The AmeriCorps VISTA program has been at the forefront of the struggle to end poverty in the U.S. for over 50 years. Over the course of FRAC’s history, AmeriCorps VISTA Members have made important contributions towards our mission to end hunger. As we look toward 2017, we have asked our current VISTA Members to share their experiences and goals in the fight against hunger and poverty.
This is part one of a three-part installment on getting to know Anti-Hunger AmeriCorps VISTA Members at FRAC.
A native Chicagoan, Sharrieff Muhammad has lived in the Washington metropolitan area for a year-and-a-half. Sharrieff is a husband, father of two, brother, and friend. He has worked in education, the performing arts, and the food service industry.
Read on to learn more about Sharrieff’s work as an anti-hunger advocate for Maryland Hunger Solutions (MDHS).
How did you get involved in the fight against hunger?
Knowing what it is like to be hungry, I am motivated by my experience to shed light on available resources, such as the federal nutrition programs. At MDHS, I am learning how to effectively use all of the resources at our disposal to inform communities struggling against hunger about the options available to them.
What do you do in your position at MDHS?
My work is to help find organizations and individuals interested in battling hunger by connecting seniors, able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs), and families living in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). As I gain more experience, I will train in turn volunteers in similar positions in order to increase participation in this important program.
What are your goals as an AmeriCorps VISTA Member?
I am hoping to engage with as many people as possible in the surrounding neighborhoods so I may better understand the challenges they face and connect them to the resources they need. I would also like to hone my skills as a program and workshop facilitator.
What are you learning at MDHS that will prepare you for future work on anti-hunger efforts?
From grassroots marketing to blogging and social media, MDHS is helping me expand my arsenal of communication tools. Additionally, through this experience, I am able to expand my network of anti-hunger organizers and better understand volunteer recruitment and coordination efforts.
Working at MDHS gives me the opportunity to be of service to others, and this provides me with a feeling of deep gratitude for the blessings in my life.
How will you continue to fight hunger after your time as a VISTA Member comes to an end?
Once my work with MDHS ends, I will continue to use my creativity and passion to end hunger and help lift people out of poverty, building on the skills and knowledge I have developed in this position.