Temporary Food-Inspired Resilience & Equity (FIRE) Internship

North Carolina State University

Job Description

Posting Number


Position Number


Position Type


Essential Job Duties

The Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) in partnership with the North Carolina Local Food Council (NCLFC) and Community Food Strategies, is seeking highly-motivated students from a variety of backgrounds to participate in a primarily remote internship program for the Fall 2023 – Spring 2024 academic year. During the Fall 2023 – Spring 2024 academic year, the intern will have the opportunity to support their host site’s community and equity work through projects like research, meeting facilitation, logistical support, and communications. Specific projects are based on the host’s needs and the intern’s interests. Community-based food organizations have outlined their intern projects and responsibilities below. 

The internship also offers regular virtual professional development and educational opportunities for interns through CEFS’ agriculture education programming. We encourage you to reach out to Ali Stone ( ) to hear more about the internship and ask any questions you may have to decide if this is a good fit for you.

Below are the specific projects and host sites that are available, you can also find them at: 

1 – Fertile Ground Food Cooperative

Organization Summary:
FERTILE GROUND FOOD COOPERATIVE is a multi-stakeholder (consumers, workers and producers)  community-owned startup grocery store and community gathering space working to CULTIVATE a system of food security in Southeast Raleigh by investing in a community-owned grocery store and gathering space. NOURISH our historically Black community of workers, shoppers, and farmers by providing dignified jobs, fresh and affordable food, and wealth-building opportunities. And HARVEST a healthy, informed, engaged community with an enhanced quality of life.

Internship Type: 

Scope of Work: 
  • Assisting with program coordination and logistics to develop and strengthen partnerships within faith, business and civic Southeast Raleigh community
  • Compiling and synthesizing Fertile Ground Food Cooperative (FGFC) informational and promotional materials for community distribution
  • Preparing and presenting Fertile Ground Cooperative information to community groups via in-person and virtual venues
  • Collecting, cataloging and engaging SE Raleigh residents’ asset stories as appropriate
  • Establishing/increasing an online or social media presence to enhance communication with prospective community partners
  • Using analytics to maintain an online presence 

Preferred skills that the intern will bring to the work:
  • High energy for equitable food systems
  • Quick study
  • Self-directed work ethic
  • Sense of humor
  • Critical thinking, esp., for problem solving
  • Basic food system knowledge (how does food get to Americans’ tables?)
  • Basic writing and verbal & visual presentation skills
  • Understanding of inequities
  • Comfort and confidence  to say ‘I am unsure (I don’t know); however, I will take your information and get an answer to you.”

What we hope the intern gains:
  • Concrete, transferable understanding of cooperatives
  • Honing presentation skills
  • Engaging diverse persons around food systems, food security and food equity
  • Heightened confidence to seek community solutions to recurring societal challenges

Organization Summary:
The Eva Clayton Rural Food Institute is a project of GRRO. The Institute will be a repository for information, resources, education, program ideas, public policy and advocacy focused on rural communities and farmers. Also providing our rural neighbors with healthy food via the Healthy Opportunity Program and our work with other health-care providers and funders. Rural Redevelopment Organization (GRRO), was founded in 2012  with a vision to revitalize Henderson and Vance County, North Carolina. GRRO identified three  critical issues that plague the  community:   poverty, food insecurity, and chronic diseases. It became clear that the other rural counties were impacted by the same issues. Partnerships were formed and GRRO now serves 11 rural counties in north-eastern North Carolina.

Internship Type:

Scope of Work:
  • Develop community profiles
  • Support development of website
  • Research funding opportunities for rural communities

Preferred skills that the intern will bring to the work:
  • Communication skills (in-person and written)
  • Attention to details
  • A sense of curiosity 
  • Desire to serve
  • Excitement to be a part something new
  • A valid driver’s license

What we hope the intern gains:
  • An understanding of rural communities, their opportunities and challenges
  • An opportunity to use  their innovation to make changes
  • Get to know the community and see them as our neighbors
  • Take risks

Organization summary:
North Carolina Cooperative Extension is a strategic partnership comprising NC State University, N.C. A&T State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA), and 101 local governments statewide. N.C. Cooperative Extension partners with communities to deliver education and technology that enrich the lives, land and economy of North Carolina. Extension addresses some of our state’s and world’s grand challenges – from supporting safe food systems and promoting public health to protecting our natural resources and helping farmers feed, clothe, heal and fuel a growing population. In short, we improve the lives of North Carolinians and grow our state.

Internship type:

Scope of Work:
  • Coordinate with community stakeholder groups to schedule and organize workshop sessions to present the Sanford Agricultural Marketplace (SAM) project and its spaces to the community and to collect feedback from residents about use forecasting, their impressions of the current design, and their interests to help inform content for educational programming  
  • Assist the Local Foods Agent with hosting the community engagement sessions and collecting data from workshop participants and from residents at public events 
  • Provide marketing support to promote community engagement sessions to stakeholder groups to encourage good participation
  • Develop online surveys to collect community feedback on the SAM project
  • Summarize data into reports to share with the SAM project team (City of Sanford, NC Cooperative Extension Lee County Center), city and county government entities, building architects, and the general public, including publications and presentations.
  • Assist the Local Foods Agent/Sanford Farmers’ Market Manager with implementing SNAP/EBT at the farmers market (ex. creating a token and tracking system for recording EBT transactions and market matching funds if available).
  • Program support for Local Foods programming as needed, including hosting educational trainings and workshops, marketing, educational content creation, etc.

Preferred skills that the intern will bring to the work:
  • A passion for engaging the community in a conversation about their vision for the local food system 
  • Enjoy positively impacting the lives of others
  • Working in a team oriented and dynamic environment
  • Reliable
  • Organized
  • Hard-working
  • Dependable
  • Visionary

What we hope the intern gains:
  • A greater understanding of the emerging local food system in Sanford/ Lee County
  • Methods of effective engagement and data collection with various stakeholder groups
  • Awareness of Extension’s current role and opportunities for innovation in local food work
  • Development of skills and strategies to address the challenges and barriers low-income residents have in accessing and purchasing local foods

4 – People for Equity 

Organization Summary:

Internship Type:

Scope of Work:
  • Researching issues, policies, communications, and practices around local food and health equity work
  • Coordinating food council meetings with agendas, communication, and facilitation
  • Establishing/increasing an online or social media presence
  • Lead the storytelling of the process and work of the Youth Food Council
  • Writing educational and promotional materials for community distribution
  • Assisting with program coordination and logistics
  • Using EFOD Principles to guide the work of the Youth Food Council
  • Liaison with CEFS to activate resources and funding for the work of the Youth Food Council  

Preferred skills that the intern will bring to the work:
  • Some experience working with youth, food systems, and/and community organizing
  • Self starter, strong initiative, asks questions and clarification
  • Can work well on your own and as part of a team
  • Openness to learning new approaches and ways of working
  • Excitement and passion to the work

What we hope the intern gains:
  • Practice in adult allyship and working with youth consultants
  • Putting EFOD (Equitable Food Oriented Development) principles into practice
  • Community organizing
  • Strategic planning
  • Gaining experience in project management, communications, research  
  • Immersion in a community led and rooted organization that practices intersectional equity, decolonizing practices, return to indigenous practices

Organization summary:
 A Better Chance A Better Community (ABC2) is a nonprofit organization working to provide resources and youth empowerment opportunities in Halifax County of North Carolina. For the past 11 years, ABC2 has focused on increasing youth and community engagement with opportunities for systemic change through three different focus areas: Healthy Living, Civil Engagement, and the World Changers Program. ABC2 empowers youth in the community to become leaders in these areas, supporting their community in initiatives including voting access, community farms, climate justice, and more. In 2015, ABC2 purchased the Dawson School, a local elementary school that closed, that will become the location for the region’s first resiliency hub. The Resiliency Hub will be a community center where youth can be at the forefront of climate justice and community health for Halifax and surrounding counties. The goal of the Resiliency Hub is to create a space where youth leaders will be able to organize, advocate, and build community resilience for critical climate and health issues impacting the community including flooding, safe drinking water, oil pipelines, and solar energy.

Internship Type:

Scope of Work:
  • Create a NENC Database of Food Council and Food Systems work
  • Attend Food Councils & Systems Meetings
  • Support the growth of youth engagement in local food council (GROW-K and others)
  • Create awareness and database of currently policy and systems change across the state

Preferred skills that the intern will bring to the work:
  • Great Communication Skills
  • Some research, information gathering 
  • A Passion for People

What we hope the intern gains:
  • A wonderful experience connecting with Food Warriors in NENC 
  • An appreciation for the history and significant impact the NENC region has on food, agriculture

Organization summary:
 WNC Farm to Table is a local food hub in Sylva, North  Carolina. Our goals are to make local food affordable for everyone and to keep farmers farming. Multiple channels have been created in order to achieve this goal, including retail, wholesale and work with FarmsSHARE to provide food boxes to food insecure populations in our community and surrounding areas.

Internship type:
In-person only

Scope of Work:
  • Assist in maintaining accurate inventory records for all incoming and outgoing food products.
  • Monitor stock levels and coordinate with the procurement team to ensure sufficient supply.
  • Conduct regular physical inventory counts and reconcile any discrepancies.
  • Receive and process orders from various customers, ensuring accuracy and timely fulfillment.
  • Prepare necessary documentation, such as invoices and shipping labels, for outgoing orders.
  • Coordinate with the team to ensure orders are picked, packed, and staged for delivery.
  • Maintain organized and up-to-date records of all logistics-related activities.
  • Analyze data and identify areas for improvement in the logistics process.

Preferred skills that the intern will bring to the work:
  • Strong Organizational Skills
  • Communication Skills
  • Problem-solving Abilities
  • Technical Proficiency
  • Adaptability and Multitasking
  • A strong passion for sustainable agriculture, local food systems, and community engagement
  • Ultimately, the organization hopes the intern will bring a combination of relevant skills, a positive attitude, a willingness to learn, and a commitment to supporting sustainable agriculture and improving access to local, nutritious food within the community.

What we hope the intern gains:
  • Practical Experience
  • Exposure to Sustainable Agriculture
  • Networking Opportunities
  • Community Engagement
  • Skill Development
  • Overall, working with WNC Farm to Table as an intern can provide a valuable learning experience, a chance to make a positive impact in the community, and the opportunity to develop essential skills and industry knowledge in the local food and logistics sectors

Organization summary:
Just Foods Collaborative is an inclusive body of people working to build healthy, equitable communities through local food systems. With over 100 members, we have a wealth of food policy, farming, sustainability and nutrition experience. Just Foods is currently going through the process of becoming a 501c3 nonprofit and we are looking forward to working with an intern to provide organizational support and conduct outreach to the Nash and Edgecombe communities. This outreach will aid us in providing financial, technical, and community-based support to local small and BIPOC farmers.

Internship type:

Scope of Work:
  • Conduct outreach to small, local farms, particularly BIPOC-owned farms
  • Organizational support, such as bringing new members into the collaborative and attending community events
  • Supporting the Just Foods newsletter

Preferred skills that the intern will bring to the work:
  • Strong interpersonal skills, who is able to connect with farmers during outreach trips and learn about what they need to thrive in Nash and Edgecombe counties
  • Passionate about healthy food equity and is excited to help plan events supporting BIPOC farmers

What we hope the intern gains:
  • Strong connections with farmers in Nash and Edgecombe counties
  • Experience with farmer outreach
  • Event planning experience
  • Experience at a start-up organization
  • Using Canva

Organization summary:
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Food Policy Council exists to advocate for policies that  build a sustainable, equitable, and healthy local food system. The goals of our Council are to enhance the health of our citizens, strengthen local economies & market opportunities and reduce hunger and food insecurity.

Internship type:

Scope of Work:
  • Research issues, policies, communications, and practices related to local food and health equity work
  • Research various informative aspects of plant growth, pests prevention, growth maintenance, symbiotic planting, companion planting, etc. 
  • Utilize research to make informed decision about plant health
  • Coordinate food council meetings
  • Attend food council meetings and events
  • Establish/increase an online/social media presence for local farm(s)
  • Use analytics to increase viewership and social media presence for local farm(s) 
  • Volunteer at various local farmers 
  • Assist with coordination of volunteers
  • Develop and maintain community partnerships

Preferred skills that the intern will bring to the work:
  • Building (and maintaining) social media platforms
  • Integrate effective methods to increase social media traffic
  • Develop an awareness for the need for policy changes that impact agri-business and equity in food systems
  • Share ideas for integrating educational opportunities in today’s youth
  • Have a desire to explore agri-business as a sustainable income
  • Evaluate our practices and make suggestions for improvement
  • Have enthusiasm for agri-business
  • Have strong interpersonal and relationship building skills
  • Have creative ideas of how food and equity in food systems improves communities
  • Desire to learn/Curiosity

What we hope the intern gains:
  • The understanding of how food systems tremendously impact our overall health and quality of life – education, nutrition, finances, economy, physical, mental, and emotional health, etc.  
  • Communication (Written/Verbal)
  • Collaboration & Teamwork
  • Research & Analysis
  • Problem Solving & Decision Making
  • Time Management

Work Schedule – 
All interns have an anticipated start date of 09/15/2023
  • All interns will be expected to work up to 15 hours per week /week for 26 weeks (Holidays are off and unpaid)
  • All internships will last until the end of Spring semester 2024 (approximately April 30th, 2024), with the possibility of extending into summer at some sites.

Minimum Experience/Education - 
Must be currently enrolled in post-secondary education (community college, 4-year college/university, or graduate degree) or graduated within the past 6 months

Preference given to students who live or attend school in communities in close proximity to the host organization of their choice; are from underrepresented communities.

Is Time Limited




Classification Title


Working Title

Temporary Food-Inspired Resilience & Equity (FIRE) Internship

Work Schedule

15/hrs per week for 26 weeks

Other Work/Responsibilities

  • n/a

Minimum Experience/Education

  • Must be currently enrolled in post-secondary education (community college, 4-year college/university, or graduate degree) or graduated within the past 6 months

Department Required Skills

  • Must be passionate about local food systems (e.g. food, agriculture, health), are hard-working, self-motivated, and have a positive attitude.
  • Ability to take direction, show initiative, and work well in a team as well as independently
  • Excellent communication, organization, and computer skills, strong attention to detail, and the ability to be flexible – to adapt to a changing work environment responding to community needs.
  • Must be flexible and open to working with mentors, vendors, producers, CEFS staff, university/college faculty, Extension Agents and other organizations

Preferred Years Experience, Skills, Training, Education

  • n/a

Required License or Certification

  • Valid Driver’s License 

Valid NC Driver's License required?


Commercial Driver's License Required?


Anticipated Hiring Range


Job Open Date


Quick Link


NC State University is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, status as an individual with a disability, or status as a protected veteran. Individuals with disabilities requiring disability-related accommodations in the application and interview process are welcome to contact 919-515-3148 to speak with a representative at the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity.

If you have general questions about the application process, you may contact Human Resources at (919) 515-2135 or

Final candidates are subject to criminal & sex offender background checks. Some vacancies also require credit or motor vehicle checks. Degree(s) must be obtained prior to start date in order to meet qualifications and receive credit.

NC State University participates in E-Verify. Federal law requires all employers to verify the identity and employment eligibility of all persons hired to work in the United States.

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