Welcome back to our VISTA Spotlight Series! Each month we spotlight one of our AmeriCorps VISTA Members and the great work they do building capacity and empowering their communities. VISTA members take action through their host sites and make what we do impactful. Being able to spotlight their work each month allows us to show our appreciation and share their service!

This May we have the opportunity to spotlight Alexis, NC Hunger Corps VISTA serving at Alamance Community College (ACC). Alexis is the second VISTA serving at ACC and has made great strides in expanding the access to food security programs at ACC. Before serving with VISTA, Alexis earned her bachelor’s degree from Clemson University then worked with as a Sr. Data Intelligence Analyst for a GSCO in California.

Alexis wasn’t in love with the corporate atmosphere and wanted something at allowed her more creativity in her work. After hearing about the NC Hunger Corps about a year after working in her last position she applied hoping to move back to the Carolinas. She was enthralled with the ability to serve with a community college as 41% of all undergraduate students are enrolled at community colleges however this population is often overlooked.

While enrolled in community college most students juggle being a student, working full-time or part-time, and family responsibilities, which often times leads to higher rates of food insecurity when compared to 4-year college or university students. Alexis saw the work already started at ACC and enjoyed finding a place where she could continue to expand resources and anti hunger programming on campus.

 Primarily, Alexis serves to alleviate food insecurity and provide resources to both students and staff. In doing so she advocated for the expansion of the college’s food pantry offerings including the access to fresh produce, and facilitating the production of EZ Meals which are made by ACC’s culinary team and distributed in freezers throughout campus free to students. She also focuses on providing nutrition education to the campus community.  This is crucial to ensuring that students have the tools to budget efficiently for well balanced, nutritious foods in the food dessert where the college community is. Alexis continues to develop and sustain partnerships with Second Harvest Food Bank which provides shelf stable food for the pantry and Loy Farms at Elon who provides donated fresh produce for the Produce Bags To-Go program.

Recently Alexis has been able to implement a snack wall at the Dillingham Center. The Dillingham Center is a satellite campus which houses cosmetology, the Small Business Center, continuing education and community service classes. The snack wall plays a huge role in bridging the gap for students who are not able to access the food pantry on the main campus and need something sustainable and convenient between classes. This snack wall provides 12 free snacks per month to each student through a “punch card” system reducing stigma often attached to seeking food assistance. Alexis has also recently launched a survey to students and the campus community to gather data focusing on the level of food security students are facing. This data will then be used to present to the Board of Trustees to focus their attention on the needs of the campus community.

When VISTA service ends this summer for Alexis, she is considering further education in the field of sustainability. She is looking forward to continuing her work making a positive impact in the community whether through nonprofit, government or another community focused organization. She looks forward to continuing growing professionally and personally through a meaningful career. We are truly appreciatve of Alexis’ service and are excited to see what else she accomplishes through the remaining months of her service!

 You still have the opportunity to serve with NC Campus Engagement and the NC Hunger Corps starting with this year’s summer 2024 Cohort! If you want to make an impact such as Alexis’ you are encouraged to apply! You can apply here: https://my.americorps.gov/mp/listing/viewListing.do?fromSearch=true&id=121772


To learn more about Alexis’ work as an NC Hunger Corps VISTA and the Feeding Hungry Minds program at Alamance Community College, check out the following links:

 Alamance Community College Website – Feeding Hungry Minds

Facebook: Alamance Community College

Instagram: @alamancecommunitycollege

Twitter: @AlamanceCC

This blog was written with the support and information from Alexis May by VISTA Leader Madeline DeLorenzo.