New Class of AmeriCorps VISTA Members Begins Service

On February 22, Mercy Corps NW welcomed its sixth class of AmeriCorps VISTAs into service. As part of a national initiative sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service, VISTAs serve at nonprofits where they develop programs that address the systemic causes of poverty. Our VISTAs tackle poverty in Oregon by creating economic opportunities and healthy futures for low income communities.

Over the next year MCNW VISTAs will serve in Tillamook, Portland, Salem, and Medford, at partner agencies including Marion-Polk Food Share, Food Roots, Redemption Ridge, Meals on Wheels People, Community Partners for Affordable Housing, Community Vision Inc., and Catholic Charities.

Our VISTA team will assist in a variety of economic opportunity initiatives including expanding financial wellness services and creating job skills training programs. Members will also work towards increasing food security in low income communities by improving programs focused on nutrition education, home meal delivery, and creating access to fresh, local produce.

Since we began sponsoring the VISTA program in the summer of 2012, our VISTA members have helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars and recruit hundreds of volunteers for their host organizations. Members have worked with agencies to improve opportunities for low income communities to develop assets and establish food security, two crucial indicators of social mobility. Over the next twelve months our new members will continue to help make communities more just, secure, and resilient by helping develop programs that lift people out of poverty.

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