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Position: Community Harvest Assistant
Organization: Ottawa Food Bank
Location: Stittsville, Greater Ottawa, Ontario
Term: early April – early Nov 2020

The Ottawa Food Bank is a respected charity with deep roots in the Ottawa community. We raise food and funds to support the 39,000 people who need emergency food every month. Working in partnership with 112 member agencies, we provide food and programming through community food banks, meal programs, Kickstart After 4 programs and our Community Harvest Farm program.

The Ottawa Food Bank is looking for two individuals to fill full-time, contract positions as Community Harvest Assistants starting early April 2020 and finishing the contract early November 2020. The successful candidate(s) will have experience and general interest in gardening and farming, is reliable and able to work long days in varying weather conditions.

The ideal candidate is a team player who has a mature attitude and understanding of agricultural practices and some experience using farming equipment. They also have experience supporting, and working with volunteers, as well as well honed customer service skills.


Working alongside the Community Harvest Manager, the Community Harvest Assistant performs all field-based tasks required to operate a 7-acre fruit and vegetable farm. This role also involves the daily coordination of volunteers working at the farm, as well as the occasional delivery of produce from the farm to the Ottawa Food Bank warehouse. The Community Harvest Assistant is also responsible for collecting donations by farmers attending a local farmers’ market.


Farm employee duties:

  • Provide farming assistance to the Community Harvest Team at the Ottawa Food Bank Farm.
  • Perform all field-based tasks required to run a 7-acre fruit and vegetable operation; seeding, planting, weeding, harvesting, washing, irrigation maintenance, equipment operation, etc.
  • Volunteer coordination and orientation at Ottawa Food Bank Farm as well as other local farms during produce gleaning events.
  • Occasional operation of a Community Harvest Vehicle during round trips from Ottawa Food Bank to farm.
  • Daily logging of volunteer/staff field work and produce yield.
  • Other duties as required.

Donation and volunteer coordination at the Ottawa Farmer’s Market:

  • Foster relationships with the vendors of the Ottawa Farmers' Market.
  • Record donations appropriately.
  • Safely operate a Community Harvest cube van during round trips from Ottawa Food Bank warehouse to Ottawa Farmers' Market.
  • Load and off-load Community Harvest vehicle using warehouse equipment.
  • Coordinate volunteers who assist with produce collection.


The incumbent must possess the following knowledge and skills:

  • Judgement, tact, and discretion, as well as good interpersonal skills are required when dealing with co-workers, volunteers, donors (farmers), and the general public
  • An interest in agriculture, ability to work independently, and dependability is critical
  • Excellent verbal communication skills in English
  • Clean driver’s abstract and a valid G drivers’ license
  • Flexibility is required to adapt to varied workload demands and weekly scheduling adjustments due to inclement weather
  • Patience and sensitivity to the special needs of developmentally challenged individuals who volunteer their time to the Ottawa Food Bank are also required
  • Understanding of the issues of hunger, and food security
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Excel software


  • Market gardening or experience in an agricultural environment is an asset.
  • Farm equipment operation is an asset.
  • Experience with volunteer coordination and/or supervision is an asset
  • Experience working in a physically demanding role is preferred
  • Up to date standard First Aid certification is preferred.


The work involves ongoing contact with co-workers, volunteers, donors (farmers), and the general public.


Tact, discretion, and good manners are necessary when dealing with all daily contacts, especially when working with volunteers. The ability to effectively identify problems and resolve conflicts is required to work effectively as a team member.


The work requires the functional supervision of volunteers.


Failure to keep the work environment clean and safe could lead to physical injuries, loss of property, equipment, vehicles or food. Errors in judgement or lack of discretion when dealing with daily contacts could impact on The Ottawa Food Bank’s image and directly affect its ability to efficiently and effectively deliver food to the agencies who serve the needy. Failure to be alert could cause serious accidents.


The nature of the work requires the incumbent to work outdoors in varying weather conditions and is required to ensure he/she acquire and wear appropriate dress. CSA certified work boots that are ankle high or taller and containing steel toe protection are mandatory footwear for staff operating heavy machinery both in the field and in the warehouse of the Ottawa Food Bank.

Access to a personal vehicle or reliable transportation for independent transport to the growing project site and occasionally to other local farms. The Ottawa Food Bank Farm site is located near Stittsville, ON and not accessible by public transportation.


Frequent heavy physical activity (e.g., the lifting of objects of up to 55pounds, occasional maneuvering of large pallets of food with pallet jack) and ability to bend, squat, walk, reach, and twist is required to perform the duties of the position.

The daily operating of farming equipment and/or working in the vicinity of farming equipment operated by others, as well as the maintenance requirements of the position require the incumbent to be alert at all times.


Good verbal and writing skills in English are a requirement of the position. Basic verbal skills in French would be an asset.

CLASSIFICATION: Full-time, approximately 7-month contract role.

COMPENSATION: Minimum $15/hour, commensurate with experience.

This job posting will remain open until the right candidates have been found, and the positions filled.

When applying please provide a cover letter and resume which clearly indicate how your meet the requirements of the position, and your interest in this type of work.

Please apply at:

We thank all applicants for their interest, however, only those selected for further consideration will be contacted.

The Ottawa Food Bank welcomes and encourages applications from people with disabilities. Accommodations are available on request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process.

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Current status: Open/apply now.   Date posted: Dec 20 2019    ID: 55430