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Farm to School Program Coordinator (Food Connects)

Organization Food Connects
Location 22 Browne Court Unit 110
Brattleboro, VT 05301
Description

Farm to School Program Coordinator

About Food Connects

Food Connects is a dynamic and growing nonprofit organization based in Brattleboro, VT that delivers locally produced food as well as educational and consulting services aimed at transforming local food systems. Founded in 2013, Food Connects is a catalyst for food systems change by connecting the next generation with their food, local farmers with new markets, and school chefs with school food.

Job Summary 

The Farm to School (FTS) Program Coordinator’s primary responsibility is to be a motivational guide and knowledgeable resource for teachers, food service professionals, and school administrators to further develop and support Farm to School programs throughout the region. Acknowledged as a statewide leader, the Farm to School program builds capacity at over 30 schools to improve food, farm, and nutrition education as well as increase local food purchasing and school meal participation.

The Farm to School Program Coordinator is a grant-funded, part-time, year-round hourly position. The FTS Coordinator will work with the FTS Program Manager, coordinating FTS efforts at schools primarily in the northern Windham County region. This position will require frequent travel to the towns of Bellows Falls, Westminster, Grafton, Saxtons River, Townshend, and Newfane. The Program Coordinator will be based at the Food Connects Brattleboro Office, with the opportunity to work remotely.

Food Connects is growing and anticipates new opportunities for growth and changes to job descriptions and roles.

Collaboration

  • The FTS Program Coordinator reports directly to the FTS Program Manager. 

  • The FTS Program Coordinator does not directly oversee any staff

  • The FTS Program Coordinator works closely with: 

    • Development and Communications Manager to promote and celebrate FTS successes 

Schedule

  • 20 hours/week; between the hours of 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday.

  • Occasional meetings and events on evenings and weekends (with plenty of advance notice). 

  • Regional travel required.

  • Some professional development opportunities provided to develop job-related competencies. This may include attending conferences, workshops, or individualized mentoring regarding:

    • School food & child nutrition Programs

    • Best practices in Farm to School 

    • School garden coordination 

    • Trauma sensitive approaches to Farm to School 

    • Other topics, as needed

  • Weekly FTS team meetings

Tasks include:

Program Delivery

  • Provide general coaching support to school teams, including: (1) filling out the FTS Growth Chart with each school and (2) developing an Action Plan with each school.

  • Help navigate complex regulations, customize solutions, and to streamline operations for federal child nutrition programs. 

  • Provide technical assistance that will increase participation in the school meal programs.

  • Assist school chefs in accessing affordable wholesale local food direct from farms, delivered to schools through our local Food Hub.

  • Promote opportunities for facilitating greater parent and volunteer involvement in school-based projects.

  • Attend and represent FC at various school-based events for families (ie. Wellness Nights)

Tasks and time commitment will vary with each school depending on their team’s availability, structure, action plan, and funding. A rough guide is approximately 24 hours of support for each school per year. The action plan will determine expectations for the FTS Coordinator’s limited hours per school.

Program Development

Ensure the sustainability of the program by:

  • Contribute Farm to School Program content to support Food Connects’ marketing efforts.

  • Contribute content to the FTS Monthly Newsletter.

  • Provide FTS updates and presentations to School Boards or School Administration as needed.

  • Contribute content to support grant reporting requirements for relevant grants.

Qualifications

Required Qualifications

  • 3+ years of professional experience in the education, nonprofit, or public health sectors.

  • General knowledge of veggies, fruits, and other locally-produced items.

  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal: in person, over the phone, email, text.

  • Excellent customer service skills.

  • Strong proficiency with Internet use, spreadsheet development, databases, Google Drive, and Microsoft Office suites. Comfort with learning new software platforms. 

  • Ability to remain calm under pressure and in the face of changing demands.

  • Strong organizational skills and a natural proclivity for keeping detailed records.

  • Cheerful, professional presence.

  • Self-starter who can work well independently.

  • Ability to work effectively with others in a team-oriented environment.

  • Ability to quickly assess a situation and make necessary decisions; skilled in creative problem-solving.

  • Ability to prioritize tasks and manage workload among fast-paced and sometimes unpredictable programs.

  • Flexible; able to prioritize and manage workload in a fast-paced, ever-evolving work environment

  • Reliable private vehicle for regional travel.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience working with Farm to School programs, school gardens, classroom curriculum, and/or the local food system.

  • Knowledge of, or familiarity with, key state/regional Farm to School partners, such as VT-FEED, Green Mountain Farm to School, VT Agency of Agriculture, Hunger Free VT, etc. 

  • Familiarity with, and enthusiasm for working in our geographical area: Southeastern Vermont

Physical Requirements

  • Ability to lift and move up to 50 lbs on occasion. 

  • Continually able to sit at a desk and work in an office setting to execute job responsibilities.

Compensation

Salary is $18/hour, 20 hours per week.  The position includes some benefits after the 90-day introductory period.

Food Connects provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetics.

To apply, please send a resume and cover letter to info@foodconnects.org.

The position is open until filled.

Date Posted July 8th, 2020
Deadline Open until filled
# of Positions Available 1
Categories Farm to School programs
Type Part Time