The Ben D. Johnson Educational Center, (BDJ Center) is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit and pillar in the West Natchitoches community. BDJ’s Legacy Youth Workforce Development program provides culinary training, career development, life and leadership skills, and support to overcome barriers to employment for young people ages 17-24 who are out of work and out of school.
The Summer VISTA positions will carry out a 7-week feeding program at the BDJ Center’s Summer Food Service Program, and feed 100 low-income students (up to 18 years old) living in Natchitoches who are eligible for free or reduced lunch.
Summer associates will work with BDJ staff, full time VISTAs and students to create a sustainable summer feeding program. Specific activities include research and the development of menus that introduce students to fresh, healthy meals in accordance with SNAP-ED’s nutrition guidelines, preparing simple healthy meals (under the direction of the Chef) utilizing a commercial kitchen, create activities that teach students about nutrition, and encourage healthy lifestyle changes. Individuals will gain valuable experience in starting a feeding program, an opportunity to serve individuals with food insecurities and ultimately impact the quality of life for young people with food insecurities.
To learn more about these opportunities and to apply, go to AmeriCorps VISTA | AmeriCorps You can also contact the staff at the Ben Johnson Educational Center at 318-460-7460.
Claire Prymus, President and Founder, “We are grateful for the partnership with AmeriCorps which has helped to create sustainability and build capacity within our organization, and enable us to carry out our mission to build community in Natchitoches and give access to social and economic success to all residents. We are also grateful to local businesses and residents who believe and support our mission.”