The Boston Food Justice Young Adult Volunteer program gives young adults a year-long experience living together in intentional Christian community and engaging in the mission of Presbytery congregations to secure healthy, just, and sustainable food for all people. At the heart of the program are practices aimed at cultivating spiritual growth, vocational discernment, and leadership development, along with social and congregational transformation.
Presbytery of Boston and Boston Food Justice Young Adult Volunteer Program (BFJYAV)
The Boston Food Justice Young Adult Volunteer Program alleviates and addresses root causes of hunger by developing access to fresh, local and sustainable food in Boston’s food deserts; educating the underserved about healthy eating habits; organizing to harness the energy of grassroots food justice initiatives; advancing the cause of fair food to Boston area consumers and businesses; and engaging in various forms of advocacy to address hunger and food security issues. The YAVs will partner closely with local congregations and non-profits, developing individual as well as congregational leadership capacity.
- Spend 35 hours a week serving in both a Boston-area nonprofit focused on food justice work and a local Presbyterian congregation developing outreach around these issues.
- Live together in an intentional Christian community committed to practices of prayer, study, reflection and vocational discernment.
- Learn to build healthy relationships with fellow YAVs, the site coordinator, coworkers and mentors; learn to collaborate with people of varied backgrounds and interests, growing in appreciation of the diversity of the Christian body.
- Set aside one day or evening each week when the whole community joins together to cultivate a common life of prayer, study, worship, and scripture reading under the leadership of mentors and the site coordinator.
- Retreat periodically as an opportunity for renewal and reflection.
All placements consist of PC(USA) church congregations paired with social service agencies that are committed to food justice. The volunteer will help to facilitate a greater partnership between the church and social service agency on issues such as food security, stewardship, and accessibility. Potential sites involve:
- After school programs for minority youth and children.
- Urban gardening.
- Healthy lifestyle and food access advocacy in an urban food desert.
- Service in a lunch program for homeless women.
- Food gleaning at peri-urban farms.
- Advocacy in a range of churches around financial, environmental, and food system stewardship.
- Designing and participating in Bible studies focused on justice, stewardship, and other dimensions of food.
- Food bank organization and logistics.
Volunteers will live in intentional community in the Boston metro area, in either a rented apartment or home, close to subway lines and/or other forms of public transportation.
INTENTIONAL COMMUNITY ASPECTS
Because life together will be based on simplicity in budget, volunteers will themselves grapple with some of the same issues of food accessibility and stewardship as the communities in which they serve. They will work together (along with help from Boston Presbytery members) to either grow or purchase much of their own food from local sources. In addition, they will study the biblical call to justice and stewardship of the food supply. BFJYAV life together is shaped by principles of simple living and community ministry as an avenue to re-envision and revitalize the church.
The site coordinator will provide support and serve as a guide to life in Boston. YAVs will also meet regularly with a spiritual director or pastor who will encourage them in areas of vocational discernment and spiritual disciplines. Further support will be provided from the volunteer’s host church for the year.
- Ability to work both independently and as a team member
Education: Some college preferred
- Computer skills (Microsoft Suite)
- Teaching/Educational skills
- Cultural Sensitivity
- Community Organizing Experience
- Food Preparation/ Preservation
- Farming/Gardening Experience
- Public Speaking