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Food Growing Education Specialist 

Reports to: Head of Nutrition Education  
Full-Time/Part-Time Full-Time  
Department Partner Education  
Exempt/Non-Exempt Exempt  
Location Capital Area Food Bank - DC  
About the Organization It's a dynamic time at the Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB) as we embark on our next strategic plan and respond to the COVID-19 crisis. The pandemic and the resulting economic slowdown are having a significant impact on our community and CAFB is actively responding and engaged in the recovery and equitable rebuilding of our region. Additionally, our strategic plan has a dual focus on addressing hunger today and seeking innovative approaches that bundle food with other related services as we aim to have a lasting impact on longer term food security. We are looking for passionate, analytical, impact driven and collaborative individuals who believe strongly in food as a catalyst for improved nutrition, better health outcomes, enhanced educational attainment and greater economic engagement. We believe that access to and affordability of good quality food can lead to more inclusive participation in the growth of the Greater Washington area.

The Capital Area Food Bank is the largest organization in the Washington, DC metro area working to solve hunger and its companion problems: chronic under-nutrition, heart disease, and obesity. By partnering with 450 community organizations in DC, MD and VA as well as delivering food directly into hard to reach areas, the CAFB is helping approximately 600,000 food insecure people each year get access to good, healthy food, as a means of enabling brighter futures.

The Food Growing Education Specialist maintains, executes, and develops educational programming for the CAFB’s Urban Demonstration Garden. The Urban Demonstration Garden is an on-site, half-acre, hands-on educational space that helps build knowledge around wellness, nutrition, and food growing for the food bank’s partners, clients, and the general public. The garden and adjacent Urban Food Studio are used in tandem to show how to grow food in an urban setting, highlighting low-cost gardening techniques.

The Food Growing Education Specialist is responsible for managing all food-growing activities, including the gardening education curriculum, garden maintenance and planning, the garden volunteer program, and any associated grants. The Specialist serves as the primary organizational representative for food growing internally and externally but has opportunities to contribute more broadly to the food bank as a member of the Nutrition Education Department.

Position Requirements

Education and Awareness Building:

  • Regularly schedule and execute food experiences in the Urban Demonstration Garden including CAFB facility tours, garden activities, healthy snack preparation, and/or facilitated discussions.
  • Oversees and coordinates hands-on experiences in the garden (planting, tending, harvesting, cooking, garden construction projects to targeted groups including partner organizations, school groups, clients, donors and community members.
  • Work across departments to create educational programs and experiences that include topics of local food security, food growing and nutrition.
  • Identify opportunities to educate internal CAFB staff and broader public about food growing and provide support as needed to partner organizations that cultivate on-site gardens.
  • Initiate and maintain relationships with other food-growers and urban agriculture organizations.
  • Participate in city-wide and regional food-growing events and present at internal and external summits and conferences.
  • Maintain internal buy-in and enthusiasm for food growing by communicating progress and identifying hands-on opportunities for food bank staff.

Garden Planning and Maintenance:

  • Ensure regular schedule for planting, watering, weeding, harvesting, and distribution.
  • Maintain, repair, or replace existing garden facilities, including raised beds, greenhouse, sheds, compost bins, rainwater cistern and pump, drip irrigation, container garden, and pollinator garden.
  • Propagate vegetable and flower seedlings as needed for the garden and distribution to partners.
  • Solicit seed donations for partner distribution.
  • Manage an apiary (with the assistance of experienced volunteer beekeepers).
  • In coordination with leadership, build and maintain a food growing program budget. This includes researching items to purchase, making and recording purchases.
  • Provide technical support to partner organizations cultivating gardens off site.


  • Oversee large and small groups of volunteers for pre-determined garden activities, provide orientation to the space, its purpose and relationship to other CAFB functions.
  • Identify and maintain relationships with skilled volunteers to provide support with specialized programming or maintenance activities.
  • Oversee garden fellows and/or interns in a garden maintenance and educational activities.

Min Requirements & Competencies 

  • Associate’s degree in food growing, agriculture or related field.
  • Minimum of three years’ experience growing organic fruits and vegetables or two-year professional experience managing a large urban farm or garden.  Including succession planting, pest management and healthy soil management.
  • Minimum of 2 years working in an educational setting or with significant public speaking skills.
  • Competence in Microsoft Office.
  • Experience constructing garden facilities, including raised beds and drip irrigation.
  • Working knowledge and experience using power tools including but not limited to power drills, circular saws; competent in basic carpentry skills in order to build, maintain or fix garden features.
  • Experience teaching and creating educational materials.
  • Experience and expertise in managing volunteers/volunteer groups.
  • Excellent interpersonal communication and leadership skills – ability to interact with food assistance organizations, clients, volunteers, and donors of all ages, from all walks of life. 
  • Ability to work independently while also engaging in collaborative, team-based work.
  • Highly adaptable and creative.
  • Excellent time management and organizational skills, ability to prioritize and set boundaries.
  • Physical ability to do heavy outdoor labor in all weather conditions.
  • Ability to drive to different sites throughout the DC, Maryland, Virginia regions.
Physical requirements: This position requires the ability to work outdoors in all seasons. Applicants must have the ability to lift 30 lbs. and are physically able to do manual labor appropriate for farming. Ability to tr  
Work Environment: The Urban Demonstration Garden & Capital Area Food Bank headquarters is located in NE, Washington, DC.  
Note: Nothing in this job description restricts managements right to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time.  
We offer: Competitive compensation and benefits * free onsite parking and complimentary shuttle to metro * professional development, growth, and volunteer opportunities * fun work in a diverse environment  
EOE Statement We are an equal employment opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.  

This position is currently accepting applications.

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