Food Systems Program Manager

Hiring Organization: NorthWest Initiative
Employment type: Full-Time
Job Location: Lansing, MI
Application Deadline: May 31, 2017

NorthWest Initiative

Food Systems Program (FSP) Manager January 2017

This is a full-time salaried position ($33,500); with a few benefits. The Manager will be an employee of NorthWest Initiative (NWI), a nonprofit community development organization working to improve the quality of life in Lansing’s downtown, north side and westside. More information about NWI can be found at  or

The FSP Manager will work with staff, interns, volunteers, and partner organizations to facilitate the development of food system improvement projects in northwest Lansing that will result in increased knowledge about nutrition education and the availability and consumption of healthy foods for all residents. Projects include: garden-based nutrition education and maintenance of children’s gardens in four elementary schools; parent engagement and adult nutrition education; working with partner organizations on increasing local farm- to-school projects and building healthier school environments; coordination of taste samplings and various venues; and assistance with coordination of the seasonal Westside Farmers Market/Mobile Farmers Market, and other special events.

Under the direction of the Executive Director, the Food Systems Program Manager responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  •   Recruits, trains, and manages current and future food systems staff, interns, AmeriCorps members, and volunteers

  •   Participate in weekly meetings with Executive Director, monthly NWI TEAM meetings, and facilitate FSP staff program meetings

  •   Attend community coalitions and work-groups as needed to cultivate partnerships (Youth Garden Coalition, School Health Teams, Healthy Food for All Action Team, etc.)

  •   Organize and mobilize residents, partners, other stakeholders, and staff to design and implement food system improvement strategies

  •   Create promotional and educational presentations and materials to inform and educate new and existing partner school administrators and teachers about SNAP-Ed and other programs and resources available to students and families through NorthWest Initiative and the Food Systems Program

  •   With input from ED and Nutrition Educators, write yearly MNN grant application, complete mid-year and year-end reports; as well as collect and submit monthly reports to MNN; oversees program evaluation

  •   In collaboration with ED and Bookkeeper, develops and oversees FSP budget and creates and submits

    monthly invoices

  •   Research and write grant applications for unfunded or emerging activities; solicit donations from local

    businesses. Actively looks for and applies for grants to fund new garden coordinator position

  •   Oversees management of all school gardens

  •   Works with external organizations/farmers/experts to gain support, mentorship and guidance for school

    garden and hoop house maintenance, including “volunteer garden workdays”

  •   Assists in the coordination and transportation of supplies and materials as needed including mulch, compost,

    plants, building materials, etc.

  •   Works collaboratively with AmeriCorps Members, staff and volunteers to develop and implement garden

    maintenance plans that are aligned with grant restrictions

  •   Other duties assigned by the Executive Director

Minimum Qualifications:

  •   An appropriate bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution (preferred)

  •   Previous experience in community economic development or community organizing

  •   Experience with Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) Education (preferred)

  •   Demonstrated experience with agriculture, community food systems development, food security, nutrition

    education, and gardening

  •   Demonstrated experience with community engagement, including meeting facilitation, mobilizing and

    coordinating volunteers, working with a diverse group of people, and managing multiple projects

  •   Demonstrated ability to take initiative and to do professional work both independently and as part of a team

  •   Exceptional organizational practices, strong computer skills, well-honed multi-tasking abilities, fine

    attention to detail, and outstanding written and oral communication skills

  •   Must have reliable transportation to get to and from various work sites

    Candidates should send a cover letter and resume to:  

  • Peggy Vaughn-Payne, Executive Director, NorthWest Initiative, 510 W. Ottawa St., 2nd Floor, Lansing, MI 48933; fax: (517) 999-2897. In your cover letter, clearly explain how the position is related to your interests and future goals. In your resume, include relevant education, experience, and skills as well as past employment, service, and leadership activities. Applications should be submitted as soon as possible and will be accepting on a rolling basis until position is filled. Please email cover letter and resume to