Published on March 7th, 2016 | by TLV News0
The Mississippi Sustainable Agriculture Network and AmeriCorps Vista Open House
In collaborative partnership with The Mississippi Sustainable Agriculture Network (MSAN) and AmeriCorps* VISTA, Mississippi Delta Service Corps AmeriCorps VISTAs will engage local community members of Lafayette County with a 3‐hour Open House event on Tuesday, March 8th from 3 p.m.–6 p.m. at the MSAN Office (68 County Road 334 Oxford, Miss. 38655). “The mission of the Corporation for National Community Service is to improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering.”
Through the informative Open House, AmeriCorps VISTA members will share the mission of AmeriCorps, while also articulating the AmeriCorps vision of poverty alleviation. The Mississippi Sustainable Agriculture Network supports healthy farms and communities to develop economically and ecologically responsible local food systems throughout Mississippi. The Open House will share the respective MSAN projects being developed by current VISTAs (Sustainable Oxford & The Farmland Stewardship Program).
These presentations will include detailed explanations of how these developing programs will provide healthy futures for Lafayette County and share the knowledge of how how sustainable agriculture, local food system development, and sustainability are making a dynamic impact in alleviating poverty in our county. The Open House will also allow community members to be introduced to the new office location of the Mississippi Sustainable Agriculture Network (MSAN) and the many programs/resources that already exist. There will also be information about the many national community service programs and affiliate non‐profit organizations that staff AmeriCorps members in the area, allowing community members to see the larger impact of AmeriCorps in the local community.
The Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs, is the federal agency that leads the annual MLK Day of Service, working with the King Center in Atlanta and thousands of nonprofit groups, faith‐based organizations, schools, and businesses nationwide. For more information about the AmeriCorps VISTA program in your local area, please visit the website at www.cns.gov or contact Lakisha Butler at the Center for Community and Economic Development/Delta State University at 662‐846‐4358.
Shannon Curtis, an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer serving with MSAN and Sustainable Oxford, explained, “The Sustainable Agriculture Network is a statewide nonprofit that works with farmers and local food systems to advocate for and provide resources to people who want to farm sustainably, and people who want to buy local food.” “AmeriCorps is the domestic Peace Corps. VISTA stands for “Volunteer In Service To America, and it is [AmeriCorp’s] anti-poverty program.” She explained that they should have two local farms in attendance, 7D Farm and “Mr. Aldridge, who is always at the Farmer’s Market, will be here selling bread, and honey, and eggs, and talking to people about local farming and our local food system. It’s pretty laid back, just an informative event telling people what we do.”
Again, the event is on Tuesday, March 8th from 3 p.m.–6 p.m. at the MSAN Office (68 County Road 334 Oxford, MS 38655).