AmeriCorps NCCC is a national program whose mission is to
strengthen communities and develop leaders through team-based
national and community service.
I will get things done for America - to make our people safer,
smarter, and healthier. I will bring Americans together to strengthen
our communities. Faced with apathy, I will take action. Faced with
conflict, I will seek common ground. Faced with adversity, I will
persevere. I will carry this commitment with me this year and
beyond. I am an AmeriCorps member, and I will get things done!
3427 Laurel Street
McClellan, CA 95652
Dedication & Acknowledgements
AmeriCorps NCCC Blue 5 would like to thank the Utah Food bank for giving us an amicable,
comprehensive introduction to the workings of a non-profit organization. We would also like to
thank the Camp Kostopulos Dream Foundation for their gracious hospitality. Last, we would like
to thank Utahns Against Hunger and the Crossroads Urban Center for facilitating challenging
yet critical service learning discussions to help us better understand the community we served.
Blue 5 extends special thanks to:
Utah Food Bank
Utah Food Bank
Chief Operating Officer
Camp Kostopulos Dream Foundation
Community Outreach Coordinator
Crossroads Urban Center
Nutrition Initiatives Director
Utahns Against Hunger
Table of Contents
Mission & Pledge 2
Dedication & Acknowledgments 3
Table of Contents 4
Executive Summary 5
History of Community 6
Project Mission & Goals 7
Blue 5’s Role 8
Daily/Weekly Schedule 9
Independent Service Projects & Service Learning 10
Accomplishments by the Numbers 11
Corps Member & Community Benefits 12
Specialty Roles // Pluses & EBIs 13-14
Corps Member Reflections 15-17
Service Learning Continuation Sheet 18-19
Press Release 20
Contact Information 21
Attachments A & B 22
Blue Five’s Round One project with the Utah Food Bank was based in Salt Lake City,
Utah. Founded in 1904, the Utah Food Bank (UFB) seeks to serve the 416,670 food insecure
Utahns across the state (Feeding America 2016). They have been hosting AmeriCorps
teams since 2003 in an effort to accommodate the significant influx in donations around
the fall and winter holiday season. During their six weeks with the food bank, the team
assisted in various initiatives, such as the Childhood Hunger Programs, Kids Cafe, Backpack
Program, Mobile School Pantry Program, Grocery and Local Business Donation Intake, Non-
qualifying Hunger Assistance Programs, Mobile Pantry & Commodity Surplus Food
Program, and monthly supplemental food box and commodity surplus program. These
projects provide food to low-income families, seniors, and individuals with disabilities.
Daily tasks included staffing the donations dock to receive, sort and distribute donations,
driving U-Haul trucks to collect donations from local businesses, assisting in the delivery
and distribution programs for homebound seniors, local schools, and cultural
organizations, and aiding in administrative tasks.
One in five children living in Utah are food insecure, per the food bank’s website.
The deleterious physical, mental, and behavioral consequences of childhood hunger
motivated Blue Five’s passion and participation in the Kids Cafe and Mobile School Pantry
programs. Corps members travelled throughout Salt Lake and Utah County with the School
Mobile Coordinators and Kids Cafe drivers distributing after school snacks, weekly
groceries, and school backpacks to ensure food access for the children and families of
surrounding counties. Travelling around the counties with these programs allowed corps
members to speak with the UFB staff and learn more about the historical and cultural
significance of the Salt Lake City area.
CM Grace Kinser takes in the sights from atop Salt Lake City’s immaculate public library.
History of Community
For this round, Blue 5 stayed in Salt Lake County, Utah. Salt Lake County is one of
the smallest counties in Utah geographically, but with a population of 1.08 million it is by
far the most populous. Bounded by the Wasatch mountains to the east and the Oqirrh
mountains to the west, the Salt Lake Valley is home to many gorgeous parks and trails in
addition to having a rich cultural history. Salt Lake City is probably best known for being
the center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Mormon settlers first came to
the Salt Lake in the mid-1800s after fleeing persecution further east, and one of the
founding members of the church was actually the first governor of Utah. Although the
Church of Latter-Day saints has had a huge impact in shaping the culture of Salt Lake City, it
is a diverse and modern city with several beautiful museums, theatres, and other
attractions. The Utah Symphony also makes its home in Salt Lake City. Blue 5 was fortunate
enough to stay this round at Camp Kostopulos, which lies a little way up Emigration Canyon
in the Wasatch Mountains. Camp Kostopulos has been working to provide opportunities to
people with disabilities since 1967, arranging a variety of camp experiences for people of
all ages and abilities.
The team spent this round working for the UFB, which is the only food bank in the
state. The food bank was founded in 1904 under the name Salt Lake Charity Association. It
started as a way to connect various charities in the Salt Lake area so that they could better
serve those in need. Over the years, they progressed from an organizational and advocacy
group to a group focused on direct service, and their focus narrowed towards food. It
wasn’t until 2006 that the organization officially changed their name to the Utah Food
Bank, and adopted their current slogan: “Fighting Hunger Statewide”.
UFB was founded in 1904 and distributes food to all 29 counties in the state of Utah.
Project & Mission Goals
AmeriCorps NCCC has partnered with Utah Food Bank to assist in safely receiving,
preparing, and distributing 2.5 million pounds of donated food from the Holiday Food
Drive. Members contribute to the goals of the project by performing activities such as
staffing the East Dock (location where individuals and small groups bring donated food),
picking up food from Holiday Food Drive participants including businesses, schools, and
religious entities and delivering it back to the Salt Lake City warehouse, and directing and
working beside volunteers to sort donated food so that it can be prepared for distribution
to partner agencies. The project benefits the 423,420 citizens of the state of Utah -- 179,130
of whom are children who struggle to access enough food to remain healthy.
The community benefits from this project by having additional resources to meet
the needs of residents struggling with food insecurity and hunger. Corps Members are
given the opportunity to develop and strengthen skills in a number of areas including
volunteer management, warehouse operations, and logistical support.
CM Laina Gray trucks one of
the many food-filled barrels
from a local business.
TL Lindsey Clark and CM Miana Addison
pose with local grade school students.
The students filled an entire bus with
donations and delivered the items to
the food bank.
CMs assisted the UFB with its array of programs they run outside
of their distribution to pantries: mobile pantries to schools and
senior centers, deliveries for after-school meals for students,
dispersal of boxes of food from the warehouse to eligible seniors
and disabled citizens.
Blue 5 dealt primarily in donation reception, namely in two ways:
driving three U-Hauls to pick up barrels of donations from various
grocers, schools, and businesses in SLC; working at the donation
dock, where the team would receive food from households and
local, non-affiliated neighborhood food drives.
After receiving food at the dock and from the U-
Hauls, Blue 5 would organize each food item –
canned food, dry food, non-food, etc.
There was always plenty to be done in the warehouse itself
for Blue 5 – repacking pallets, using forklifts to move
product, helping the office switch to digital filing,
maintaining space in the freezers and coolers, etc.
Listed below is how a given week went for Blue 5 during their time with the UFB.
Sunday ISP and Personal Time
Grocery Shopping in the evening
Half the team works at UFB 10am-7pm
Other half ISP or Personal Time
Team Meeting at 7:30 pm
Tuesday PT at warehouse 8am-8:45am
10 am - 7 pm Work
Wednesday Work at UFB 10am-7pm
Thursday PT at warehouse 8am-8:45am
Work at UFB 10am-7pm
Friday PT at warehouse 8am-8:45am
Work at UFB 10am-7pm
Saturday Half the team works at UFB 10am-7pm
Other half ISP or Personal Time
CMs Sarah Hadaway and
Savannah Horst clean up after
the team’s ISP with the Ronald
Independent Service Projects & Service Learning
Blue 5 completed three Independent Service Projects, participated in two service
learning seminars, and explored the local community through various recreational
activities. The first ISP consisted of eight corps members distributing water and chocolate
milk, setting up the race path, and signaling runners with the Utah Food Bank for their
annual Thanksgiving Day Human Race, a five or ten kilometer race to raise funding and
awareness for food insecurity. At the second ISP, ten corps members assisted in
distributing school supplies, decorating cookies, and photographing guests at the photo
booth for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah annual Christmas Party. The third ISP
consisted of twelve corps members leading several holiday crafts with a few patients at the
Primary Children’s Hospital through Ronald McDonald House Charities.
To learn more about the surrounding community, Blue 5 participated in two service
learning sessions. The first service learning discussion was with Hunger Advocate Ashley
Patterson of Utahns Against Hunger. She spoke with the team about supplementary food
programs, the political and legal challenges of food advocacy, and the various effects of food
insecurity. The other service learning opportunity was facilitated by Jessica Roadman at the
Crossroads Urban Center. She discussed the role of pantries the Salt Lake area and the
struggles of homelessness and low-income families. She concluded with an insightful
budgeting activity in which each corps member was asked to organize a monthly budget for
a four-person household supported by a single, minimum wage income.
Corps Member & Community Benefits
The team helped sort food more quickly so that it can be distributed to more people
in need; collected food to facilitate larger food drives; and worked on warehouse
maintenance projects to make it easier for the food bank to serve the community. Corps
members were able to work directly with the community members and see the difference
they were making. Employees of the food bank taught corps members about the
consequences of hunger and poverty, as well as the necessity of committing to making a
“There’s always something to do.”
TL Lindsey and CMs Morgan Pyle
and Cilla Erb remain focused on
the task at hand – sorting food.
CMs Cilla and Diego Iglesias spend some
free time at the warehouse by repainting
various safety railings and poles. Beforehand,
the team was told that the job helped free
up warehouse employees for their other
PCLs || Laina Gray & Savannah Horst
The Project and Community Liaisons were responsible for connecting the team members
with the Salt Lake City community through service learning, Independent Service Projects,
and other local activities. Blue 5 participated in a Thanksgiving Day Race with the Utah
Food Bank, a Christmas Party with Big Brothers Big Sisters, and a holiday activity with the
Ronald McDonald House Charity at the Primary Children’s Hospital for a total of ten to
fifteen hours per corps member.
Media Representatives || Sam Schein & Sarah Hadaway
The Media Representatives documented everything the team did through photographs and
writing. To keep everyone outside the group up to date, they created a facebook page, an
instagram, and a tumblr page for the team. They drafted and sent out 12 press releases
while in Salt Lake City, and composed Blue 5’s contribution to the newsletter Common
HAWCs || Brendan Rigney & Walker Gilmer
The Health and Wellness Coordinators were in charge of planning and executing physical
and mental training exercises three times a week before work, and ensuring the team’s
morale remained high. This round, the HAWCs had trouble after the second week in Salt
Lake City, as the weather prevented outdoor PT sessions. They spent a week looking for
alternative facilities to use, calling the county’s parks and recreation department as well as
the university. Luckily, the team used the warehouse before work shifts to compensate.
Recruiters || Shayla Gordon & Diego Iglesias
The Recruiters hosted two recruiting events. The first event was set up at the Thanksgiving
Human Race through the Utah Food Bank on November 24th. The other event was
organized at the University of Utah on December 11th. Both events attracted several high
school and college-age individuals interested in community service and travel
VSTs || Miana Addison & Priscilla Erb
The Vehicle, Safety, and Tools specialists made sure that the van and truck were both in
driving condition. They made sure to go over different safety concerns throughout the
warehouse and throughout the cabin as well. They made sure that both van and truck had
snow chains for when the roads were not in the best condition. During the week, they
conducted a daily van/truck check.
LAA Representatives || Grace Kinser & Morgan Pyle
The LAA representatives spent this round getting to know the team and their goals for the
future. They had the team create mind maps to organize their thoughts about future
relationships, career goals, lifestyle and hobbies, and location. They conducted one-on-ones
with each team member to discuss these goals with them, and found out a bit about each
team member's education and job history. They led a meeting about professionalism and
networking, and helped each team member write a personal elevator speech. They also
organized an informational interview with the Human Resources director of the food bank.
“Pluses” “Even Better If’s”
● Cabin had heating and beds
● Scenery was beautiful
● Dinner was provided for us by the
Utah Food Bank
● The work day started later in the day
● There was an abundance of hiking
trails near our housing site
● Work was varied
● Drivers and safeties in U-Hauls were
able to see the valley
● Communication would have been
better if we had only one point of
contact on the staff
● Warm showers in the bath-house
● More work to do in down time at the
ABOVE: The finished box-tree,
complete with presents, fireplace,
RIGHT: CMs Savannah and Shay
Gordon prep for their day in a U-Haul
with UFB’s Kyle Fisher
Team Member Reflections
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are
the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” – Barack Obama
I joined NCCC initially because I wanted to take time off between my bachelors and
my masters, and I wanted to do more than just work customer service in that time. I
wanted to spend my time making a difference, while getting a variety of experience, and
NCCC seemed like the perfect place to do it. I am extremely glad that our first SPIKE was
with the food bank, because it fit very neatly with what my ideas already were about
community service, but I also found a complexity and depth to the work that forced me to
push myself and allowed me to grow. I was getting things done, doing straightforward
work, but I wasn’t just collecting and sorting food. I was also learning about poverty and
hunger on a broad scale and finding out exactly how severe and far reaching the
consequences could be. I grew up in a large-ish city so I was glad that we were working in a
city, it made me comfortable. But we lived outside the city, up in the mountains a ways, so
again I was pushed out of my comfort zone. I feel as though this was a perfect first round
project, I was eased into the program but still pushed to change my perspective and expand
We get so involved in the work
we conduct while in this program that
we overlook one of the NCCC's
fundamental pillars -- service learning.
What's more, we compartmentalize
this concept, sometimes believing
we're exposed to this only at
designated service learning events. But
this isn't true; if we keep our eyes and
ears open, we'll see that we're exposed
to this concept perpetually. I was
reminded of this time and time while
serving in Salt Lake City.
Let me rewind and clear
something up for a second -- the
CM Brendan Rigney orates “If You Give an
NCCC Team to the Utah Food Bank” to the
service learning events in which my team participated were incredibly informational to all
of us and I cannot appreciate them any more than I do at the time of this writing. Rather,
the point to be made here is that service learning is everywhere if you look for the patterns.
The UFB showed me this every day in myriad ways: with the employees, with those we
served, with my teammates and their own personal understanding of what we saw each
For example, there was Brian Ham, truck driver. I only worked with him twice in the
six weeks in SLC, but after both I've walked away with more feelings and information
concerning food scarcity, poverty, and charity than I could carry mentally. He had stories,
brother. Stories about the people we served -- people of all ages and gender, living with
families or by themselves, people who couldn't sustain any type of proper diet if it weren't
for the food bank. Stories of men who wept when food was delivered to their house
because they weren't sure if they'd have anything to eat that day, that week. We were given
the hard numbers before we reached SLC -- numbers for those living in hunger, for kids
who would have to worry about their meals daily, etc. But Brian and the other employees
add the color to these, animating the problem to show how incredibly stubborn it is in its
ongoing existence. I learned from Brian, for sure.
I learned from every second there. I learned from the kids at the school mobile
pantries that stand there at the sign in as I patiently wait. They try to remember how many
people are in their family; I'm reminded of how fortunate I am back home to have a stable
family life that also supplied with me ample food and nutrition.
I learned from LD, school pantry coordinator, and her driver/partner in crime Dave
Johnson. They were cheerful, good-natured, incredibly caring, and overwhelmingly positive
despite the heavy aura surrounding the topic at the center of their line of work. Maybe I too
can work every day in a similar field but remain free from the accompanying vibes, not
swallowed whole in whatever despair or hopelessness that can plague those we serve.
A lot happened to/for me in SLC. I hiked and stepped on a cactus that I still believe is
stuck in my foot. I learned how to drive a forklift. I did Zumba. I helped my team write a
children's book. All of this will be remembered, of course.
But the things that will forever be branded in my brain are those times I was helped
in connecting the dots by the great people I met here. We really do learn something new
every day, don't we?
This project was a good way to start the AmeriCorps year off for me because it was
hard work that showed how you affected other’s lives directly. I joined NCCC to have those
moments of satisfaction. I enjoyed going out in the U-Hauls with other team members and
seeing the scenery of Utah, but I also loved seeing how much food people were willing to
donate to people they don’t even know. The amount of food we would move in a day was
incredible and very rewarding to see. The workers at the warehouse were also very
pleasant to work with. They made sure we were busy and that we always knew what we
were doing. Being a forklift driver was interesting. I got trained for 2 days and learned how
to move pallets efficiently through the warehouse and how to load and unload some of the
trucks. Overall, I enjoyed being in the warehouse and getting to know the workers and my
team members while being here.
ABOVE: CM Walker Gilmer claims a
rock on the shores of Lake Tahoe.
LEFT: CM Sam Schein settles into the
lodgings at Camp Kostopulos.
AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps
Service Learning Continuation Sheet
● To be completed by the SLI after each project and placed in Project Portfolio
Project Name: Utah Food Bank________________________________________________
Project Number:___201701125__________ Unit / Team:___________Blue 5_________________
Service Learning Initiators: __Lindsey Clark___________________________________________
Describe the orientation that the team received from the sponsor:
When we first arrived, Brendan Cockerman, the warehouse manager, showed us around the
facility and explained the different nuances of the work environment -- which docks receive
what, proper use of equipment like the pallet jack, which employees work here and there, etc.
Next, we met with the officers who worked upstairs in the offices. They expounded on the food
bank’s mission, and they informed us of the food bank’s different programs.
List all training that your team received before and during the project:
Four team members who were selected to drive U-Hauls received very basic instructions
regarding the vehicles (e.g. the trucks make wide turns).
Additionally, four other members took a class to become forklift certified in order to use the
warehouse’s own vehicles.
Team members also learned the ins and outs of the IA dock, where food and monetary
donations were delivered every day.
List all Service Learning Opportunities that your team gained through your service
experience. Indicate all the skills gained and knowledge learned.
To better understand food scarcity in Utah and all it involves, Blue 5 spent a morning at the food
bank with Ashley Patterson, a hunger advocate with Utahns Against Hunger. Ms. Patterson
explained some of the supplemental food programs run by the state. She went in further detail
with the political and legal aspects of food scarcity in the state and country, as well as the
relationship between nutrition, poverty, and food scarcity. The team walked away with much
more knowledge on food programs, Utah’s growing food problem, and how this problem affects
more than solely food.
Weeks later, the team visited the Crossroads Urban Center, a food pantry and homeless
outreach organization in Salt Lake City. Jessica Roadman, an employee, spoke with Blue 5 and
discussed the importance of food pantries in the county, focusing on the difficulties faced by
homeless and low-income families and individuals. She ended our discussion with a budgeting
exercise -- each team member was instructed to organize a monthly budget for a four-person
family on a single minimum wage income. This highlighted the decisions made every day by
low-income families and the role that groups like Crossroads play in the fight against poverty
List any resources that you discovered and are bringing back to the AmeriCorps NCCC
(i.e. phone book, brochures, information sheets about the sponsor, community etc.)
See attachments A through C.
AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps will strengthen communities and develop
leaders through team based national and community service.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 9, 2016
Contact: Sarah Hadaway, Samantha Schein
Team Media Representative – On site contact
Phone: 719-680-9125, 401-585-0120
Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
AmeriCorps NCCC Helps Utah Food Bank Feed Hungry Utah
Families This Holiday Season.
Salt Lake City, UT – Since November 7th
, a team of 13
members from AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps
(NCCC), has been working alongside the Utah Food Bank to
transport thousands of pounds of food each day from donors to those
in need. The team, known as Blue 5, will continue to sort food in the
warehouse, deliver food, and pick up donations until December 19th
While working with the Utah Food Bank, Blue 5 has learned much about hunger in Utah. For example, 1 in 7
Utahans are at risk of missing a meal every day. Information like this motivates the team to continue their hard
work, whether it be sorting food in the warehouse or out picking up and delivering donations.
The Utah Food Bank has a few unique programs with which the team is able to help such as the BackPack Program,
the Kids Café Program, and the Food Box Program. The BackPack Program gives children a bag of nutritious and
easy-to-prepare food to help them eat healthier over weekends during the school year. The Kids Café Program
provides meals each weekday for distribution to children at risk of hunger. The Food Box Program is another very
rewarding program for the team which involves delivering food to seniors and persons with disabilities throughout
Blue 5 Corps Member, Gracie Kinser said, “Working at the food bank is incredibly rewarding because it reminds us
every day not only of the good work that we’re doing with NCCC but also of the amazing capacity of generosity of
others when it comes to helping those in need.”
For more information about the Utah Food Bank visit utahfoodbank.org.
The AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) and its FEMA Corps units engage 2,800 young Americans in a
full-time, 10-month commitment to service each year. AmeriCorps NCCC members address critical needs related to natural and
other disasters, infrastructure improvement, environmental stewardship and conservation, and urban and rural development;
FEMA Corps members are solely dedicated to disaster preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery work. The programs
are administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). CNCS is the federal agency that engages
more than five million Americans in service through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund, and Volunteer
Generation Fund programs, and leads President's national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information,
AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps Pacific Region
3427 Laurel Street, McClellan, CA 95652 ~ Phone: (916) 640-0306 ~ Fax: (916) 640-0318
Sarah Hadaway email: email@example.com phone: 719-680-9125
Sam Schein email: firstname.lastname@example.org phone: 401-585-0120
Diego Iglesias email: email@example.com
Shay Gordon email: firstname.lastname@example.org phone: 805-680-9504
Project and Community Relations
Savannah Horst email: email@example.com phone: 717-961-1707
Laina Gray email: firstname.lastname@example.org phone: 978-884-6157
Crossroads Urban Center
Point of Contact
Jessica Roadman email: email@example.com phone: 801-364-7765 x110
Address & Hours
347 South 400 East Open Monday through Friday
Salt Lake City, UT 8411 9:00am – 5:00pm
Attachments A & B:
Urban Center on
its thrift store.
Urban Center on
its food pantry.
Attachment C: The Children’s Book
Background: With roughly two weeks left in the project’s length, UFB employees asked Blue
5 to present some of their thoughts on the project. What began as a joke became the
following story. CM Brendan Rigney wrote it, and the book was illustrated by the team.