The Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS), The North Carolina Local Food Council (NCLFC) and Community Food Strategies have developed a Food-Inspired Resilience & Equity (FIRE) Internship Program. The goal of the internship program is to match student interns with food councils across North Carolina to support local food councils’ community and equity work.
What is a food council?
Food councils are groups of cross-sector organizations that help promote more resilient food systems. They identify and strengthen connections between food, health, natural resource protection, economic development, and production agriculture. Using this cross-sector approach, food councils solve broad food system issues and give communities more control over the food they consume.
The student interns will assist the councils with projects such as:
- Researching issues, policies, communications, and practices around local food and health equity work
- Coordinating food council meetings with agendas, communication, and facilitation
- Establishing/increasing social media presence and using analytics to maintain an online presence
- Writing educational and promotional materials for community distribution
- Assisting with program coordination and logistics
- Researching and supporting funder/donor opportunities
- Developing and maintaining community partnerships
Interns will be paid $15/hr for up to 15 hrs/wk for about 12 weeks. Interns must be able to commit to work at least 10 hours per week.
The internship will be primarily remote with opportunities for site visitations dependent on the food council host and the intern. The internship also offers monthly virtual professional development and educational opportunities for interns through CEFS’ agriculture education programming.
Applications for the 2022 Spring Internship are now closed. For more information and the most regular updates about future opportunities for this internship, please visit go.ncsu.edu/fire_internship.
- Enthusiasm for local foods and a respect for health equity work in diverse local communities
- Must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate, graduate, or professional degree program at any North Carolina university, college, or community college across the state
- The interns will be chosen based on the communities and local food councils they will serve, with preference given to students from underrepresented communities
- Must be passionate about local food systems, hard-working, self-motivated, and have a positive attitude
- Ability to take direction, show initiative, and work well in a team as well as independently
- Excellent communication and organizational skills, strong attention to detail, and the ability to be flexible – to adapt to a changing work environment responding to community needs
- Must be flexible and open to working with multiple mentors (Food Council leaders, CEFS staff, Community Food Strategies staff)
- Experience/study in agriculture or food systems
- Students who:
- Live or attend school in communities in close proximity to Mecklenburg County
- Are from underrepresented communities
Project Overview & Description
The intern will primarily support CMFPC with administrative assistance and communications efforts. In the first half of the internship, the council can use support with meetings (note taking, scheduling, email reminders, etc.) and research of projects, programs, and events happening within the local community that CMFPC can be involved with. In the second half of the internship, the council can use support in promoting SNAP/Double Bucks at Farmer’s Markets as the market season ramps up (April-May). This support may include attending community partner events to distribute promotional materials, developing promotional materials for social media, and supporting updates to our website.
What we hope the intern gains in their time with CMFPC
- In-depth knowledge and understanding of the local Charlotte food system
- Awareness of local food policy and systems that advance/create barriers to food access, food security
- Relationships with community members and organizations that contribute to the local food system
- Skills to become a SNAP liaison for SNAP/EBT beneficiaries
What we hope the intern brings to CMFPC
- Effective organizational and communication skills
- Curiosity and interest in learning about food systems, equitable food access, local business and agriculture support and community organizing
- Willingness to look for and share new community engagement opportunities
- Ideally able to work in-person, specifically to attend different community partner events in the area. Open to remote intern opportunities as well.