, barre... you name the class, I'll try it! I can't wait to spend more time biking and walking outdoors after a snowy Minnesota winter. I also like reading, and have my nook on hand at all times. Nothing is better to decompress after a long day.

What’s your favorite movie?

This is a tough one. I love classic films, Oscar winners, and small indie projects. Right now I can't get enough of Beasts of the Southern Wild and Django Unchained, but my long-time favorites are Almost Famous and The Royal Tenenbaums.

What would your last meal be?

I would want my last meal to be a Japanese feast! Edamame, sushi, miso soup, buckwheat soba noodles, and mochi for dessert. Yum.

Meet Americorps member Sarah Paxson

It's Americorps week, so each day we're featuring one of the dedicated Americorps members currently serving with Inter-Faith Food Shuttle! Today, meet Sarah Paxson, our Cooking Matters Coordinator, who is primarily responsible for Cooking Matters Programming, including outreach to community agencies and increasing our number of classes and participants served.  Additionally, Sarah is working on developing Cooking Matters program management skills, including budget tracking, agency outreach, and program communications.

Prior to working for Cooking Matters, Sarah attended college at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago, and in the years since, has been working in the international development world with non-profits such as Samaritan’s Purse and Wine to Water, having the opportunity to travel and work in places like Uganda, Rwanda, Honduras, and Haiti. Sarah lives in Chapel Hill, NC with her husband.

What made you decide to become an AmeriCorps member?

My husband and I had just moved to the Triangle, and I was looking for an opportunity to get to know and serve the community I was now a part of.  After four years in the nonprofit sector, I wanted to apply the skills and experience that I had acquired in a more direct and tangible way.  Serving as an AmeriCorps member, you see your impact immediately and it’s incredibly satisfying.

What has been your best moment working for IFFS so far? 

Every moment is progressively better, from exposing children to foods they’ve never experienced before to interacting with our fun and feisty senior citizens during class.  My job works with a broad range of people, and those collective moments have been my best moments.

What do you like to do when you’re not working to end hunger?

I’m constantly experimenting with food, riding my bike, practicing yoga, and exploring all that North Carolina has to offer.

What’s your favorite movie?

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

What would your last meal be?

Guacamole and pita chips, a handful of fresh cherries, Brie cheese paired with apple slices, and… a chocolate.  Plenty of chocolate.

Americorps Week

It's Americorps week, so we're taking the time to appreciate the work and service done by all of our dedicated Americorps members here at the Food Shuttle.  AmeriCorps is a network of national service programs that engage Americans in intensive service to meet the nation’s critical needs in education, the environment, public safety, health, and other areas. Members serve in both full-time and part-time positions and address critical community needs, fight poverty, and build capacity. We are lucky enough to have four Americorps members who are  serving with us currently, as well as many other Americorps alums on staff! Look for each of these lovely ladies to be featured each day this week!

 

Sarah BurchSarah Burch (Americorps VISTA)our Cooking Matters at the Store Coordinator, who is working on a marketing strategy for expansion of Satellite Cooking Matters at the Store programming, project management of our NC Cooking Matters at the Store Day on Food Day 2013, and has doubled the IFFS led Cooking Matters at the Store programming.

Chelsea crop

Chelsea Travis (Public Allies),  our Mobile Market Health Coordinator, who  is actually in her second term as an Americorps member with Inter-Faith FoodShuttle - she spent her first year as our School Pantry Coordinator, expanding the number of our school pantries in Durham from a single pilot to 5 middle and high schools. This year she is working on expanding and improving our medical mobile markets.

 

Sarah PaxsonSarah Paxson (Americorps), our Cooking Matters Coordinator, who is primarily responsible for Cooking Matters Programming including outreach to community agencies and increasing our number of classes and participants served.  Additionally, Sarah is working on developing Cooking Matters program management skills, including budget tracking, agency outreach, and program communications.

 

yvonne wagner

Yvonne Wagner (Americorps  VISTA), who is joining us  on March 25th after training in Dallas, will be primarily responsible for developing a marketing strategy to secure $10 gift cards for Cooking Matters & Cooking Matters at the Store programs, as well as ongoing support for our Cooking Matters satellite partners and expansion of Cooking Matters programming in Communities in Schools locations throughout the state.

Frugal Fridays: Matt’s Recipe Remix

For the last two years I have been serving as an AmeriCorpsmember in Vermont with a youth outreach organization and now at the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle in North Carolina with Operation Frontline. As AmeriCorps members we learn to live on a limited budget in our year and in my case two years of service. Sometimes as AmeriCorps members we face challenges similar to those of our class participants in creating meals that are both tasty and nutritious on a limited budget. Since coming to the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle and working with the OFL program, I have had the benefit of having access to the phenomenal recipes that are in the OFL curriculum. I love to cook and do so almost every night, so I decided to utilize these recipes in my daily cooking. Working with the OFL recipes, I learned some great things that have helped me to continue to eat healthy while doing what I love, which is cooking yummy meals and sharing them with my friends. Below is a meal I put together the other night for my monthly “game night” using variations of the OFL recipes. This menu served me and seven of my friends, and cost me under $20 to make this meal for 8; keeping in mind I had the spices and oil already. The weekend is upon us so try this at home and see how easy it is!

Quick Note: You do not have to go out and buy spices for these recipes if you don’t have them, I always use what was in my cabinet until it is done. I am a big fan of Jane’s Krazy Salt.

Homemade “Faux” Hummus/Bean Dip

Inspired by OFL Eating Right, White Bean Dip recipe

Serves 8, Cost $3.50-$4.50

  • 2 cans of garbanzo beans (or chick peas) - $1.38 for 2 cans
  • 2 cloves of garlic – $.50 for bulb of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil - small store brand $2.99 *
  • ¼ cup of water (I have also replaced this with non-fat skim milk; it creates a creamier dip) - milk $1.09 *
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice - 1 lemon $.51
  • Fresh or dry parsley *
  • Pinch of black pepper *
  • Pinch of all spice *
  • Pinch of chili powder *
  • Dash of Jane’s Krazy Mixed-Up Salt (www.janeskrazy.com) *

*I already had these ingredients at home.

Directions: Blend all ingredients in a blender and serve. Top with parsley for looks.

Homemade Whole Wheat Flour Chips

Inspired by: Eating Right, Homemade Corn Tortilla Chips recipe

Serves 8-10, Cost $3.00-$4.00

  • 2 packages of store brand tortillas - $1.69 per package
  • Olive oil or vegetable/olive oil cooking spray*
  • Pinch of salt or Jane’s Krazy Salt*

*I already had these ingredients at home.

Directions: Cut tortillas, very lightly spray or coat with Oil, sprinkle salt. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes, or until brown and crisp.

Chicken, Spinach, and Bean Pasta

Inspired by: Eating Right, Pasta with Beans and Collard Greens recipe

Serves 8-12, Cost $10.00-$13.50

  • 2 packages of boneless chicken breast or chicken tenders - $3.01 per package (purchase what ever is on sale that week; I got mine buy-one-get-one-free)
  • 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil *
  • 1 package of whole wheat pasta - $1.99
  • 1 package of spinach - 3.49*
  • 1 clove of garlic * (you have already have purchased it for the dip)
  • 2 onions (red, white, or yellow depending on your preference and the price) - $1.29
  • 1 green pepper - $.50
  • 1 fresh tomato or can of diced - $.75 can w/ coupon
  • 1 package of mushrooms – $1.99
  • Fresh or dried basil - Picked from my windowsill herb garden
  • Dash of salt or crazy slat*
  • 1 can of beans (white, northern, pinto, or kidney), drained and rinsed - $1.70 for a can of organic pintos
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice * (you have already have purchased it for the dip)
  • ½ teaspoon of pepper *
  • 1 teaspoon of salt *
  • 1/2 cup of water or white cooking wine *

*I already had these ingredients at home.

Directions: Cook the pasta, cook the chicken, and while chicken is cooking chop and put all veggies, except spinach and mushrooms, in a pan with oil and heat on a medium low. Once chicken is finished cooking, cut it into sizes of your liking and add along with mushrooms and beans to pan with veggies. Add water or cooking wine and bring to a simmer. You’re almost done, now add the spices and basil, mix and let simmer for 1-2 min. Finally, serve over the cooked paste and mix in the uncooked spinach to freshen the taste.

I hope you found this helpful and if you want to learn more about Operation Frontline at the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle keep visiting our OFL blog with recipes, videos, class stories, and more.