Who We Are

Youth. Food. Community. Three important issues that intersect in one place: The Food Project. Here, we believe that food is a unique vehicle for creating personal and social change. Nothing else ties us so intimately to each other and the planet we share, affecting our health, the climate, culture, and poverty and privilege around the globe. If we — young and old from all walks of life — can unite to change the food system, we can change the world. From our urban and suburban farms to our community education programs, we aim to do just that by bringing together youth and adults from diverse backgrounds who work together to build local and sustainable food systems.

Since 1991, The Food Project has built a national model of engaging young people in personal and social change through sustainable agriculture. Each year, we work with more than 120 teenagers and nearly 2,000 volunteers to farm on 70 acres in eastern Massachusetts in the towns and cities of Wenham, Lincoln, Boston, and Lynn. We consider our hallmark to be our focus on identifying and transforming a new generation of leaders by placing teens in unusually responsible roles, with deeply meaningful work. In addition, we help others grow their own food and provide training resources based on all we have learned.

What We Seek 


The North Shore region encompasses The Food Project’s youth development, farming, and food systems initiatives in Lynn and Wenham.  The region’s work – growing and distributing food, resourcing gardeners, and organizing around food systems change – is powered by young people from the North Shore who work in partnership with Lynn residents to build a better food system.  

The Regional Director ensures that The Food Project’s work in the region aligns with Lynn residents’ vision and priorities, The Food Project’s youth development models and best practices, and the organization’s strategic plan.  This position leads a regional team that together operates a multi-tiered, year-round youth model engaging over 60 teenagers annually; a 33-acre farm in Wenham and a 1 ¼ acre farm and greenhouse in Lynn; SNAP-accessible farmers markets and mobile markets, CSAs, produce wholesaling, and donations; installation of 50 raised bed gardens annually and regular engagement of gardeners; support for small markets and pilots that offer fresh produce; and the ongoing community organizing and engagement that undergirds the above.  

Responsibilities

Staff & Youth

  • Lead a year-round adult staff of six, increasing to 12+ seasonally, in rigorous, transformative youth development, neighborhood engagement, and food systems work, fostering a culture of mutual trust, respect, and accountability.
  • Directly supervise six staff members, including a High Meadows Fellow, two Farm Managers, two Youth Development Specialists, and a Community Programs Manager, toward performance and impact goals.  
  • Support hiring of seasonal staff and youth, with a focus on building a team that is diverse along many dimensions.  

Partnerships

  • Build strong relationships with Lynn residents and organizations to ensure accountability of The Food Project’s work to resident interests and foster community control in the food system.  
  • Co-facilitate the Lynn Grows initiative of Lynn residents, businesses, and partners working toward a shared vision and goals for the Lynn food system.  
  • Participate in city and statewide coalitions around food justice initiatives.  
  • Cultivate relationships with funders, in collaboration with The Food Project’s development team, through visits, events, and written communication.  

Impact & Strategy

  • Ensure that the organization’s strategy for the North Shore aligns with resident vision and priorities, The Food Project’s youth models and best practices, and the organization’s strategic plan, while responding effectively to emerging opportunities.  
  • Collaborate with The Food Project’s Deputy Director to evaluate the impact of our youth development and food systems work in the region.
  • Engage staff in the region’s annual planning process and manage the efforts to achieve the regional goals, establish budgets, and review staff performance.  
  • Provide leadership for The Food Project as a member of the Executive Leadership Team.  

Administrative Responsibilities

  • Participate in annual planning and the development and management of all North Shore budgets.  
  • Provide and receive feedback to all team members on a regular and structured basis.  
  • Lead the North Shore team by facilitating team meetings, and planning and evaluating all North Shore activities.
  • Ensure timely data entry, organization of information, task management, and accountability processes are implemented.  
  • Serve as an active member of The Food Project by participation in the planning, team meetings, and evaluation of all TFP activities.  

Location & Schedule

This position is based in The Food Project’s North Shore office in Lynn, except in July and August, when the Regional Director usually works 2-3 days per week in Wenham, as to be more available to the summer youth crews on the farm there.  This role also requires periodic travel to The Food Project’s offices and farms in other locations for organizational meetings and shared work. 

This position requires periodic evening hours throughout the year for participation in community meetings, youth gatherings, and events.  

From September through May, this position requires Saturday availability per month, to support the work of the youth crews.  The Regional Director attends and supports overnight youth retreats on a weekend during each season.  

From June through August, when youth crews work Monday through Friday, the Regional Director does as well. The summer season includes some later evenings to support youth events and an overnight with young people on the farm.  

The Food Project is committed to sustainability and supports staff in taking time off to balance evening and weekend hours.  

 

Qualifications:

  • Demonstrate experience managing a team in complex, interconnected, emergent work.
  • 5-7+ years experience in youth development. 
  • 3-5+ years experience in managing staff.
  • Outstanding ability to think strategically and translate that into actionable goals.
  • Strong relationship-building skills.
  • Excellent organizational skills, flexibility, and capacity to prioritize and manage time well. 
  • Deep commitment to working with young people as partners; direct youth development experience required..
  • Knowledge of food systems and food justice issues.
  • Experience working in and/or with the Lynn community strongly preferred.  
  • Clear compelling verbal communicator.
  • Personal commitment to and demonstrated experience leading around racial equity.
  • Valid driver’s license and willingness to transport youth in large vehicles.
  • Comfort using web browsers, Google suite, and Microsoft applications.

Compensation 

This is a full-time position with compensation commensurate with experience.  Compensation package includes paid vacation, employer-sponsored health insurance, and produce from the farms, among other benefits.  

Recruitment Process

Please send resume and cover letter via email to: jobs@thefoodproject.org. In the subject line, write your name and the position for which you are applying, eg: “Jordan Smith – North Shore Regional Director.”

We will review all submissions, identify viable candidates, and contact ONLY those individuals selected to continue in the search process. The position will be filled when the desired candidate is found. 

The Food Project is an Equal Opportunity Employer that is committed to creating an inclusive organization. We actively seek a diverse pool of candidates for this position.