The Star-Herald

VISTA member joins Team ACAP to help fight food insecurity

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Aroostook County Action Program welcomes Bronson Herr to Team ACAP for a year-long assignment as an AmeriCorps VISTA member. Herr’s VISTA assignment within the organization will be concentrated around capacity building and food insecurity.

The objectives of his assignment will be geared towards grant research and drafting proposals, developing a network of food insecurity organizations in Aroostook County, educating the  community about the causes and conditions of poverty and generating outreach materials to recruit new volunteers. He  hopes to bring his professional assets as an editor and writer to facilitate an increase in opportunities for funding ACAP services.

Maine has committed itself to being hunger free by the year 2030. The Hunger Free Maine initiative is housed  within the Commissioner’s Office of Maine’s Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry, and it is guided by a  broad-based advisory group of public and private agencies that are working to ensure all Maine’s people have  consistent access to healthy food today and to eliminate the root causes of food insecurity for the future. The VISTA  project will seek to support the development of Maine’s roadmap for ending hunger, and build the capacity of public  and private entities implementing that plan. All 185,000 of Maine’s food insecure people stand to benefit from this anti hunger effort. 

Herr comes to ACAP with a diverse background. “Having my BA in English and writing,” he says, “it was always my  intention to work in publishing and write novels. I love language, words, stories and writing. Because of this, I have also  received my Teaching English as a Second Language certification, and was set to volunteer last year as an instructor for refugees through a program called Literacy Pittsburgh until the pandemic put this vision on an extensive  hiatus. From there, I sought out other opportunities to volunteer. After a long process, I finally found VISTA.” 

Herr currently lives just north of Pittsburgh, though he hopefully plans to eventually relocate to  Maine. The pandemic and its subsequent virtual working environment has given him time to sort out the logistics to  continue his work for ACAP remotely from Pennsylvania. He shares, “My experience so far has been wonderful, and I hope to continue leveraging my abilities for the betterment of the agency and community at large and express my  gratitude towards the staff and management for providing such gracious hospitality. I am so excited to begin this  journey and look forward to working with the community members and stakeholders. ” 

Aroostook County Action Program provides the people of Aroostook County with services and resources that help  individuals and families achieve greater economic independence. As a leader, or in partnership with others, ACAP provides guidance to the community in responding to emerging human needs in the areas of community health, early  care and education, energy and housing and workforce development services. Aroostook County Action Program  continues to accept new clients as well as serve existing clients through a vast array of programming. To learn more  about available services available, contact the ACAP Team at 207-764-3721.

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