Food Nutrition Specialist

International Rescue Committee

Job Overview:

The IRC in San Diego seeks to support clients’ immediate food security needs and ensure long-term stability in client nutrition. As part of a team, the Food Nutrition Specialist will implement the Refugee and Immigrant Pantry and Education (RIPE) Program to build knowledge and skills so clients can better navigate their local food system and live in food-secure households. The Food Nutrition Specialist will work with clients and staff to identify barriers to accessing nutritious, culturally appropriate foods and provide coaching to enhance clients’ food systems and nutritional knowledge to increase food security. The position will coordinate and plan all RIPE Program activities, including food pick-ups, food distribution, and updating, adapting, and facilitating the nutrition education curriculum and Culturally Preferred Inventory and Shopping Lists.

Major Responsibilities:

  • Work with IRC and third-party interpreters to communicate with clients;
  • Implement new tools and maps for budgeting and locating food;
  • Deliver group instruction in food navigation and nutrition, both in-person and remotely, as necessary;
  • Lead logistics planning for all group instruction sessions, including scheduling, transportation, space, and interpretation;
  • Collaborate with the Headquarters (HQ) Food and Agricultural Technical Advisor to ensure foundational food navigation and nutrition skills are integrated into the programming curriculum;
  • Liaise with Inventory Specialist, Development Coordinator, Caseworkers, Benefits Navigator, and other colleagues to ensure successful plans are developed for enhancing clients’ food navigation and nutrition skills;
  • Coordinate services with the national New Roots network to ensure a holistic approach to moving individuals and entire families forward;
  • Monitor and evaluate progress through client assessments and data tracking in Efforts to Outcomes (ETO) and Excel. Complete a final program assessment;
  • Ensure that services are delivered following relevant quality assurance standards;
  • Participate in training and professional development relevant to the role;
  • Other related duties as assigned.

Education Program Support

  • Use internal research and survey results to update the (A) Culturally Preferred Inventory Lists and (B) Nutritious and culturally appropriate food shopping lists, and (C) obtain information on other national partnerships with food banks and how to save money on procurement;
  • Write education messaging for Emergency Resource Newsletter and distribution to IRC clients;
  • Develop, update, and implement the RIPE Nutrition Education Programming and Curriculum;
  • Calendar and plan workshop and session topics (including content) by Month 4 before activities commence;
  • Develop standardized guidance for case managers. Topics may include (A) identifying food programs and eligibility, (B) How to receive enrollment support (WIC, SNAP, School Lunch, etc.), and (C) identifying additional support for families with issues managing diet-related illness;
  • Liaise with IRC Housing Coordinators to establish housing placement guidelines and standards for food access needs and supports;
  • Develop neighborhood Food Resource and Grocery Store Maps as needed/requested by caseworkers;
  • Ensure that all grocery purchases made by IRC caseworkers follow IRC’s critical nutrition messaging and standards.

Coordinate the Food Distribution

  • Coordinate and schedule Food Pick Ups weekly with Feeding San Diego;
  • Manage the food pantry during hours of operation and maintain pantry space while closed;
  • Ensure that clients and staff review and approve the Culturally Preferred Food Lists;
  • Ensure that all Food Pick Ups, donations, and purchases align with the pre-approved (A) Culturally Preferred Inventory Lists and (B) nutritious and culturally appropriate food shopping lists;
  • Work with IRC’s Development Coordinator to solicit regular volunteer and in-kind donations to sustain pantry food gaps not filled through partnerships with Feeding San Diego, local grocery stores, and IRC Community Gardeners;
  • Identify IRC El Cajon Community Gardeners to purchase products from, establishing vendor agreement and appropriate market rate of items. Place seasonal orders in advance;
  • With support from the MEAL Manager and HQ Food and Agricultural Technical Advisor, design and implement a survey to gather preferred foods from R&P and S&W Staff and Clients;
  • Collect information from clients to maintain food distribution client list. Set parameters for participation to ensure quality and equitable access to the food distribution program;
  • Communicate to clients about schedule changes due to Holidays, delivery interruptions, program updates, etc., as needed;
  • Periodically collect feedback from recipients to improve offerings.

Other Program Support

  • Contribute to program development by identifying areas for improvement, expansion, or service gap;
  • Receive client referrals to the Pantry and provide caseworkers with resources to conduct initial client assessments, identify barriers to food access or overall health, set goals, provide one-on-one food system coaching, and regular follow-up;
  • Train caseworkers and staff to screen and refer IRC Clients to the RIPE Program to receive essential food resources to meet their needs;
  • Support other food access projects for IRC clients and community members as they arise.

Key Working Relationships:

Position Reports to: Social Work Field Placement &Women’s Resilience Center (WRC) Coordinator​

Indirect Reporting: Safety & Wellness Program Manager, Development & Communications Program Manager, Resettlement Program Manager

Position directly supervises: Volunteers and interns as needed ​

Job Requirements:

  • An undergraduate degree in public health, nutrition or related subjects is preferred; or equivalent experience;
  • Experience working with refugee and/or immigrant populations strongly preferred.
  • Experience working with pre-literate and non-native English speakers and adult learners strongly preferred;​
  • A minimum of 2 years of relevant work experience in the human services field is strongly preferred;
  • Proven ability to adjust communication styles for different audiences;
  • Experience with education and or nutrition programming;
  • Proficiency in English, both spoken and written, is required, bilingual ability in a language spoken by the local refugee population is a plus;
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills;
  • Effective, professional presentation skills;
  • Proficient in general office software programs, e.g., MS Office suite, email, internet applications, and relational databases (familiarity with Efforts to Outcomes particularly valuable);
  • Proven track record to work as a team member in a cross-cultural environment;
  • Dedication to racial equity and food justice;
  • Detail-oriented with excellent organizational skills, flexibility, ability to multi-task and complete work in a fast-paced environment independently;
  • Valid driver’s license, reliable access to vehicle with current insurance, and the ability to travel regularly throughout the service delivery area preferred;
  • Ability to work and drive within the service delivery area to make food deliveries to clients and collect food from gardeners at the El Cajon Community Garden;
  • Ability to lift and carry up to 50 pounds safely.

Working Environment:

  • Standard office environment, including the current hybrid mode of remote work within San Diego County and required in-office days and some ‘field’ time within the service delivery area to perform the above-outlined responsibilities. Office working environment is subject to change based on organization/business needs;
  • Office hours are scheduled as Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5pm;
  • May require occasional weekend and/or evening work;
  • This position will work from the IRC offices in City Heights and El Cajon as well as the El Cajon Community Garden.

Posted pay ranges apply to US-based candidates. Ranges are based on various factors including the labor market, job type, internal equity, and budget. Exact offers are calibrated by work location, individual candidate experience and skills relative to the defined job requirements.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement: In accordance with IRC’s duty to provide and maintain a workplace that is free of known hazards and our commitment to safeguard the health of our employees, clients, and communities, IRC requires candidates who are selected for interview to furnish proof of vaccination against COVID-19 to be considered for this position.

Commitment to Diversity and Inclusivity: IRC is committed to building a diverse organization and a climate of inclusivity. We strongly encourage applications from candidates who can demonstrate that they can contribute to this goal.

Equal Opportunity Employer: We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation.

Benefits: We offer a comprehensive and highly competitive set of benefits. In the US, these include 10 sick days, 10 US holidays, 20-25 paid time off days depending on role and tenure, medical insurance starting at $120 per month, dental starting at $7 per month, and vision starting at $5 per month, FSA for healthcare and commuter costs, a 403b retirement savings plans with immediately vested matching, disability & life insurance, and an Employee Assistance Program which is available to our staff and their families to support counseling and care in times of crisis and mental health struggles.

How to apply

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