Harvest VISTA Program

Are you interested in becoming a full-time AmeriCorps member? Check out our available positions!

“For us, the program started as a leap of faith. We weren’t sure exactly how the VISTA resource could be used to support our food system and hunger relief work on the Peninsula, but we knew we wanted to build something better. After the third year of the program and witnessing first-hand the collective impact of the Harvest VISTAs' work on all aspects of our food system, I can’t imagine where we’d be without them."
Clea Rome
Director, WSU Clallam County Extension

Our Harvest VISTA program acts as an incubator and catalyst, utilizing a team of AmeriCorps members with the VISTA program embedded in local food system organizations across the country to serve marginalized and underserved communities. While serving at their host sites, AmeriCorps members build and strengthen capacity for gleaning and produce recovery, as well as for local food systems. The produce recovery and gleaning programs focus on increasing access to local, fresh produce at the farm level, from a Grow A Row program in Bremerton, WA to mobile farmers markets in Tacoma. The food system programs improve on existing models and create new ones, such as the Gleaning Network is being developed to create a regional network of organizations that glean in the state of Washington.  

AmeriCorps members create new opportunities for produce collection, volunteer recruitment, gleaning, and gardening. By design, specific activities vary by location to meet community needs and available resources. AmeriCorps members develop relationships with local growers, recruit new volunteers, build effective transportation networks, and identify necessary resources to make these new programs successful and sustainable. They benefit from professional development opportunities, mentorship, monthly cohort meetings, and trainings provided by Harvest Against Hunger and the AmeriCorps VISTA program.

The goal of the Harvest VISTA program is to build sustainable and scalable projects. Since 2009, AmeriCorps members have supported the development of many unique food system programs that will continue to benefit communities for years to come. 

Questions?  Please contact Maria Mendez-Francisco, Harvest VISTA Program Director.

Pounds of fresh produce gathered
Programs built
Farmers recruited

Current AmeriCorps members

Sarah Armbruster

Washington State Gleaning Network Development VISTA

Harvest Against Hunger


Jean Neumann

Fundraising and Development Specialist VISTA

City Fruit


Savannah Carter

Farm Recovery Manager VISTA

Concrete Jungle 


Mika Adachi

Community Food System VISTA

Blue Mountain Action Council


Hallie Evans

Development and Communication Specialist VISTA

City Fruit


Emily Syrjala

Farm to Full Bellies Gleaning and Volunteer Recruitment Coordinator VISTA

Making a Difference Foundation


Celeste Mader

 GoodRoots VISTA

GoodRoots Northwest