Hiring: Community Coordinator – Farm to Institution New England
Farm to Institution New England (FINE) (farmtoinstitution.org) is a six-state network of nonprofit, public and private entities working collaboratively to mobilize the power of New England institutions to transform our food system. FINE works to make changes in the regional food system that result in more local food served at institutions, a more developed and diverse regional network of individuals and entities across all parts of the food system, that are mobilizing the power of institutions to transform the food system, broader stakeholder understanding of the role of farm to institution, and stronger state and federal policies in support of farm to institution to get more local food on the menu. FINE works to connect supply and demand via three core functions: convening, communications, and research. Farm to Institution New England (FINE) is a fiscally sponsored organization of TSNE (tsne.org).
Rooted in Community, a localized approach to growing the farm to institution movement in New England, is a three-year-long project that will create a collaborative values-based approach to building a community-centered food system that shifts the institutional power dynamics around race. The three New England communities of Springfield, MA, New Haven, CT, and Cumberland County, ME, will serve as a cohort for shared learning and implementation of farm to institution initiatives in schools, colleges, health care, and the carceral system. The cohort is represented by community-based organizations: Springfield Food Policy Council, Cumberland County Food Security Council, and the City of New Haven Food System Policy Division, all of which are already driving food systems change at the local level. The project is coordinated and administered by Farm to Institution New England (FINE), serving to connect the local cohort members with regional partners, resources, and training, while sharing stories and strategies developed in each community with the broader food systems network. Funding is provided by the USDA Regional Food System Partnership program.
The Community Coordinator will coordinate farm to institution work in Springfield, MA and participate in a cohort for shared learning across the three communities involved in the Rooted in Community project. The positions will be grant funded from April 2023 to August 2025, with the possibility to extend. While this position is largely remote, the coordinator must be based in or near Springfield, MA to be available as needed for in-person meetings and site visits in the community, with occasional travel throughout New England.
- Identify and convene interested parties (e.g., food businesses, institutions, agencies, farmers and fishermen, value chain, local governments) who will engage in collaborative farm to institution (FTI) work.
- Identify and launch a strategy for engaging community residents in decision-making (e.g., committees, accountability boards, focus groups, and surveys).
- Facilitate 3-5 site visits in the community annually: interested parties will visit food-related sites along the value chain (e.g., institutions, farms, community kitchens, gardens) to understand the landscape, key players, and opportunities.
- Work with community members and interested parties to establish goals, baseline measurements, and strategies for equitable FTI work in Springfield.
- Support value chain coordination within Springfield that leads to more regional, equitable, sustainable food procurement in institutions.
- Facilitate communication and outreach to broader community through webinars, listening sessions and committee meetings.
- Join Cohort with three other communities and Farm to Institution New England (FINE) for peer-to-peer learning, capacity building, and value chain coordination.
- Support development of stories, videos, resources, and tools to share lessons learned at a regional level.
We will consider exceptional candidates who demonstrate a strong combination of the specific qualifications and skills described below.
- Two or more years of professional experience (or equivalent experience) in a related field (e.g., food systems, sustainability, environmental management, sustainable agriculture, food business, higher education).
- Knowledge of or desire to authentically learn more about Greater Springfield and its neighborhoods.
- Experience with community organizing/building, grassroots mobilizing, or similar work.
- Strong interpersonal skills – comfortable communicating by phone or in-person with a wide variety of people.
- Highly organized, attention to detail, deadline-oriented.
- Proficient multi-tasker with the ability to keep track of multiple projects at one time.
- Proven record of creative, collaborative problem-solving.
- Comfortable working with a virtual team, ability to work independently with direction.
- Efficient, effective, and dependable in working with groups and independently.
- Access to a reliable source of internet and phone service and a remote space to work.
- Proficient in Microsoft Office and Google Suite; experience with Asana, Slack, and/or similar project management and communication tools a plus.
- Able to travel within New England.
Please apply with a Cover Letter and Resume for best consideration
Physical Demands/Work Environment
The physical demands described here are representative of those for this position. Reasonable accommodations will be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the functions. Work is performed in an office environment and in close proximity to other workers.
While performing the duties of this position, the employee is required to:
- Handle, or feel objects, tools or controls;
- Reach; traverse; sit (usually for longer periods of time); occasionally ascend/descend; and position self (to) move;
- Occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds;
- The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate;
- Job is not subject to significant occupational or environmental hazards;
- Likelihood of personal injury would be relatively slight;
- Environmental and work hazards are not present to a measurable degree.
Compensation and Benefits
Location: Work will be primarily performed remote, with frequent meetings at locations in and around Springfield, MA.
Schedule: This is a part-time position that will involve some evening and weekend meetings. Exact schedule to be determined by the coordinator and their supervisors.
Compensation: The starting rate for this position is $23.00/hr and is commensurate with experience.
Benefits: This position is eligible for a full benefits package including:
- Generous Paid-Time-Off (PTO): 12 paid holidays, 3 weeks vacation, 1 week personal holiday, and health leave time for full-time staff;
- 80% Employer-paid, offering some $0 deductible Health Insurance through Harvard Pilgrim along with several low-deductible plans;
- Low-cost MetLife Dental and Vision;
- Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) for Health and Dependent Care;
- Employer-paid Life, Long- and Short-Term Disability Insurance;
- Employer-paid Pension through TIAA;
- …and more!
TSNE/FINE strives to achieve excellence through a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work environment that embraces all of our individual and collective differences. Black, Indigenous, People of Color, Middle Eastern and North African, Bilingual and/or Bicultural candidates, and LGBTQ2SIA+ candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. We value and honor the unique talents, learning styles, and lived experiences of each individual that enrich and strengthen our workplace culture, and we are proud to be an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer.
All employment conditions are based on an individual’s performance and job qualifications. TSNE/FINE prohibits discrimination and harassment of any kind based on race, creed, color, religion, native language, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, national origin, physical or mental disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, parental status, pregnancy, race-based hairstyles, or any other protected characteristic stated by federal and state law. Regardless of any class’ protection under the law or lack thereof, TSNE/FINE celebrates diversity and values the strengths that come with having a diverse team of employees. It is represented in our workplace culture, and it is who we are.
TSNE/FINE’s EEO statement extends to volunteers, interns, contractors, vendors, and clients.