Now Hiring: Food Navigator

September 12, 2017 | News

About the Position
In collaboration with the Michigan Fitness Foundation, the Michigan Farmers Market Association (MIFMA) has created an opportunity to support its mission of advancing farmers markets to create a thriving marketplace for local food and farm products and its vision that all residents have access to healthy, locally grown food. This position will support MIFMA’s work to expand and support Michigan farmers markets accepting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, Double Up Food Bucks and other food assistance programs. Food Navigators will be hired to support the following farmers markets: Big Rapids, Bay City.

This is a part-time, year-round, flat fee contract position based on 20 hours per week during the market season of June – October and 8 hours per week from November – May. Food Navigators will be hired from December 2017 to December 31, 2018. Ideally, Navigators will live in the community surrounding the farmers market where they will be placed.

Position Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Develop a working knowledge of significant developments and trends in the usage of SNAP and other food assistance programs at farmers markets
  • Attend mandatory training(s) and monthly conference calls to be held by MIFMA for all Food Navigators throughout the duration of this position
  • Be onsite during farmers market operation (up to 20 hours per week from June – October) and available to welcome families using SNAP benefits. Food navigators will walk shoppers through the process of using their benefits in a farmers market setting, distribute Michigan Harvest of the Month materials and will focus on enhancing communication between shoppers and farmers.
  • Connect the farmers market to existing SNAP-Ed programmers in their community
  • Assist the farmers market in building and strengthening the connections and partnerships between the market and SNAP-Ed programmers in the community, as well as with other community organizations.
  • Organize and promote experiential nutrition education programming at least once a month June- October at each participating farmers market. This programming could include using Michigan Harvest of the month materials, cooking demonstrations, food tastings, storage and preservation demonstrations, and/or activities for children.
  • Assist with organizing, promoting and hosting a webinar for market managers and SNAP-Ed educators to showcase partnerships between Food Navigators and other SNAP-Ed programmers at the market
  • Develop content for and distribute outreach materials which promote farmers markets accepting food assistance
  • Support and participate in evaluation efforts including participating in an interview with evaluators
  • Share outcomes with the local community and present during MIFMA training and webinars on lessons learned
  • Carry out additional responsibilities as identified in consulting services agreements or other contracts

Desired Qualifications

  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively to meet goals
  • Demonstrated ability to work with a wide variety of stakeholders and interests
  • Initiative to investigate potential partnerships, build relationships and try new ideas
  • Familiarity with food assistance benefits and how they can be used at Michigan farmers markets including SNAP, Double Up Food Bucks, WIC Project FRESH, Market FRESH/Senior Project FRESH, Hoophouses for Health, and Prescription for Health
  • Familiarity with seasonality of Michigan produce and simple ways to prepare fresh ingredients
  • An interest in food access as well as experience related to farmers markets

Desired Skills

  • Ability to drive this work in their community and be responsible to partners at a local and state level
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Strong written and verbal skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to easily seek out and interact with diverse individuals
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office suite, web-based search and information systems, social media including Facebook, phone/web conferencing systems including Zoom, and file hosting services including Dropbox

Application Process
Candidates should complete an application online and send a cover letter explaining their desire for this position and why their skill set makes them a successful candidate along with their resume and names of three references (indicate relationship). Complete applications (application, cover letter, resume, and references) can be uploaded online, or addressed to Emily Syrja, MIFMA Office Administrator, and emailed to with “Food Navigator Application” in the subject line. Incomplete applications or those not following this process will not be reviewed.  Interviews will be held in the MIFMA office in East Lansing. A mandatory training will be held at the MIFMA office in East Lansing.     

It is the policy of the Michigan Farmers Market Association to practice nondiscrimination based on age, ancestry, color, disability or handicap, national origin, race, religious creed, sexual orientation, gender identity or veteran status. MIFMA does not approve, nor will it condone, any action or behavior that would result in harassment or discrimination in any of these areas.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.