The flood of newly-polished resumes and enthusiastic inquiries for a summer internship or full-time job is a telltale sign that a new year has arrived. I hate saying no but the fact is that ours is a culinary company. To work in the field of "sustainable, local food"—requested by undergraduates and mid-career jobseekers alike—one has to be a chef, cook, or café manager. The proof that a company really places a real value on food from owner-operated, small, local producers is that there aren't lots of sourcing jobs in the corporate office. That's what our chefs do in the communities where they work. But I'm unsatisfied responding without fruitful suggestions, so I turned to a talented and varied group of food professionals for ideas.
Besides volunteering to gain experience, participating in campus food issues and, of course, becoming a chef, what other thoughts could I share to help guide our next wave of food advocates? Here are some of my favorites:
1. The Congressional Hunger Center (www.hungercenter.org) offers two fellowship programs, one domestic and one international. The focus is on anti-poverty and anti-hunger work, but with a lot of opportunity to focus on food (in)security on both grassroots and policy levels, according to a current fellow who responded to my query. She further pointed out that the one-year domestic program accepts 20 fellows per year, and provides a more-than-adequate living stipend with excellent health care: "The program provides wonderful networking opportunities within the food security world and very enriching training on policy, advocacy, anti-racism, and food security." Joining FoodCorps (http://www.food-corps.org/), an offshoot of AmeriCorps, is another option if setting up school gardens is your passion.