Food Justice Organizer
To educate, organize, and advocate in defense of Missouri's people and their environment.
The Missouri Coalition for the Environment (MCE) is Missouri’s independent citizens' environmental organization for clean water, clean air, clean energy, and a healthy environment.
MCE began its work in 1969 in St. Louis as the region’s first independent citizens’ group created to address a broad range of environmental policy issues. Today, we work to enforce the laws that protect our public land and natural resources, and advocate for change at all levels of government for the protection of environmental and public health.
MCE convenes the St. Louis Food Policy Coalition. The coalition works toward a thriving local food economy in the Greater St. Louis area where everyone has access to affordable, healthy food from local producers who are stewards of our soil, air, and water resources. Members of the coalition represent 30 organizations in health, nutrition, urban agriculture, sustainable agriculture, community development, and the environment.
This is a full-time, grant funded position that will be re-evaluated at the end of a one-year cycle.
The Food Justice Organizer plays a critical role in the implementation of the St. Louis Food Policy Coalition, which is convened and coordinated by Missouri Coalition for the Environment (MCE). The Organizer is responsible for 1) coordinating residents and local community groups to advance community goals around local food and 2) supporting the Food Policy Coalition by developing a Food Equity Advisory Board composed of community members. The Organizer reports to the Food and Farm Director and supports both the Director and the Local Food Coordinator.
The Food Justice Organizer will be trained in grassroots organizing and be provided with the tools necessary to continue and expand the work of the Food Policy Coalition in engaging local communities. The Food Equity Advisory Board has been identified as a critical component of the Coalition to ensure a strong foundation of community input and investment. Current Coalition members generally represent organizations and businesses and meet during the work day. The Advisory Board will be designed to suit the needs of the community and their recommendations will be reflected in the goals and priorities of the Coalition.
The Food Justice Organizer will continue to engage in the following four communities where Coalition already has a presence: 27th Ward in the City of St. Louis, the City of Berkeley, unincorporated community of North St. Louis County, and the Gravois/Jefferson neighborhood in South St. Louis City. The Organizer will also explore other opportunities to engage additional communities based on need and other relevant factors. Within these communities the Organizer will work with local leaders to design community goals around local food and connect local communities to the work of the Coalition.
The Organizer will support the Food and Farm Director and the Local Food Coordinator in the coordination of full Coalition meetings and Coalition work group meetings. The work groups bring together stakeholders committed to improving healthy food access and connecting local farms to St. Louis markets. The Organizer will be responsible for connecting the work of the food access work group to the local community groups, specifically shaping action agendas based on community input and needs as identified by the community.
Meeting on a regular basis with community leaders in the four participating community groups to establish collective goals to advance local healthy food options. Collective goals may include raising awareness of local food options, developing advocacy strategies to bring higher quality food to local grocery stores, developing a community garden, and engaging elected officials on nutrition assistance programs.
Serving as a conduit for sharing Coalition resources with community members, such as cooking classes from MU Extension, gardening workshops from Gateway Greening, workforce development in food system jobs through HOSCO and the North City Food Hub, and the hours of operation of the St. Louis MetroMarket and United People Market.
Recruiting community members for a new Food Equity Advisory Board to inform the work of the St. Louis Food Policy Coalition and, with the help of the Food and Farm Director, coordinating the Advisory Board by facilitating the development of a values statement and a process for the inclusion and influence of the Advisory Board in Coalition decision-making.
Meeting regularly with the Food and Farm Director and the Local Food Coordinator to determine action plans and evaluate progress.
Candidates should have a basic understanding of:
The connection between sustainability, hunger, health, equity, and nutrition
The health and resource disparities seen throughout the St. Louis region
Health benefits of consuming fresh produce
Health effects of organic versus conventional farming methods
Successful candidates will have the following skills and qualities:
Good written and oral communication skills
Demonstrated ability and effectiveness working in a team
Valid driver’s license, satisfactory driving record, and proof of auto insurance required
Experience with basic computer programs, such as MS Office and social media applications
Self-directed and organized to develop and carry out a work plan
Flexible to adjust to changing circumstances and schedules
Highly motivated to work with local community groups around local food issues
Annual salary of $36,000
Deadline to apply