The Hope’s Harvest Gleaning Associate (GA) at Farm Fresh Rhode Island will be responsible for supporting the organization and its staff, stakeholders, volunteers, and partners in organizing and leading gleaning trips with the purpose of recovering and distributing surplus food to people in need. The GA also supports distribution, inventory management, and collecting/recording gleaning and operations data. A 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 is seasonal, runs August 7 through mid-December 2023, and reports to the Hope’s Harvest Program Manager. Applications received by June 16 will be given priority.
Essential Duties & 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 judgment 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.
- 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 is a small but mighty program; 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.
Knowledge, Skills & Abilities Needed to Perform this Role
- At least one full season of vegetable production agriculture experience is preferred.
- Knowledge of produce varieties/quality standards, and an 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 listening, and ability 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 12 ft. box truck, with experience driving heavily loaded box trucks in urban and rural environments strongly preferred.
- Ability to bend and lift 60+ lb. 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. This position can potentially accommodate other work schedules.
- 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 occasionally moving produce.
- Comfort and proficiency with technology, specifically data entry and 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.
Candidates with any of the following skills will be prioritized:
- Spanish speaking or non-English language skills
- Deep understanding of communities in Providence, Pawtucket, and Central Falls
- Knowledge and experience with community organizing
Physical Demands (Physical, Mental & Environmental)
The following capabilities are required in order to perform the essential functions of this position. Reasonable accommodations that do not create an undue burden on the company are available to address the following requirements.
- While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit/stand for long periods of time at a desk; use hands to handle, or feel objects, tools, or controls on computers; reach with hands and arms; and talk or hear in meetings and on the telephone or on the computer in an office or variable setting.
- Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, and the ability to adjust focus.
- Employees must be able to lift and carry up to 60 lb.
- Must be able to identify and respond to loud noises.
- Hourly pay range: $16-18/hr depending on experience
- Accrued Sick & Safe Leave Benefits starting after 7 days of employment
- Send resume and cover letter to [email protected] with subject line “LASTNAME - HHRI Gleaning Associate Application”
- Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Applications received by June 16 will receive priority.
- No phone calls or drop-ins please.
Started in 2018 and entering its sixth gleaning season in 2023, Hope’s Harvest has partnered with over 50 farms and 50 hunger relief agencies to recover and distribute over 850,000 lbs of fresh, nutritious local food to communities in need. Our program’s 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. In the Spring of 2022, Hope’s Harvest became a program of Farm Fresh Rhode Island.
Farm Fresh has grown briskly since achieving 501c3 status in 2007 to capture the public interest in locally grown food and translate it into sales for local and regional farmers and producers. Strongly mission-driven, Farm Fresh RI hosts a variety of programs to enhance the local food system, with particular attention to farm viability and low-income access to fresh food. Farm Fresh also operates a range of marketplace programs (retail, wholesale, processing) that engage and connect tens of thousands of eaters with thousands of farmers and food producers across the New England region.
Farm Fresh Rhode Island’s work environment is fast-paced and collaborative. We value creative thinking, approach our work with energetic spirit, and strive to have fun together while we’re at it!
Mission: Farm Fresh Rhode Island is growing a local food system that values the environment, health, and quality of life of farmers and eaters in our region.
Vision: A New England abundant with diverse family farms and fertile soils, with locally and honestly produced foods and flavors at the heart of every dinner table.
Farm Fresh Rhode Island is committed to the principle of equal opportunity in employment for all employees. We encourage enquiries from candidates who will enrich and contribute to the cultural and ethnic diversity of our organization. Farm Fresh RI does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, creed, color, religion, marital status, gender, sexual orientation, veteran status, national origin, or disability status in employment or programming. Farm Fresh Rhode Island is an Equal Opportunity Provider.