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Gleaning Coordinator

Taproot Farm & Environmental Education Center
  1. Taproot Farm & Environmental Education Center (Taproot) is a 501c3 tax-exempt organization. Our work is guided by our mission, which is nurturing care for the environment by educating, inspiring, and connecting communities to the land, to their food, and to each other in a holistic manner. Our work falls under three distinct but holistically integrated realms: Education, Food & Agriculture, Ecological & Community Stewardship. Our programs include the Root Seller Marketplace, the Lancaster Community Garden, North Country Gleaners, and a diverse slate of Education programs. While Taproot’s work is varied, each of its programs stems from the central principle that healthy food, a healthy environment, and a healthy community are intimately linked and mutually supportive. With this principle in mind, Taproot’s programs support three impact areas: economic viability, restorative food systems, and environmental education.


About the Program:

The goal for our North Country Gleaners program is to help prevent food waste within our local food system by collecting excess produce from farms and backyard gardeners and distributing it to recipient organizations who work with food insecure individuals and families throughout our service area in the north country such as food pantries, soup kitchens, senior housing, schools, homeless shelters, and other pre-determined sites that may be easily accessed by those in need.

Additionally, part of the program’s purpose is to better coordinate the distribution of gleaned produce throughout the region so that it ends up where it is needed most, rather than simply where it is most convenient or familiar. For instance, we know some farms and backyard gardeners only drop off at one food pantry in their community because they already have a relationship in place. While this is generally a workable arrangement, there are inevitably times when that food pantry doesn’t need any more, e.g., zucchini or tomatoes, while another recipient organization could use them. We aim to reduce agricultural waste and combat food insecurity beyond simply donating excess food blindly through improved tracking of what farmers and gardeners have available to be gleaned and where it can be best utilized. We also aim to connect all members of our community to fresh, local produce and where their food comes from.

About the Position:

This position balances well-developed administration skills with hands-on field work to coordinate the gleaning, or harvesting, of excess produce from farms and backyard gardeners in our service region. The Coordinator is responsible for year-round outreach and relationship building with local farms, backyard gardeners, volunteers, recipient organizations, and partner organizations. During harvest season, the Coordinator will lead volunteers and work with their Gleaning Assistant to harvest local food and deliver it to partners serving food insecure families and individuals. We are looking for the right person who has the vision, empathy, and grit to continue to grow this program with thoughtfulness, creativity, and initiative. Start date is immediate. Position is open until filled.

Requirements:

The ideal candidate is a systems thinker who has a passion for and understanding of our local food system and how it fits into the larger state and regional food systems to which we are a part. Experience working on a farm is preferred, but gardening experience at the very least is required. The ideal candidate will have knowledge of our service region, or willingness and initiative to get to know the different communities and neighbors who live here. We are looking for an outgoing leader who can work independently but also works well in collaboration with others. The Coordinator will need to be able to multi-task and problem solve. The ideal candidate should have a either a BA/BS and experience working for a nonprofit organization.

Additional qualifications for this position:

  • Strong communication skills;
  • Understand food safety and traceability;
  • Experience in the field of Human Services a plus but not required;
  • Must possess a valid driver’s license and have reliable transportation;
  • First Aid and CPR certifications (possible certification on the job);
  • Ability to lift, push, or pull 50 pounds.
Responsibilities:

Partner Relationships Management:

  • Continually build and maintain a network of farms and backyard gardeners in our service area who are interested and willing to participate as a produce donor and educate them about food loss for human consumption;
  • Collaborate with recipient organizations in our service area to gauge produce needs, facilitatedeliveries of gleaned produce, and provide taste tests or education as desired;
  • Serve as a liaison between local hunger relief agencies;
  • Maintain excellent communication with all donors and recipient organizations;
  • Identify like-minded organizations as suitable partners and collaborators.

Marketing and Outreach:

  • Initiate outreach efforts in order to spread the word about our gleaning program and to recruit volunteers, produce donors, and/or financial donors (e.g. setting up a booth at a local farmers market, attend staff meetings at a school or hospital, cross marketing opportunities with our produce donors, etc);
  • Submit blurbs to our newsletter;
  • Post to our social media pages – Instagram and Facebook;
  • Promote financial donors who support the program, where necessary; •
  • Help to educate and inform our community about not only our gleaning program but also our mission and full range of programs, events, and educational offerings.

Education:

  • Conduct taste tests at appropriate recipient organization sites using gleaned food, highlighting how to prepare specific produce for maximum pick up by those in need;
  • Educate about food loss and food waste;
  • Engage community and youth in learning opportunities about local food insecurity and the
  • benefits of their gleaning service activity;
  • Work with our Education Coordinator where appropriate.

Volunteer Management:

  • Recruit and train volunteer gleaners;
  • Organize an annual spring volunteer training (2021 will be over zoom);
  • Maintain accurate volunteer records;
  • Organize and communicate with volunteers before/during/after gleans.

Gleans:

  • Work with the Gleaning Assistant to lead volunteers on all gleans;
  • Document and weigh all gleaned produce;
  • Maintain accurate records of all gleaned/donated produce;
  • Oversee gleaned produce processing;
  • Communicate with farm/backyard gardener before/after glean.

Administration:

  • Enter and keep track of all gleaning and volunteer records via our database;
  • Maintain all volunteer liability and photo releases;
  • Acquire and maintain statistics of gleaned food impact (from recipient organizations);
  • Send thank you notes to all producers;
  • Send tax letters to all producers with their seasonal weights;
  • Work with the Director to complete funding reports for grants;
  • Work with partner organizations to collaborate on a variety of initiatives that serves Taproot’s mission and the program goals.
How to Apply:

Qualified candidates should submit a cover letter, resume, and contact information for three references to info@taprootnh.org.

Job Location:

Lancaster

Date Added: December 31, 2020

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