Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Real Food Challenge is hiring a full-time National Programs Coordinator!

The Real Food Challenge, a national student network and campaign for just and sustainable food, is looking for an energetic person committed to student empowerment, food, and justice to become our National Programs Coordinator for a minimum 2-year commitment.

As one of RFC's three full-time staff members, the National Programs Coordinator is responsible for strategic campaign planning, student organizing, coordinating administrative tasks, and overseeing the Real Food Calculator program.

This is an INCREDIBLE opportunity to deeply engage with RFC and the youth food movement in general. We welcome applications from anyone interested, especially young people with experience in organizing around food, justice, sustainability, or related fields.

The National Programs Coordinator is a full-time position with a competitive non-profit salary, a comprehensive benefits package, and flexible vacation.

(See below for a more detailed job description.)

The application deadline is Monday, May 2, so apply now!

If you have any questions, feel free to call or email Devon Ahearn at (617) 442-1322, ext. 54 or


Job Description

Program Description 
The Real Food Challenge (RFC) is a national campaign that recruits, trains, and supports student leaders working to get their schools to purchase more just and sustainable food. Our flagship goal is to redirect $1 billion of college and university food purchases to “real” food—food that’s fair, ecologically sound, humane, and local and community-based—over the next 10 years. We work toward this goal, and the broader goal of supporting a vibrant student food movement, by uniting college students through on-campus organizing, leadership training institutes, and regional summits.

2011 is a really exciting year for RFC. The number of students and schools developing powerful sustainable food projects has grown exponentially since our launch in 2008. To better support each other, we are unrolling the Grassroots Leaders Program, which will provide campus-based student leaders resources, training, and support to help them carry out successful campaigns for real food. At the same time, we are planning to publicly release the Real Food Calculator, a tool we developed to help students assess their schools’ real food purchases and set a new standard for transparency in the food industry.
In the next year, RFC will transition organizationally. Currently, RFC is a program of The Food Project, a non-profit organization in Boston that fosters social and personal change through youth leadership and sustainable agriculture. In July, The Real Food Challenge will shift from being housed at The Food Project to working under the umbrella of Live Real, an emerging organization that works to change the food system by organizing communities and youth that are most negatively impacted by our current food system.  We will retain a close relationship with The Food Project.
Given this expansion and transition, we’re seeking a talented individual to become one of three national staff and play a critical role in strategic planning for the campaign, managing administrative work, further developing and overseeing the Real Food Calculator, and creating more robust communication networks for RFC. 
If you have any questions about the position or the application process, please call or email Devon Ahearn ( or 617-442-1322, ext. 54). We would be happy to hear from you.
Responsibilities include:
NOTE: Some responsibilities will be divided among the three staff and volunteer leaders, based on strengths, interests and experience.  Responsibilities marked with an ** are expected to be primary duties of the National Programs Coordinator.

  • **Administrative Support: Working with the National Administrative Team (comprised of staff and students) to ensure day-to-day functioning of RFC, including managing legal needs and processing payments and reimbursements.
  • **Fundraising: Help develop and execute an annual fundraising plan for individual donors, manage the donor database, and facilitate thank you letters and responses to our donors. 
  • Materials: Develop support materials for local student campaigns and national programs.
  • Relationships: Maintain strategic relationships with key partner organizations and advisors.
Program Development and Execution:
  • Events: Provide critical support for all RFC events, including arranging logistics for summer Leadership Institutes and winter Real Food Summits.
  • **Real Food Calculator: Work with student leaders and an expert advisory panel to develop and implement this comprehensive tracking tool for defining ‘real food’ and increasing institutional transparency on a campus-by-campus basis.  Ready calculator for public launch in 2012.
  • **Real Food Awards Program: Oversee Awards program through outreach for nominations, voting, and announcing the winners. Develop process for handing out awards and prizes.
Student Organizing and Leadership Development:
  • Outreach and Support: Recruit students to take action on the campaign. Facilitate group processes that allow student leaders to collaborate in planning, execution and reflection on programs and activities.
  • Campaigns:  Help develop and implement Real Food Challenge national campaigns and campaign strategies.
Web and Communications:
  • **Website Development: Update and maintain RFC’s main website, as wells as two additional web platforms associated with our annual awards program and the Real Food Calculator.
  • Media: Coordinate traditional (press) and social media (twitter, facebook) as well as e-blast communications. 
  • Commitment to economic justice, anti-racism, student power and contributing to the real food movement
  • Commitment to developing the leadership of others
  • An undergraduate degree (Bachelor’s or Associate’s) and/or comparable life experience (3 years organizing and campaign planning around food justice, sustainability, or related movements on a full or half time basis)
  • Excellent ability to build strong working relationships, and ability to build new relationships through networking
  • Computer & web based competency: familiarity with Microsoft office (i.e. word, excel, powerpoint)
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively in a multi-cultural, non-hierarchical context
  • Detail-oriented self-starter
  • Capable of working in a fast-paced, multi-tasking environment
  • Able and willing to work some nights and weekends and travel occasionally
Preferred Qualities:
  • Experience working as or with college- and university-based student activists
  • Prior experience facilitating group processes that engage a diverse group of students and youth
  • Strong writing and speaking skills, including public speaking
  • Food systems knowledge (practical knowledge pertaining to food industry, food distribution systems, food service etc.)
  • Familiarity with social media tools such as twitter and facebook; experience drafting e-newsletters and managing online contact databases; experience with design programs a plus (i.e. photoshop, in-design, illustrator, etc.); web editing and development skills a plus
  • Willingness to “get dirt under your fingernails”—to help on the farm when needed
  • A sense of humor and an eagerness to be challenged
  • Ability to work out of Boston office a plus.
Real Food Challenge is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants who identify as working class, people of color, women, LGBTQ, genderqueer, and differently-abled are strongly encouraged to apply.
More info
The National Programs Coordinator should be prepared to start by the first week of July 2011, and preferably earlier.  The National Programs Coordinator position may be based in and work out of The Food Project’s office in Boston, MA.  Other locations may be negotiable.
To submit an application, send a cover letterresume, and the application form (available here: as one pdf or .doc attachment to Label your email “National Programs Coordinator Application—Your Name”. For additional instructions, see application form (available here:
Alternatively, you can send your application materials in the mail to:
Attn: Devon Ahearn
The Food Project
555 Dudley Street
Dorchester, MA 02125
**All application materials must be submitted by Monday, May 2nd, 2011.**
We will confirm receipt of your application. If you are selected for an interview, we will be in touch via email to set up a time for your interview.  This position is open until filled.
If you have any questions about the position or the application process, please call or email Devon Ahearn ( or 617-442-1322, ext. 54). We would be happy to hear from you.

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