Mercy Corps NW VISTA Team Serves on Chavez Day

1In celebration of the Cesar Chavez Day of Service, the Mercy Corps Northwest VISTA Team jumped at the chance to change our surroundings for the day and honor Cesar Chavez’s legacy of advocacy for farm and agricultural workers. For Chavez Day 2016, our group’s passion for food security led us to the Oregon Food Bank, where we spent a fun and productive volunteer shift.


As VISTAs, our day-to-day service often takes place behind the scenes, where we help our host sites build and improve upon tools and systems they use to effectively serve our communities. We always look forward to holidays and days of service like Cesar Chavez Day to switch up our surroundings and dive right in to direct work in our community.

Celebrating and reuniting with our fellow VISTA team members on March 31, we headed to the Oregon Food Bank’s Portland headquarters, where their fabulous volunteer coordinators helped us package fresh apples (a fitting produce item for the facility’s beautiful mural!) so they can be sent on to local food pantries.

6In addition to canned and boxed goods, food banks like the Oregon Food Bank also provide families and individuals in need with fresh fruits and vegetables that have been donated by farms, grocery stores, and food wholesalers. These food items must be accepted at the facility, packaged, and sent out to local food pantries more quickly than nonperishable items so they don’t spoil before they can be eaten. By using our service day to create family-sized packages of apples, our team (and the other volunteers working with us that day) was a small part of the cycle that serves Oregon individuals and families in need of healthy food.

Special thanks to the volunteer coordinators at the Oregon Food Bank facility in Portland – they were helpful, knowledgeable, and a lot of fun! Our VISTA Team was very proud to make a dent in those 13,528 pounds of apples packaged that day.

If you are interested in joining the AmeriCorps VISTA Team please see our position listings here. We are currently recruiting!

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