Weekend Field Support/Driver
( Independent Contractor Position, 4-15 hrs/week, approx. 2-8 days/month)
Organizational Overview: Food Forward’s mission is to fight hunger and prevent food waste by rescuing fresh surplus produce, connecting this abundance with people in need and inspiring others to do the same. Fruits and vegetables are rescued from backyard fruit trees, orchards, farmers markets, and the downtown Los Angeles Wholesale Produce Market. In the last 9 years, Food Forward’s programs have rescued over 64 million pounds (more than 250 million servings) of fresh produce, preventing over 20,000 metric tons of carbon equivalent from polluting the atmosphere. With a small staff, hundreds of community partners, and the power of 7,000+ volunteers, we will help over 1.75 million Southern Californians experiencing food insecurity this year. *See our core values posted below.
The Farmers Market Recovery Program (FMR) is an innovative program that gleans the unsold produce from farmers markets and distributes it to local hunger relief agencies and food pantries. The program perfectly aligns with Food Forward’s mission, as it addresses food access equality by redirecting the abundance of fresh, healthy produce from farmers markets to the people who need it the most. Since 2012, the FMR program has recovered over 2.5 million pounds of produce at weekly volunteer events at 24 markets across Los Angeles and Ventura Counties.
The Backyard Harvest Program (BYH) started in 2009 in the San Fernando Valley when two volunteers harvested from a single tree and harvested over 800 pounds of tangerines. To date, we have donated over 2 million pounds to over 60 local receiving agencies in Ventura and Los Angeles Counties (with some additional work done in Santa Barbara, Orange, and San Bernardino Counties). The Backyard Harvest Program administers a volunteer-based, systematized collection of produce that would otherwise go to waste from backyard fruit trees. 100% of this fruit is donated to agencies serving those in need.
The Weekend Field Support/Driver will report to the FMR Manager and BYH Manager and serve two main roles: (1) transport materials and equipment between the office, markets, harvests, and agencies using Food Forward’s vehicles (a utility van, a small Transit, and a large truck with bed) and; (2) act as support staff to the volunteers when out in the field. At all times, the Weekend Field Support/Driver will be representing Food Forward as a community ambassador. The Sunday market responsibilities include re-stocking the FMR supply kits at farmers markets across west and central Los Angeles, checking in with Glean Team Leaders (volunteers) and assessing their needs, filling in as a Glean Team Leader or assisting with gleans when needed, and occasionally driving boxes from farmers markets to receiving agencies.
The weekend harvest responsibilities include equipment drop-off and pick-up, fruit collection, fruit delivery to local agencies, and assisting with harvesting and leading harvests when needed. The Weekend Field Support/Driver should be able to lead volunteers at any market or harvest in emergencies.
The Weekend Field Support/Driver is expected to provide great customer service, keep in contact with the FMR and BYH Managers, and provide weekly email recaps of the weekend’s events.
Hours :All FMR work is on Sundays (6-8 hours). Time commitment would be at least two Sundays per month. Additional hours would be available, depending on need. The schedule will be coordinated with the FMR Manager one to two months in advance.
All BYH work is on Saturday or Sunday mornings (4-7 hours). Time commitment would be at most two Saturdays or Sundays per month. Additional hours may be available, depending on need. The schedule will be coordinated with the BYH Manager at least two weeks in advance.
The Weekend Field Support/Driver would be using Food Forward vehicles and does not need to provide a delivery vehicle. However, reliable transport to and from the office is required.
● Valid Class C Driver’s license
● Ability to drive large utility-style vans and trucks in compliance of traffic and safety laws
● Clean driving record
● Ability to lift and move boxes of produce weighing up to 45 lbs from ground to vehicles
● Ability to load picking equipment such as 8-foot ladders, picker poles, and handcarts/dollies for harvests up to 50 people
● Availability Saturday & Sunday
● Extremely organized and efficient with excellent attention to detail
● Excellent verbal and written (email) communication
● Comfortable with using a computer and basic computer programs
● Team player
● Good geographical knowledge of Greater Los Angeles
● Excellent problem-solving skills and ability to make and act on decisions quickly
● Excited to represent Food Forward when visiting markets and agencies and act as a community ambassador
Food Forward Core Values:
• Creativity – We seek to innovate in all facets of our work.
• Joyfulness – We cultivate a meaningful, fun, positive and spirited work environment.
• Committed to Food Justice – We believe that access to wholesome food, and fresh nutritious produce, is not a privilege, but a right. We work hard to end food inequality and reduce food insecurity.
• Authenticity – We are transparent and honest in our words, deeds and actions. We act at the highest level of integrity.
• Disciplined – We are reliable, professional, accountable, rigorous and committed to excellence in all areas of our work, both internally and externally.
• Community-minded – We aim to include and connect people in the community, and to remain open, diverse, respectful, and accessible. We take pride in offering people meaningful volunteer and work experiences.
Send a cover letter in the body of an email to [email protected] with your resume attached as a PDF. In your cover letter, be sure to include (1) where you discovered this listing and (2) an answer to the following question: if you were a variety of produce, which variety of produce would you be and why?
The subject line of your email should read, Food Forward Weekend Support Driver – (Your Name). No phone calls.
Please follow these instructions to ensure we process your application.