Solidarity Harvest Produce Logistics Coordinator
Job Description, Fall 2021
Organization Mission and Project Background
Food AND Medicine (FAM) was formed in 2002 as laid off workers organized in the face of a massive outsourcing of jobs in our region, forcing people to choose between food, medicine and other basic necessities. Our mission is to organize, educate, and empower workers and our communities in the fight for economic and social justice. We work with unions, farms, faith-based and community organizations, small businesses and other community groups to create solutions and positive change. We view our work as solidarity, not charity.
Solidarity Harvest is a project through which funds are raised to purchase produce from Maine farms and food producers, which is distributed in Thanksgiving meal baskets to people in hard times by partner organizations including unions, nonprofits, faith-based and community organizations. Each basket contains over 30 pounds of produce, which is enough to feed 8-10 people, or a smaller family/group for several meals. The first Solidarity Harvest was held in 2003, when 50 meal baskets were given to laid off mill workers in Eastern Maine; this year, over 60 partner organizations will distribute 1,500 baskets in all of Maine’s 16 counties in an act of solidarity.
Solidarity Harvest support staff:
The Logistics Coordinator role is a contract position from mid-October to mid-December. We also have the potential for additional short term positions during the two-week period from November 12th to November 23rd. The primary goal of this position is to provide oversight to the processing and distribution of over 55,000 pounds of produce that will make its way from over 30 farms to the Solidarity Center in Brewer, where it will be stored, sorted, weighed and assembled into 1,500 Thanksgiving baskets to be distributed throughout the state. In addition, this position will organize at least one cooking/canning/preserving workshop in December with any food from Solidarity Harvest that is not distributed.
FAM has an established system for this massive annual operation, and the person who fills this job will be coordinating a portion of it (primarily the fresh produce side) and will be joining a team of other FAM staff also working on the effort. The position is available immediately with relatively flexible, part-time hours in October and early November. Longer hours may be required during “Sort Week,” the two weeks prior to Thanksgiving when volunteers are on-site assembling and distributing the meal baskets. The pay is $18/hour; benefits are not available for this position.
Position details include: Basket assembly and distribution has been adapted for the safety of staff and volunteers during the pandemic.
The Coordinator will be responsible for the distribution of produce for the meal baskets by:
- Organizing volunteers to pick up produce at farms that do not deliver. May include some driving to farms for pick ups when volunteers are not available.
- Tracking deliveries of incoming produce: comparing amounts received to orders, receiving invoices, examining overall quality of produce.
- Organizing storage of produce in the Solidarity Center, including monitoring quality and quantity and examining for spoilage or other damage. May include carrying large quantities of produce, lifting, bending.
- During “sort week,” with help from other staff and volunteers:
- Carry produce from on-site storage to volunteer workstations, lifting up to 50-60 lbs.
- Monitor the amount of produce at each workstation throughout the day to ensure that volunteers have sufficient amounts of each basket item, as well as related supplies.
- Monitor the amount of each basket item in storage to ensure that there is sufficient quantity to complete all baskets, and timely notification to staff if more is needed.
- Track completed baskets, ensuring that enough are available each day for scheduled distribution, as well as for each truckload or pick up throughout the days.
- Work with other staff to communicate with and direct volunteers or volunteer captains on tasks that need completion during each volunteer shift.
- Work with other staff to set up workstations in the morning and straighten up at the end of shifts, including moving or covering produce and boxes, depending on weather.
- Work with other staff to monitor COVID-19 safety protocols for volunteers, including contact tracing, mask wearing and social distancing.
- Organize participants during Solidarity Harvest for at least one cooking/canning/preserving workshop in December.
The candidate must have the following:
- Demonstrated support for food justice, unions and empowerment of marginalized communities.
- Familiarity with handling fresh farm produce.
- Ability to self-direct, yet also be an integral part of a team.
- Impressive attention to detail and organizational skills.
- Ability to converse with and direct volunteers, contributing to a positive experience for volunteers.
- Ability and willingness to wear a mask when in the presence of other people, and must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
- Physical requirements include bending, walking, climbing stairs, and being able to lift, carry and move up to 60 pounds.
- Ability and willingness to be outside for hours at a time in November temperatures.
How To Apply: Interested applicants should send a resume and at least three references, to
firstname.lastname@example.org. Inquiries can be directed to email@example.com or (207) 949-0708. FAM is an equal opportunity employer. Women, members of the LGBTQ+ community, people of color and low-income / working class people are particularly encouraged to apply.