Back to top

We're Hiring: VISTA Member - Community Nutrition Program Specialist

Beyond Hunger is harnessing the power of communities to end hunger. An award-winning direct service agency (formerly Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry), we serve residents of 13 zip codes on the West Side of Chicago and surrounding suburbs. Last year we provided critical food assistance and programming to over 50,000 individuals. Our energetic and fulfilling work environment is resourced by an operating budget of $4.5 million, 17 full-time staff members, 6 part-time staff, 1 full-time VISTA member, over 1300 active volunteers -- and possibly you.

To apply, please email your resume to

Job Summary: As the Community Nutrition Program Specialist, you'll provide capacity building support for our nutrition education, home delivery, and food pantry programs. as a full-time VISTA member, you'll be giving back to your community, helping create a more just and equitable food system. You'll develop leadership, communication, and program development skills. Using your analytical mindset, you'll develop relationships with community leaders and create processes and systems to make our programs more efficient and sustainable.

Reports To: Dietitian and Benefit Services Programs Manager

Supervises: Volunteers

Status: Full-time VISTA Member; 1700 hours to be completed within the contracted timeframe (one year). Routine schedule Monday through Friday, during normal business hours but must be willing to work occasional evening or weekend hours.

About You:

  • You have a High School Diploma with at least 2 years of related experience. A college degree in non-profit management, business, public health, healthcare administration, or related majors is preferred.
  • You're at least 21 years of age and have transportation to and from work.
  • You love helping others. Everyone at Beyond Hunger finds a way to offer direct service, but as a part of our team, it's part of your daily routine. You make partners, volunteers, and team members feel empowered and welcomed after interacting with them.
  • You have an analytical mindset. You love analyzing information, identifying problems and trends, and presenting new ways to solve complex problems. Your instinct is to step back and view current processes and implement small changes to make processes better for the entire team.
  • You are process driven. Your work will greatly impact our operations and how we serve program participants. We believe in systems and processes that let us scale our impact to be larger than ourselves.
  • You are results oriented. You hold yourself accountable to the programs goals and stay aligned with agency-wide priorities with ease and minimal supervision.
  • You are collaborative. You excel at building and nurturing relationships, not only within your own department but also with staff members in other departments and external partners. You actively seek opportunities to collaborate and communicate effectively, fostering a culture of teamwork and mutual support throughout the organization.
  • You believe in creating and maintaining safe spaces. You can work with and encourage interaction between people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds. You go out of your way to independently research other cultures and social issues outside of your own, and often speak up when you feel something isn't culturally appropriate.

What you will be doing:

Program support and development (50-75%)

  • Assist our Registered Dietitian in developing our specialty box initiative for our older adult population within our Home Delivery program.
  • Establish quality control measures for this initiative and transfer these measures into the creation of training materials, manuals, or reference guides for staff, interns, and volunteers.
  • Train volunteers on inventory and procurement measures necessary for our specialty box initiatives. This will ensure that our specialty boxes are consistently available and that safety guidelines are met.
  • Empower program participants with informed food choices by working with our nutrition team to further integrate the SWAP (Supporting Wellness at Pantries) nutrition ranking system into our food pantry and home delivery programs.
  • Provide instruction and regular training for volunteers, staff, and interns to ensure quality guidelines are met and program standards are adhered to.
  • Work with community partners to enhance the coordination of our Health Ambassador (train-the-trainer) program.

Data monitoring, analysis, and assessments (25%)

  • Provide constructive feedback and guidance to staff, volunteers, and interns on program initiatives.
  • Conduct a thorough assessment of existing pantry and home delivery inventory to categorize items according to the SWAP system (green, yellow, red).
  • Keep the SWAP files regularly updated with accurate information on food items, their respective SWAP category, and nutritional details. Adjust SWAP labels accordingly with volunteers to maintain consistency and accuracy.
  • Oversee SWAP information for the Home Delivery Salesforce inventory management system, ensuring that participants can access SWAP rankings when placing orders.
  • Establish a centralized calendar system to track Health Ambassador event schedules and ensure all stakeholders are informed. Develop a streamlined system to record and track Health Ambassadors' activities and participation in events.
  • Develop efficient tracking of Health Ambassador activities. Analyze weekly reports summarizing the activities and progress of Health Ambassadors to share with the program team.

Relationship Management (20-25%)

  • Engage with the Beyond Hunger team to share updates, insights, and best practices related to SWAP integration, fostering collaboration and knowledge sharing.
  • Attend Health Ambassador events for behind-the-scenes support as assigned.
  • Establish and maintain relationships with potential community partners for Health Ambassadors program events.

Additional Duties (5%)

  • Attend scheduled VISTA member meetings and Beyond Hunger's departmental and organizational staff meetings.
  • Participate in assigned organizational committees, potentially including Beyond Hunger's Racial Equity Leadership Team.
  • Attend professional development as requested.
  • Understand and adhere to VISTA procedures and policies and the Beyond Hunger Employee Handbook.
  • Assist with interviewing future Beyond Hunger talent.
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the team manager.


  • Living Allowance: $877.66 to be distributed in equal allotments every two weeks within the contract term through the AmeriCorps members' program.
  • Health insurance: Provided through the AmeriCorps program site.
  • Educational award: Once your term ends, you'll receive a lump sum of $6,345 from the National Service Trust that can be used on qualifying future educational costs or student loan payments.
  • Childcare assistance: Qualifying members will have assistance paid directly to childcare providers for all or a part of the member's childcare costs during their active time of service.
  • Loan forbearance: While in service, you are not required to make payments on qualifying student loans and can receive additional funds for any interest accrued during service.
  • Professional and personal development plans: Service members receive personal and agency-wide training. Personal development involves creating a plan with your supervisor tailored to individual member goals. Agency-wide trainings have included Mental Health First Aid, Conflict Resolution, Serv-Safe Food Handling, and more.

Environment: We have a multi-level work area with administrative offices/workspace not fully accessible to the mobility impaired. Reasonable accommodations can be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. The workplace is a smoke- and drug-free environment. We are an equal opportunity employer.

Location: Onsite in Chicago and Oak Park offices (85%) and remote (15%).