Hope's Harvest RI Seeking Part-time, Seasonal Gleaning Assistant


Hope’s Harvest RI - Job Description and Posting

Gleaning Assistant - July, 2020

Hope’s Harvest RI, a fiscally sponsored project of Farm Fresh RI, is seeking a part-time, 20-24 hr/week seasonal Gleaning Assistant for its work mobilizing volunteers to recover surplus food from farms for distribution to hunger relief agencies.

About Hope’s Harvest RI: Started in 2017 and entering its third gleaning season in 2020, Hope’s Harvest RI has partnered with over 25 farms, and 20 hunger relief agencies to recover and distribute over 120,000 lbs of fresh, healthy, local food to communities in need. Our mission is to improve the livelihoods of local farmers, increase food security for our most vulnerable residents, and get everyone engaged in strengthening the food system by eliminating on-farm food waste in Rhode Island.

Position Description: The Hope’s Harvest RI Gleaning Assistant (GA) will be responsible for supporting the organization and its staff, stakeholders, volunteers, and partners in organizing and executing gleaning trips with the purpose of recovering and distributing surplus food to people in need. The GA also assists with distribution, inventory management, and collecting gleaning and operations data. A very high degree of accountability is required to provide excellent customer service and outcomes to our partner farms, recipient agencies, volunteers, and our primary beneficiaries - people experiencing food insecurity in RI. This position reports to Operations Manager and the Executive Director (as needed).

Desired Start Date: We expect to fill this role as soon as possible, with training to begin the first week of August. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Coordinate and supervise food recovery operations, including but not limited to:
    • Serve as point of contact with agencies, volunteers, farms, and other program partners to coordinate gleaning activities.
    • Manage gleaning trip logistics, including scheduling, supervising volunteers on trips, product quality standards during harvest and packing, inventory management and tracking, and product deliveries.
    • Manage and direct all volunteers on farm sites and at meeting points to ensure the protection of private property, the personal safety of volunteers, and that efficient labor is applied to the job at hand.
    • Ensure safe and proper product handling and packing, in accordance with food safety procedures. Apply judgement on a case by case basis to evaluate product quality and ensure high product quality standards for all delivered produce.
    • Drive gleaning equipment to and from gleaning trips in program vehicle (12 ft. box truck) and make deliveries as needed (occasionally in personal vehicle).
    • Keep all vehicles used for gleaning activities clean, organized, and stocked with supplies (as needed) before, during, and after gleaning trips and deliveries.
    • Drive safely and lawfully at all times, heeding legal load capacity of vehicle and adjusting speed and routes as needed. Driving instruction will be provided.
    • Accurately collect and report operations data for program activities.
    • Monitor and ensure compliance on the part of all volunteers with food safety protocols, COVID safety procedures, and set a culture of overall physical safety and accident/injury prevention with volunteers.
    • Ensure all physical program infrastructure (supplies, equipment, vehicles, etc.) is stocked, organized, and in working order.
  • Program Administration
    • Basic administrative support including tracking expenses, documenting activities, responding to inquiries, scheduling, etc.
  • Other Duties as Assigned
    • Hope’s Harvest RI is a small organization; a “pitch-in” spirit is expected at all times and assistance on special projects and tasks may be required in addition to responsibilities listed above.

Desired Qualifications and Experience:

  • At least one full season of vegetable production agriculture experience preferred but not required.
  • Knowledge of produce varieties/quality standards, + ability to relate to farmers respectfully and knowledgeably. Understanding of produce quality and food handling.
  • Excellent verbal communication skills. Customer service or similar experience preferred.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including patience, respect, thoughtfulness, good listener, and able to motivate people gently but effectively.
  • Detail oriented, with excellent record keeping skills and strong administrative, organization, and time management abilities. Must take initiative, be able to work independently, and follow through on all tasks at an efficient and steady pace.
  • Must possess a valid U.S. driver’s license, have a minimum of six years driving experience, a clean driving record, and be capable of passing a DOT physical. Ability to drive a 12ft. box truck, with experience driving heavily loaded box trucks in urban and rural environments strongly preferred.
  • Ability to bend and lift 60+ lbs, repeatedly and in various conditions. This position is physically demanding and requires an aptitude for manual labor.
  • Must enjoy working in farm fields in all types of New England weather. This typically includes hot and humid summer days, wet and cold autumn, and early winter conditions.
  • Aptitude for, and/or basic knowledge of equipment use, maintenance, and repair (including vehicles, pallet jacks, harvesting tools, etc.).
  • Available to work a flexible schedule including early evening and weekends.
  • Background in adult education, leading volunteer/tour groups, and/or organizing service work teams.
  • First-aid knowledge and skills.
  • Reliable access to personal vehicle for getting to and from work locations and moving produce.
  • Comfort and proficiency with technology, specifically data entry and the Google Suite.
  • Able to communicate effectively and work collaboratively with people from diverse backgrounds in terms of race, ethnicity, gender (including nonbinary), sexual orientation, class, and religion. Experience living and working in economically, racially, and ethnically diverse communities strongly preferred.
  • Personal alignment and commitment to the mission of the organization.

Work Culture:

  • We are mission driven and motivated to work hard by a desire to provide high quality services.
  • We are inspired by efficiency, driven to solve problems, and satisfied by a job well done.
  • We value open, honest communication of needs and expectations and direct feedback across all levels.
  • We create a friendly, kind, respectful, and supportive environment for our staff, volunteers, and partners.
  • We work together to learn, grow, take responsibility for our mistakes, and strive to do our best.
  • We acknowledge and celebrate the strengths and differences in others, and do not assume that the ways we are used to doing things are the only correct ways to do things.
  • We value and respect people’s lived experience and many types of expertise.
  • We help each other set boundaries around work and practice/model good self care.
  • We approach our work with a sense of humor, and find fun and joy in what we do.
  • We recognize the importance of prioritizing process, relationships, and results simultaneously.
  • We understand and integrate the broader context that informs our work, including issues around food justice/sovereignty, local food supply/value chains, and food insecurity.
  • We are thoughtful about our privileges and how they affect our interactions with others.
  • This is a white-led organization with a strong and evolving commitment to anti-racism and actively confronting white supremacy as an end in itself and as a means towards liberation for all people.

Expected Work Schedule and Description of Benefits:

  • Hourly pay range: $14-$16/hr depending on experience
  • Part-time, 20-24 hours per week including at least two in-person gleaning trips per week and some associated administrative work which can be done remotely
  • Evenings and weekend availability required, and some flexibility around scheduling to accommodate weather and crop availability. Scheduling needs around other employment, etc. can be accommodated.
  • All time off (except in the case of illness or injury) requires at least two weeks advance notice and is contingent upon Director approval, especially during the peak growing season (Aug-Nov).
  • Work clothing/gear stipend: $150 reimbursement.
  • Access to abundant surplus fresh produce.
  • We take the safety and well being of our team extremely seriously and will modify program activities as necessary to ensure compliance with all state and federal regulations related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To Apply:

  • Send resume and cover letter to info@hopesharvest.org with subject line “LASTNAME - HHRI Gleaning Assistant Application”
  • Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position has been filled
  • No phone calls or drop-ins please

Hope’s Harvest RI and its fiscal sponsor Farm Fresh Rhode Island are committed to equal opportunity in employment. We’re also committed to building an inclusive workplace culture where talented people of widely diverse backgrounds can thrive. We’ve adopted this commitment because we believe the inclusion of racially, economically, and culturally diverse perspectives will improve our work and produce better outcomes for all. We are actively seeking candidates who bring diverse backgrounds and perspectives to join us in this work. Farm Fresh Rhode Island is an Equal Opportunity Employer.