Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Job Opportunity- MARP Seeks Food Access Program Manager

Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project LDC
Program Manager, Food Access Initiatives
Position Available: mid-late May 2010
Application Deadline: April 19, 2010

About MARP

The Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project Local Development Corporation (MARP) is a not-for-profit, 501(c)3 organization incorporated in January 1999, founded with the mission to restore the “main street” of the Fort Greene and Clinton Hill community to a bustling, economically vital neighborhood commercial corridor that provides entrepreneurial, cultural, recreational, and employment opportunities for all those who live, work, study or have an interest in the area. On the economic development side, MARP serves a diverse community of approximately 150 merchants, with 97% of businesses locally-owned and 78% minority or woman-owned. Of the 30,000+ residents in the community, roughly 8,500 residents live in the Whitman and Ingersoll public housing developments, which front Myrtle Avenue. MARP oversees programs in community-based planning, small business assistance and recruitment, historic preservation, environmental stewardship and greening initiatives, financial assistance for building rehabilitation, and other initiatives that seek to improve overall quality of life.

Food Access Initiative

In recent years, MARP has worked to strengthen its existing community development initiatives, as well as develop new programs. One of these is the Community Food Access Initiative which aims to advocate for and create increased access to healthy food in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill, especially for low income residents. Projects under this initiative include a comprehensive survey of healthy offerings at avenue corner stores, organizing a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) group targeting low-income membership, creating community gardens in underutilized spaces on public housing grounds, establishing a youth-run farm stand, and facilitating a new hyper-local healthy food task force, to name a few. Recently, MARP received a three year grant to support the new “Healthy Food For All” project, allowing them to expand their food access initiatives and further engage community members in shaping the local food system by:

- Creating, expanding, and attracting markets for fresh, affordable food

- Helping residents grow more of their own food

- Cultivating leaders of all ages

- Increasing community food education opportunities

- Comprehensively documenting food-related resources, needs and desires of the community

Food Access Program Manager

The Program Manager of Food Access Initiatives is a new full-time staff position, reporting to MARP’s Director of Community Development. The Program Manager will manage all projects under the initiative, and work together with MARP staff and community partners to develop and expand the initiative.
Key Project Responsibilities: Community Gardens

- Coordinate a “Garden Skills Workshop Series” (delivered by a project partner) to empower gardeners in the Ingersoll Garden of Eden with the skills needed to help fellow residents start and maintain gardens at other housing developments

- Support and develop core garden leadership, assist with garden meetings, develop additional opportunities for expanding individual gardener skills and horizons

- Help to organize core garden leadership at Whitman and Farragut houses in order to create future community gardens in these developments

Myrtle Avenue Community-Run Farm Stand

- Coordinate training of farm stand staff (three youth and two elders) with project partners

- Design and spearhead strategies for bringing customers to the market. Develop creative programming (workshops, cooking demos, etc.) to take place during farm stand hours that will draw visitors and activate the stand as a vibrant community destination

- Assist with farm stand management on occasion

Community Food Education

- Coordinate“Community Chef Training” with project partners and consultants. Twelve community members will be trained in basic culinary, nutrition and workshop facilitation skills. Trainees will then receive a stipend to conduct healthy cooking demonstrations and nutrition-related workshops across the neighborhood

- Assist with coordination of creative community food education workshops, events and demonstrations at the Fort Greene CSA distribution site, the farm stand, and various outdoor community events

- Work with the Food Access Coordinator to implement and develop the Fort Greene F.R.E.S.H. Teens program, which creatively engages local youth in food access projects

Healthy Food Task Force

- Convene, prepare and facilitate quarterly meetings for the Healthy Food Task Force to link and strengthen neighborhood efforts, and encourage more collective action and conversation around local food issues. The Task Force will consist of representatives from organizations and other stakeholder groups working around food access and advocacy in Fort Greene and Clinton

- Building on information already collected, work with the Task Force to complete a Community Food Assessment for Fort Greene/Clinton Hill, and to develop an action plan for addressing identified issues

Program Management and Other Responsibilities

- Daily management of program activities and partner communications to ensure that objectives and milestones are met according to established timeline

- Recruit and develop relationships with community leaders/members, agencies, organizations and institutions to develop and implement projects, and leverage resources to advance programmatic goals

- Develop strategies for engaging both elders and youth as leaders in re-shaping the local food system

- Assist with development of marketing and other external communications materials for multiple stakeholders, including marketing brochures, fact sheets, press releases and more

- Work with staff to develop and implement strategies for project documentation and evaluation

- Serve as an articulate and confident spokesperson for the organization at events and meetings - Manage consultant contracts and reports

- Assist with development of proposals in response to relevant funding opportunities

- Assist in the development and collaboration of special projects as they arise

· Bachelor’s degree required. Minimum two years of professional experience required, with competencies in urban planning, food advocacy, urban agriculture, organizing, community development, urban community-based participatory initiatives, health issues, youth engagement, senior citizen engagement, a related field, or some combination of many of these is preferred. Master’s degree in relevant field may be substituted for experience.
· Personable with great facilitation, leadership, and communication skills. Possess a demonstrated ability to work with flexibility, efficiency and diplomacy with diverse constituent groups (by socioeconomic background, age, professional sector, etc.) around common issues.
· Pro-active self-starter with ability to set and achieve goals and make decisions with limited supervision
· Strong organization and project management skills with ability to multi-task and work under tight deadlines at times, managing lots of ‘moving parts’ in multiple projects!
· Strong critical thinker with ability to be resourceful, anticipate obstacles, and troubleshoot issues
· Demonstrated knowledge of food access and advocacy issues in New York City
· Technologically savvy and computer literate, with advanced knowledge of the Internet and comfortable using all Microsoft Word and Outlook applications.
· Ability to work a flexible schedule, including some evenings and weekends
· An openness to personal and professional growth, and a passion for and commitment to addressing issues at the intersection of food access and community development.
· An expected employment commitment of at least 3 years

Schedule and Compensation
· Work schedule is 40 hours/week, with possibility for flexible working hours if evening/weekend hours are required
· Salary of $35k/year
· 20 days of paid time off (includes vacation/sick days/personal days, to be used interchangeably at employee’s discretion); 25 days of paid time off after 3 years of employment
· Health and dental insurance, with premiums fully paid by MARP
· 12 paid holidays/year
· Eligible for Simple IRA retirement benefit after 1 year of employment with employer match up to 3%

How to Apply
Interested applicants should submit the following by April 19, 2010 via email to with “Food Access Program Manager” in the subject line:
- a 1-page cover letter that discusses the experiences and skills that qualify you specifically for this position
- a professional or academic writing sample or excerpt of no more than 3 pages

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