Online course: Community-Based Food Systems

I will be teaching a five-week online course through Village Earth/Colorado State University on “Community-Based Food Systems” (June 1 – July 6). Admission to Colorado State University is NOT required. The course is geared towards activists, professionals and academics who want to develop their analysis of food systems issues. We will also look at different strategies and approaches for effecting food system change. Please share the course info below, or contact me with any questions. The deadline to register is May 27.
Tanya Kerssen

Food First/Institute for Food & Development Policy

398 60th St. Oakland, CA 94618
June 1 – July 6, 2012
Registration Deadline: May 27
The cultivation, preparation, distribution, and consumption of food are practices that shape how we organize ourselves socially, economically and politically. Control over food is central to the sustainability and self-determination of communities. In this seminar, you will learn about different approaches to building community-based food systems and movements for food justice around the world. Together, we will evaluate various strategies for protecting community food resources and rebuilding local food economies, as well as the factors that threaten these efforts. With special consideration for marginalized communities in the global North and South, students will develop a conceptual toolkit and set of resources to help them assess the limitations and possibilities of their own community’s food system.

Upon completion of this course participants will be able to:
  • Understand the historical and economic “root causes” of global hunger, peasant displacement and environmental degradation.
  • Understand the key differences between the “dominant paradigm” of food system change and alternative models based in food sovereignty and food justice.
  • Identify concrete examples of political and practical strategies, in the global North and South, for promoting community-based food systems; and evaluate the effectiveness of these strategies.
  • Support local and global movements for community-based food systems by engaging in informed activism.
For more information, please contact Kristina at or the course instructor Tanya at

Course web page:

To register, visit:

Come watch “Food Stamped” this Sunday!

Sunday, May 20th at 5:00 pm
Location: Bloombars – 3222 11st ST. NW Washington, DC 20010

Food Stamped (2010, 62 min), by Shira and Yoav Potash – is an informative and humorous documentary film following a couple as they attempt to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet on a food stamp budget.

Nutrition educator Shira Potash teaches nutrition-based cooking classes to elementary school students in low-income neighborhoods, most of whom are eligible for food stamps. In an attempt to walk a mile in their shoes, Shira and her documentary filmmaker husband embark on the “food stamp challenge” where they eat on roughly one dollar per meal.

Along the way, they consult with members of U.S. Congress, food justice organizations, nutrition experts, and people living on food stamps to take a deep look at America’s broken food system.

Following our screening, we’ll discuss the film and the upcoming Farm Bill with members of Citizens Circle and Jeremiah Lowery, a community activist who works to ensure access to healthy food.

Hell’s Kitchen Community Coordinator sought

Clinton Housing Development Company (CHDC)is a non-profit organization committed to developing permanent affordable housing through out the Manhattan neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen.  For the last 40 years CHDC has been equally committed to developing lasting community and green space along side affordable housing.  The Department of Community Cultivation at CHDC is responsible for the development, design and maintenance of all gardens and green space including community gardens, urban farm projects, parks as well as coordination of all community engagement and outreach.

Nature of Work

CHDC is seeking a committed, dynamic community coordinator to build neighborhood connections and coordinate community building events throughout the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood.  Applicants must be deeply committed to grass roots organizing and building partnerships around housing, greening, open space and health.  The Community Coordinator will work closely with the Director of Community Cultivation to design and coordinate events, develop and oversee programming and plan and coordinate community wide events.  This is a new position at CHDC so the ideal candidate will be flexible and creative with a pioneering spirit.


  • Plan and coordinate community wide events and volunteer days in conjunction with community partners including: Covenant House, Hell’s Kitchen Farm Project, Alice’s   Garden, Hell’s Kitchen Neighborhood Association and Community Board 4.
  • Assist in organizing new community gardens and neighborhood parks
  • Design programs jointly with CHDC senior staff
  • Develop and coordinate tenant activities both onsite and offsite in conjunction with social service case managers and interns.
  • Work to connect tenant with community events and city wide activities
  • Research citywide tenant activities.
  • Oversee program planning and facilitation.
  • Manage budgets for programs.
  • Coordinate staff events.
  • Lead groups of volunteers and tenants
  • Build and manage a volunteer core and maintain volunteer database and email lists.
  • Create and publish quarterly staff newsletter

Minimum Qualifications

    • Bachelors Degree in related field and/or equivalent life experience.
    • 2-5 years of experience in community organizing and movement building;
    • Ability to take direction as well as work as part of a team
    • Experience in supervising volunteers;
    • Excellent writing and communications skills;
    • Energetic, motivated and hardworking;
    • Passion for community building, urban green space and healthy living;
    • Ability to communicate with a diverse community;
    • Valid driver’s license
    • Food prep certificate or willingness to obtain
    • Bilingual Spanish/English a plus
    • Flexibility and sense of humor

Reports to

Director of Community Cultivation


Interns and volunteers

Salary Range

$30,000 -$35,000 plus benefits

Email letter of interest and resume to:

Seeking Two Berkeley-area Interns at Multinational Exchange for Sustainable Agriculture

Multinational Exchange for Sustainable Agriculture ( seeks a Communications and Member Resources intern to research and develop resources for our participating U.S. host farms and international stewards as well as assist staff with MESA event logistics (November exit seminar week and fundraiser dinner). The internship requires a minimum of two days per week (at least 1.5 in our Berkeley office) and six-month commitment.

*Note: They are also seeking an Event Planning and Member Resources Intern! Description to be found here:

MESA connects farmers and food activists around the world for hands-on training cross-cultural exchange programs. Training is based on ecological production practices and innovative marketing models to strengthen sustainable local food systems worldwide. MESA facilitates seasonal programs for international farmers and food activists (aka Stewards) to live and train at farms, education centers, and businesses promoting sustainable and ecological agriculture. Hosts are production farms of various scales, agroecology education centers, urban agriculture programs, and related industries. Stewards currently hail from Ecuador, Ghana, Mexico, Nepal, Peru, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and recently, the U.S. for vocational training opportunities in transitional, organic, biodynamic and sustainable agriculture, as well as processing, distribution and marketing. A blended fund development model helps MESA provide small seeds grants for Steward alumni to implement Home Country Projects in their communities and for on-farm projects called SPRIGs (Sustainable Projects Recognizing Innovative Growers) that add value and sustainability to training site. MESA partners with international NGOs and universities across the globe to connect with steward applicants and provide support services for alumni upon return home.

The intern will work in collaboration with MESA’s Executive Director and Program Director to support MESA’s efforts in cultivating steward and host services including, but not limited to, program development with our global partners, webpage maintenance regarding steward resources, steward and host communications, social media maintenance and outreach, newsletter and marketing research and development. The intern will also assist with some of our most important events of the year- Exit Seminar week and Cultural Cuisine Celebration. This is a great opportunity for an intern to get hands-on experience with inter-workings of a small non-profit and gain skills in communications, outreach, marketing, and event planning.

16 hours/week for 6 months. Start date flexible- June through November. Must be available for the weeks of November 4-10 and 11-17.

Steward communications through monthly reports
Steward resource development on MESA webpage
Social media (facebook and twitter) maintenance and cultivation
Web-related content and newsletter development and proofreading
Assist in new program developments and communications with global partner organizations
Assist planning of events for large groups (55-100 individuals)
Outreach to food vendors and in-kind donors
Community and MESA supporter outreach
Coordinate schedule and travel logistics for MESA Staff and Stewards
Participate in the pre- preparation and post- analysis of the event, help asses opportunities and make recommendations for future improvements

Unpaid. Commute reimbursement to/from Berkeley office for local Bay Area residents. Reimbursement for any event-related travel costs (i.e. donation pick-ups, vendor visits, etc.).

The ideal candidate possesses excellent communications skills in English (Spanish a plus), is highly organized, and is proficient in Excel, Word and Google Docs. S/he has excellent writing and proofreading skills and is eager to learn more about international communications project development. Previous experience in organizing and planning events is highly recommended. He or she is able to multi-task, is internet-literate, and a quick learner.

To apply please send a cover letter and resume (writing sample optional). Applications may be submitted immediately. We will close the search when we find the right candidate.

Leah Atwood
Program Director

Outreach and Events Coordinator at the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance

The Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance (FARFA) is a national organization that supports independent family farmers and protects a healthy and productive food supply for American consumers. FARFA promotes common sense policies for local, diversified agricultural systems.

FARFA is seeking an Outreach and Events Coordinator to help with special events, fundraising, and outreach efforts. This position is currently part-time (10-20 hrs/week), but may be expanded in the future. Preference will be given to people in Central Texas where we are headquartered.

Manages outreach efforts. Responsibilities include: developing outreach materials in cooperation with the executive director; and arranging for tables and exhibits at farmers’ markets and conferences.
Coordinates special events, including our annual conference in September, the East Austin Urban Farm Tour in April, and additional fundraising events. Responsibilities include: planning event; securing event venues, media coverage, equipment, food, supplies, and security; promoting and marketing; obtaining sponsorships and donated items/services; and donor acknowledgments.
Recruits and coordinates volunteers. Responsibilities include: recruiting and training volunteers, recognizing volunteer contributions, equipping volunteers for leadership roles and new assignments, soliciting volunteer feedback, and maintaining volunteer records.

COMPENSATION: Salary dependent on experience; range $15-$17/hour

Experience: Experience in farming, food services, membership development, nonprofit services, or a related field required. Fundraising and social media experience is desirable. Basic accounting or bookkeeping experience is a plus. At least five years of professional work experience is preferred.

Skills: Highly organized, very detail-oriented, excellent customer service, strong interpersonal skills, strong computer skills, including proficiency in Excel and Word.

Capabilities: Highly motivated and brings a positive attitude to work. Ability to work well with a wide range of people, works well under pressure, handle multiple tasks at once, and adapt to changing situations on a daily basis.

Position will remain open until filled. Please send cover letter, resume, and three references to by Friday, June 15, 2012. Interviews will be offered to select candidates on a rolling basis.

For more information about FARFA, visit our website at

FARFA is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applicants from diverse backgrounds to apply.

NOFA-NY Seeking Education Director


The Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY) is the oldest and largest organization in New York devoted to organic and sustainable farming and gardening, and counts over 500 farms among its 1700 members of farmers, gardeners, and eaters.

We are seeking an Education Director to work with the Executive Director and Education Team to lead the organization’s farmer, gardener,  and small business educational initiatives, including the Winter Conference, Organic Dairy & Field Crop Conference, on-farm field day series, intensive workshops, and general technical assistance.

The position requires a motivated and positive individual who has a background in and/or experience in organic farming, event planning experience, and staff management. The person must be passionate and knowledgeable about organic farming and gardening and have excellent organizational skills. The Education Director is based in NOFA-NY’s Rochester office. This individual directly manages the Education Team, which consists of four employees.   This position reports to the Executive Director and participates in management planning for the organization.

Specific Responsibilities
• In coordination with the Executive Director, Education Team, and education committee, sets annual education goals, develops strategies, and coordinates initiatives to meet these objectives.
• Supervises Education Team staff (4)
• Coordinates Education Committee (volunteer & board committee that provides guidance for NOFA-NY’s education programs)
• Leads bi-weekly education team meetings.
• Coordinates all details for the annual NOFA-NY winter conference for 1,300+ attendees. Works with the Education Team to organize over 80 workshops covering 10-12 interest tracks, creates and manages the conference budget, solicits and manages conference sponsors and advertisers. Also oversees conference publicity, coordination of conference meals, coordination of the trade show, coordination of the silent auction, and coordination of volunteers. Manages and trains conference staff.
• Works with the Education Team to coordinate all details for the NOFA-NY field day series , including over 30 diverse field days in all regions of NYS. Also responsible for expanding the series to be year-round.  Coordinates staff, regional representatives, and volunteers to help staff field days and manages event publicity and evaluation.
• Oversees coordination of annual Organic Dairy & Field Crop Conference.
• Oversees coordination of NOFA-NY Beginning Farmer Programs.
• Oversees all aspects of NOFA-NY’s Technical Assistance programs. Provides some technical assistance to farmers and gardeners through phone and email.
• Manages farm-based education outreach to public.  Helps coordinate volunteers to support outreach efforts including NY Farm Show, Empire Farm Days, NYS Fruit & Veg Expo, etc.
• Works with Operations and Development staff to publicize educational events to NOFA-NY membership via the newsletter, e-news, listserves, website, and other media.
• Occasional public speaking.
• In coordination with the Executive Director, hires and trains education staff and ensures that individual performance goals are met.
• Manages all education grants including grant deliverables, communication, evaluation, and reporting.
• Assists in or takes the lead in writing grants to support farm and garden-based education programming.

This position is a full-time exempt-status position.  Compensation includes a competitive salary, dependent on experience ranging from $36,000 to $40,000. We offer a full benefits package that includes employer-paid medical insurance, 50% paid dental insurance, life insurance, and a 403(b) retirement plan ($5,000+ value).  Vacation, personal, and compensatory time policies are generous.

• Education: Bachelor’s degree required.  Master’s degree preferred.  Strongly prefer degree in sustainable agriculture or a related field.
• Knowledge: Extensive knowledge of diverse organic and sustainable agriculture and the educational needs of farmers and gardeners. Knowledge of organic and sustainable farming in New York State preferred. Experience: Organic farming, event planning, staff supervision, grant writing and management. Experience working with diverse committees preferred.
• Skills: Excellent written and oral communication skills; strong interpersonal, supervisory, planning, and training skills; excellent organizational skills; strong computer skills required; familiarity with database programs helpful, graphic design interest helpful, Spanish language skills helpful.
• Capabilities: High energy and enthusiasm. Ability to work well with a wide range of people, work well under pressure, handle multiple tasks at once, and adapt to changing situations on a daily basis. Able to motivate a team and generate enthusiasm for the goals and objectives of the organization.
• Conditions: Strong interest in and commitment to promoting the goals of NOFA-NY.  Frequent statewide and occasional out-of-state travel required.

How to Apply
Position open until filled. Please send cover letter, resume, three references, and a short writing sample to by June 4, 2012.

NOFA-NY is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applicants from diverse backgrounds to apply.

Work for the NYC Coalition Against Hunger

Advocacy and Communications Associate
New York City Coalition Against Hunger

The New York City Coalition Against Hunger (NYCCAH) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that represents—and is the voice for —  the more than 1,100 nonprofit soup kitchens and food pantries in New York City and the nearly 1.5 million low-income New Yorkers who live in homes that cannot afford enough food. The Coalition works to meet the immediate food needs of low-income New Yorkers and enact innovative solutions to help society move “beyond the soup kitchen” to self-sufficiency. The Coalition also recently launched a nationwide pilot program, working in 16 states, to use VISTA AmeriCorps participants to increase access to the Food Stamp Program and the Summer Food Service Program for children.  This position, based in New York City, would work on NYCCAH’s programming both in NYC and nationwide.


Duties and Responsibilities:
Reporting to the Director of Communications, Government Relations and Community Organizing:

  • Assist with the expansion of the organization’s Food Action Board initiative, including conducting trainings to community members in all five boroughs of the City.
  • Work with the department director to create and disseminate “Action Alerts”, using social media and other outlets, on current policy issues related to hunger and poverty.
  • Monitor major policy and outreach developments in funding to government – funded programs including, but not limited to, child nutrition, SNAP (also known as the food stamp program) WIC (Women, Infants, and Children), EFSP (Emergency Food and Shelter Program).
  • Participate in meetings sponsored by partner organizations and community groups, with or in place of the department director, related to the organization’s involvement in policies and programs.
  • Develop, with the department director, a citywide strategy, to engage a broad range of communities in anti-hunger and anti-poverty advocacy.
  • Accompany the department director and other department staff to out-of-town meetings and conferences.
  • Provide bi-weekly progress reports to the executive director and prepare progress reports for funders, as needed.
  • Assist with the dissemination of media advisories, press releases, event planning, document editing, maintaining media and legislative contact lists.
  • Create and update sections on the NYCCAH web site, Facebook page, and Twitter feed, with current news and information on anti-poverty policies aligned with the organization’s mission.
  • Facilitate working groups of principals, teachers and parents to engage the School Food system
  • Provide technical assistance to SFSP sites and schools
  • Train and manage volunteers engaged in child nutrition activities
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


The ideal candidate will have significant experience working at a nonprofit organization, labor organization, school system, or political operation. He or she must be a self-starter with experience speaking publicly, communicating effectively orally and in writing, and possess a desire to work with underrepresented populations.  Experience providing technical assistance to non-profit organizations to enable them to increase access to those programs is a plus.  Excellent writing, research, and “customer service” skills are required.

A Bachelor’s degree is preferred, although people with very significant, relevant, work experience will be considered.  Preference will be given to candidates who are fluent in Spanish.

The Coalition is seeking a self-starter with strong organization-building, communications, problem solving, organizing, management, and inter-personal skills, as well as a very positive, “can do” attitude and a demonstrated commitment to fighting poverty and enacting progressive social change.  The person should be comfortable working in diverse neighborhoods and with  people of diverse backgrounds. The person should also have a track record in achieving concrete, practical results.

The Coalition is an equal opportunity employer. People of all races, sexual orientations, ages, faiths, economic and social backgrounds, genders, physical abilities, and national origins are strongly encouraged to apply.

Salary and Benefits:
Salary will be competitive with other similar positions in nonprofit organizations. NYCCAH offers significant benefits to all full-time employees, including a strong health insurance plan. Employees also receive generous vacation, holiday, and sick time. Employees also have opportunities for training and professional development in their work for one of the nation’s most respected and innovative anti-hunger organizations.

How to Apply
To apply, submit a resume and a cover letter detailing your qualifications for this specific position to:

Fax:                                        212-825-0267
Advocacy and Communications Associate
NYC Coalition Against Hunger
50 Broad St, Suite 1520
New York, New York, 10004
Please mark your e-mail subject line or your fax “Advocacy and Communications Associate.” The position is open until filled.  PLEASE NO PHONE CALLS.