AmeriCorps Members are Making it Happen at Pike Place Market
Pike Place Market is one of the biggest food landmarks in the country – a public market brimming with fresh produce and local food delicacies. While many see the Market as the perfect place to visit on vacation a select few are drawn to it as the perfect long term volunteering opportunity: introducing our AmeriCorps VISTA members!
They join our team in the Market for many different reasons. Sarah Grider, one of the Food Bank’s 2016 VISTAs explained that what appealed to her about the AmeriCorps position at Pike Place Market was, “having the opportunity to connect the knowledge I had about growing food to the action of giving it away to the people I wanted to have it.” Fueled by a diverse bevy of reasons, every year 11 incredible individuals come from all over the country to serve as the Foundation’s VISTA cohort. They help keep things running smoothly at social service agencies within the Market, such as The Market Foundation, Pike Market Food Bank, Pike Market Childcare and Preschool, the Food Access Program, as well as at two other food banks in the greater Seattle area.
In 2016, over their collective 24,880 hours, they excelled in many roles: Food Access Coordinator, Community Resource Developer, The Market Commons Coordinator, Communications Coordinator and Community Outreach Coordinator. This talented group of young adults has not only kept things running smoothly but they have created amazing growth at the Market. Erica Ward, The Market Commons Coordinator, worked tirelessly to build relationships with different community members and players in order to understand and plan programming for Pike Place Market’s new neighborhood center: The Market Commons. Abbie Abramovich, who works for the Food Access Program, helped expand the Market’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program to include Market residents. And, a whole team of AmeriCorps VISTA members has been working hard to completely rethink how the Pike Market Food Bank distributes food – working towards a system that preserves client dignity. In the end they all agreed, the biggest reward was seeing the impact their hard work had on the vulnerable community they care so much about.
Thank you so much to all of our Americorps VISTAs past and present. The hard work you do every year has a real and lasting impact here at the Market, we couldn’t do this without you!