Job Announcements

Job Title:             KITCHEN COORDINATOR
Location:             Our Community Place, Harrisonburg, VA
Job Type:            Full Time Position

Our Community Place (OCP) is a nonprofit human services organization located in Harrisonburg, VA. Our mission is to build a safe, loving community of restoration and hope for all, especially those facing homelessness and other adverse experiences. OCP’s vision is to be a community of hope that breaks down barriers and creates a safe, empowering environment where people can achieve their life goals, including joy, positive relationships, affordable housing, and sustainable work.

Position Description:

OCP is seeking an organized and creative team player to serve as Kitchen Coordinator. As part of the management team, the Kitchen Coordinator oversees all food-related systems at OCP, serving around 9000 hot meals/year. This includes OCP’s free community meals, fundraisers, and kitchen industries (boxed lunch catering, special events catering, and the Friday Lunch Restaurant). The Kitchen Coordinator must be passionate about our mission and our community members (clients); willing and able to supervise and support people dealing with personal trauma, addiction, and mental health issues; able to thrive in an environment with constant deadlines; be proficient at creating tasty nutritious meals from donated food items; and be highly organized to assure commitments are met on time, supplies are ordered as needed, the kitchen maintains standards to pass health department inspections, and volunteers are incorporated into the daily life of the kitchen.

Responsibilities include:

  • Sourcing of food, supplies, and equipment for OCP’s kitchen operations – soup kitchen, fundraisers, and industries.
  • Supervising Kitchen Assistants (currently 2 employees).
  • Recruiting, training, supporting, and monitoring volunteers.
  • Maintaining and improving daily operations, including cleaning/sanitation, food storage and rotation, food safety, receiving and sorting donations, food preservation, equipment maintenance, food distribution to community members, and kitchen volunteer training.
  • Ensuring the timely production of four healthy, balanced, free community lunches and three breakfasts per week while accounting for and accommodating common medical conditions and allergies.
  • Overseeing all food-related components of OCP’s robust calendar of community and fundraising events, including the monthly Night Out fundraisers, including recruiting guest chefs.
  • Managing the operations of OCP’s kitchen industries – boxed lunch and special events catering, and the Friday Lunch Restaurant.
  • Creating and disseminating weekly and periodic publicity materials for the kitchen industries.
  • Ensuring the maintenance of kitchen equipment.
  • Tracking expenditures and income to promote cost-effectiveness and overall profitability of the kitchen industries.
  • Working with management staff to support the personal development and workplace skills of Kitchen Assistants, with emphasis on creative collaboration and restorative justice in discipline.
  • Participating in the management staff team to make and implement decisions about community center activities, events, policies, and discipline; the development of possible new kitchen industries; and sharing responsibility for staffing the community center during open hours. This responsibility includes maintaining interpersonal safety and respect in the center and facilitating access to OCP’s basic services (food, showers, laundry, mail, etc.).

Strongly preferred work experience:

  • Institutional food service, restaurants, and/or catering.
  • Business management and entrepreneurship.
  • Working closely with socially, economically, and culturally diverse populations, with special emphasis on those who have experienced various forms of marginalization.

The best applicant embodies compassion and courageous leadership and the following characteristics:  

  • High level of tolerance for working with diverse and sometimes difficult populations
  • Ability to work well in a team
  • Entrepreneurial spirit
  • Organizational skills
  • Attention to detail and cleanliness
  • Ability to manage and adapt to a varying flow of resources and volunteer energy
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Flexibility, ability to adjust on the fly
  • Ability to patiently and compassionately mentor unskilled and/or inexperienced workers
  • Ability to hear, critically evaluate, and implement new ideas
  • Ability to stay focused on the health of individuals and the OCP community as a whole
  • Personal fortitude in a sometimes chaotic and emotionally demanding environment
  • Ability to balance compassion with the need to maintain boundaries
  • Skills in restorative justice approach to resolving conflicts

Required skills and resources:

  • Strong computer literacy (including Google drive and Adobe suite or other photo and publication editing software, in addition to Microsoft suite of programs). OCP has a few older organizational computers, so most staff use their own laptop.
  • Have a smartphone and experience using communication apps (all staff use their phones constantly for work communication and receive a monthly payment to help offset the cost).
  • Driver’s License required.
  • Must also have a vehicle and be willing to use it periodically for organizational needs, such as runs to purchase groceries or other supplies. OCP has a mileage reimbursement policy, which can be used on a limited basis.

Hours, Compensation, and Benefits:  The Kitchen Coordinator must be available approximately 40 hours a week Monday through Friday from 9am – 5pm, with occasional weekend hours. However, some days require arriving early or staying a bit later to get the job done (our compensatory time off policy covers extra hours worked). This is an exempt, salaried position. Compensation dependent on experience. Generous vacation time (4 weeks, accrued on a monthly basis) and health leave (2+ weeks).

To apply:  Please send resume and cover letter addressing points made in this job announcement, to [email protected]. For more information about OCP, see our website at OurCommunityPlace.org.