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Community Engagement Programs

Farm to Table: Beyond Organic to Community Wellness

Orchard Community Learning Center


The Orchard is a meeting place where organizations, schools, and families gather to learn, work, and develop relationships, all of which can empower them to tackle some of the most difficult issues more



About the Internship


This internship will be held on-site at the Orchard Community Learning Center (OCLC), Spaces of Opportunity, and one or more Farmers Markets we service. Service tasks will include one or more of the following: (1) working with staff and community volunteers to harvest and prepare vegetables for sale, (2) assist at the markets we manage (Saturdays 7:30-12:30 thru June, Mondays 7:30-1:30, and Wednesdays 8:00-11:30 year-round)  (3)  assist with special events or classes, (4) assist with public relations/social media management . Depending on the intern's availability and interests, tasks may also include assistance with basic farming chores such as planting, composting, weeding, irrigating. The intern will be part of the community based team of volunteers who are simultaneousy learning how to garden, eat nutritiously, and build a network of wellness activists in south Phoenix.

Activities include weekly harvests and markets, developing an incubator farm and farmers market at Spaces of Opportunity (,and community social gatherings.

The intern will work directly with community volunteers and also be trained to interface with the south Phoenix clients of OCLC grown food. There is an on-going youth STEA³M series and school/youth visits during the school year. 

NOTE: Fingerprinting is not required for this internship, however interns with fingerprint clearance will have more opportunity to work with youth participants. Interns must sign a volunteer release form to satisfy our insurance requirements.

Population Served:

The Orchard is located in the heart of south Phoenix and the Roosevelt School District. Approximately 93% of students in local schools qualify for free/reduced lunches. Proceeds from the marketing of produce go directly to support the Orchard's work in the community through 3 areas of focus known as "Farm to Table", "Community Conversations", and "STEA³M" (science, technology, math, arts/agriculture/activism, and math). Produce marketed locally serves a great need in a geographical area with few outlets for locally produced food. We delilver food to our roadside stand, Phoenix Public Market, Ahwatukee Farmers Market,  CSA clientele. Follow us on Facebook for a visual view into our work and the kids we serve.

Community Need:

This internship addresses the community's need to have fresh, naturally grown, healthy food available locally and the need for a place where families can gather to share and learn about food and food justice issues. The OCLC is approved to accept WIC and ebt/SNAP benefits. We are also a DoubleUp Bucks provider allowing food stamp recipients to receive a dollar for dollar match on purchases of locally grown food.

Community Impact:

The OCLC is a young non-profit, incorporated 7 years ago and is still largely  a volunteer effort. We have one full time employee (Farmer Miguel) and several part-time contractors.. Our work is designed with the belief that "everything we do is teaching". The interns will contribute to this through the critical tasks they perform and through their presence as university students for our youth and community members.