Groundwork is still searching for a policy and engagement specialist to advocate for 10 Cents a Meal for Michigan's Kids & Farms across the state. Spread the word with your networks and colleagues with the following qualifications:

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Groundwork, Jen Schaap <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Wed, Aug 24, 2022 at 8:45 AM
Subject: We're hiring! Seeking a Policy & Engagement Specialist
To: Jen <[log in to unmask]>

Help propel this nationally acclaimed farm to school program.
Photo by Jeff Smith

Help Propel This Nationally Acclaimed Farm to School Program

(Please share with a great candidate you know!)


Groundwork Center is seeking a Policy and Engagement Specialist to carry out our 10 Cents a Meal for Michigan’s Kids & Farms communications, outreach and advocacy initiative. The ideal candidate will be passionate and knowledgeable about the value of getting locally grown food to children in school and early child care settings; be experienced in public policy advocacy, networking, and facilitation; and help to embed 10 Cents a Meal and the value of investing in healthy, locally grown food for children in school and early child care into Michigan’s identity. This position is full time, year round, and will report to Groundwork’s Food & Farming Program Director. 

10 Cents a Meal is a state of Michigan program administered by the Michigan Department of Education. Groundwork Center is a nonprofit organization that provides supportive communications, outreach, and advocacy around the 10 Cents a Meal program.

The Policy and Engagement Specialist will be a visible, credible leader on policy issues who will manage 10 Cents legislative outreach and will publicly advocate for policy positions. The specialist will also support school grantees and build supportive partnerships and relationships with stakeholders—at community and state levels—working in areas of schools, farms, health, economy, food systems and more. The specialist will also support grantees through networking, communications, and outreach to foster success of the program within their communities. Finally, the specialist will help develop new project ideas and relationships with donors and grantors. Focus areas of this position will be central, east, and southeast Michigan.

10 Cents a Meal

Inspiring. Respected. Transformative.


By way of example, the Policy and Engagement Specialist will be responsible for, but not limited to, the following:

  • Serve as a spokesperson for Groundwork on 10 Cents a Meal.
  • Develop, manage, and carry out day-to-day activities that build outreach, education, and advocacy for 10 Cents a Meal statewide.
  • Identify and broaden the number and type of stakeholders statewide who are interested in supporting 10 Cents a Meal and seeing it thrive in Michigan communities. 
  • Develop and manage databases of supporters of varying degrees of engagement, schools that are 10 Cents a meal grantees, farms that have received business as a result of the program, media, and policymakers. 
  • Work collaboratively to develop press releases, fact sheets, social media, and web content, email newsletters, and other materials that are useful for champions statewide to use in educating schools, parents, community leaders, and policymakers about 10 Cents a Meal.
  • Participate in statewide local food, health, and economy networks.
  • Expand strategic partnerships so that champions for 10 Cents a Meal are developed within Michigan communities, carry out community outreach, find funding, and cultivate stories for policymakers and the public from within their communities.  
  • Develop and maintain relationships with key state policymakers who play an important role for 10 Cents a Meal, and support constituents around the state in educating policymakers about the program’s value.
  • Work with the Food and Farming team, including the Farm to Early Care and Education Specialist, Farm to Institution Specialist, and also the Digital/Social Media Specialist, and Communications Director to coordinate communications around 10 Cents a Meal.
  • Participate as a farm to school support resource to state officials carrying out the 10 Cents a Meal program.
  • Write grant proposals and reports, and build strong relationships with existing and potential funders, including foundations.

Professional Requirements

Candidates for this position must demonstrate:

  • Experience in farm to school policy, programming, school food models, and the impact that local food strategies can have for health and food economies
  • An ability to develop and cultivate relationships with decision-makers and grassroots community leaders at all levels of community, health, education, and economic stakeholder groups; and with a broad spectrum of donors
  • A proven ability to work independently and be self directed while collaborating well with others in a team setting
  • Strong writing skills
  • And, a demonstrated standard of excellence with attention to detail and accuracy

Personal Qualifications

Among the qualities we seek in successful candidates are a:

  • Strong commitment to Groundwork’s mission and programs
  • Passion for building local food system connections to schools, early child care, health initiatives, and more 
  • Demonstrated commitment to addressing race, class, gender, place, and other social justice barriers
  • Proven ability to organize priorities, with keen attention to detail and deadlines and ability to follow through on tasks
  • Self-directed working approach and ability to take initiative

At Groundwork, the candidate will join a driven team of individuals who are advancing policy solutions and projects that are pragmatic, practical, caring, and visionary. We strive to create a positive, collaborative, healthy, and inspired working environment that gives the staff the support to be the leaders in their field.

We are optimistic about Michigan’s future and believe in a thriving local farm and food economy; stronger, more walkable, bike-able, and transit-friendly towns and villages; and cleaner sources of energy and climate solutions that support a more equitable world for all. The researchers, writers, advocates, system-changemakers, and coalition-builders that make up the Groundwork staff are passionately committed to realizing this vision.

Compensation, Benefits, and Application Procedure

This is a full-time position with flexible hours, generous vacation and health benefits, retirement contribution matching, and a competitive salary range. This is a specialist-level position, with a salary range of $50,000-$59,000. While Groundwork Center is located in northwest lower Michigan, consideration will be given to candidates who can be in charge of networking in the south and central and east parts of the state, including Detroit, Flint, and Lansing for policy engagement, awareness building, and 10 Cents community/grantee support to help grantees be successful. 

Please send a one-page cover letter, resume and three references to [log in to unmask] with the subject line: 10 Cents a Meal Policy and Engagement Specialist. We will accept applications until 9 a.m., Monday, August 31.

Groundwork is committed to creating a diverse workplace and seeks a wide-range of perspectives and backgrounds. People of color, persons with disabilities, veterans and LGBTQ candidates are encouraged to apply. Groundwork is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in its employment decisions. Applicants with disabilities may request reasonable accommodation at any point in the employment process. 

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JEN SCHAAP  |  Food and Farming Program Director
Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities

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