The Food Project: Community Food Fellow

Apply here. (Applications due Friday, January 25, 2019)
 

Non-U.S. citizens are not eligible to apply for this position.

Website: http://thefoodproject.org/

Location: Lincoln, MA

Fellowship Position

Position title: Community Food Fellow

Department: Greater Boston Region

Reports to: Boston Farm Manager

Address of fellowship placement: 10 Lewis Street, Lincoln, MA 01773
 

Department Description

The Community Food Fellow will be the primary manager of produce distribution from The Food Project’s farms in Boston’s Dudley neighborhood in support of neighborhood residents’ vision for their local food system. This will include managing the weekly Dudley Town Common Farmers Market, a beloved community institution that serves as both a place for neighbors to find fresh, culturally-relevant produce and a platform for building innovative models for affordability of healthy food in lower-income communities. The Fellow will also coordinate distribution of produce from The Food Project to resident-owned cornerstores and small markets in the neighborhood, supporting store owners in increasing fresh food options in ways that capture and build wealth in the neighborhood. This initiative is largely new and evolving and the Follow will lead efforts to expand the number of cornerstores selling local produce. In all of this work, the Fellow will engage The Food Project’s young people—particularly the Root Crew, The Food Project’s most experienced cohort of youth—as leaders and will partner closely with adult neighbors.

Position Description

The Food Project seeks a highly organized candidate to provide critical support to the Executive Director (ED) in two main areas: policy and administration. Reporting directly to the ED, the Food Policy and Board Relations Fellow will work closely with the Executive Team and the Board of Trustees to ensure that the organization’s senior leaders are operating with efficiency, order, and impact. The Fellow will research and compile local reporting on food benefits (such as SNAP and WIC) to better inform both local and statewide policy makers with the goal of ensuring that the MA Local Food Action Plan is considered in legislative changes. A successful candidate will leverage and support the work of the ED to ensure direct lines of communication and information distribution between staff, board, and food system organizers, effective governance, and can provide leadership in the field of sustainable agriculture and youth development.
 

Examples of specific responsibilities, projects, tasks, and/or duties of the Fellow include:

The Fellow will manage The Food Project’s distribution of produce, as outlined below, in a way that engages the leadership of the members of the Root Crew (ages 14 - 18), The Food Project’s most experienced cohort of young people, and adult residents of the neighborhood. This requires investing consistently in building strong relationships with youth and neighbors, identifying responsible roles that those young people and residents can undertake that align with their strengths and availability, and supporting their vision and leadership toward shared goals. With this approach, the Fellow will:

Manage the Dudley Town Common Farmers Market (which operates every Thursday from June through October, plus select winter distributions) 

  • Coordinate washing and packing of produce for the market on the farm on market days
  • Set up, run, and break down the farmers market 
  • Engage customers at the market
  • Maintain financial records for the market, including sales through SNAP, WIC, and other federal nutrition benefits
  • Participate in meetings with city and state agencies and partners around shared campaigns in support of local markets

Coordinate distribution of produce to neighborhood stores

  • Communicate with store owners about available produce, take orders, and coordinate deliveries and payment 
  • Support store owners in effective display and handling of produce to make it appealing to customers and minimize waste
  • In the winter and spring, partner with local business owners to plan for the upcoming season by identifying desired crop varieties and quantities, refining ordering and payment systems, and engaging business technical assistance to support marketing and store improvements 
  • Recruit new store owners to retail fresh produce with an understanding of the resident-articulated goals for fresh produce as a means to capture neighborhood wealth and cultivate a just food system

Support the Root Crew in their leadership around neighborhood food distribution and community outreach, engagement, and organizing. 

  • During the summer season (June through August), engage and support Root Crew members throughout the week in farm work, community outreach, and neighborhood food distribution efforts
  • During the academic season (September through May), serve as Assistant Crew Supervisor for the Root Crew, partnering with the Crew Supervisor to plan and facilitate crew work days from 8:30 to 4:30 each Saturday
  • Maintain an overarching strategy for community outreach efforts around the farmers market, cornerstores, and community events, and facilitate youth engagement in it 

The work schedule for this role varies by season. From June through August, the Community Food Fellow will work Monday through Friday, with a long day on Thursday (to support the harvest and market schedule) offset by a shorter day on Friday. From September through May, the Fellow will work Tuesday through Saturday (to support work with the Root Crew), with a Sunday-Monday weekend.

Qualifications

  • Conversational fluency in Spanish is preferred in this role if at all possible. Cape Verdean Creole or Portuguese would also be useful. 
  • Coursework or experience in social justice and racial equity principles and history is also valuable. 
  • Driver’s license preferred.

Professional Development

All staff at The Food Project participate in training with VISIONS Inc to build skills around racial equity and inclusion, as well as an annual staff retreat with content that varies year to year. The Fellow would also have the opportunity to participate in The Food Project’s three-day Institute, where attendees from around the world come to learn about The Food Project’s nationally-recognized youth development and sustainable agriculture models.