Job Posting 65947

Food Access Worker
Friends of Ruby
Toronto Metro area, Toronto
closes in 18 days (Mon, 14 Dec)
full time - term / contract

Who we are


Friends of Ruby is a registered charity dedicated to the progressive well-being of LGBTQI2S youth through housing and social services. A trusted source of counselling and tangible solutions such as drop-in programming and support groups, warm meals, therapeutic groups, case management and housing support. Since 2014, Friends of Ruby's front line workers have met with and supported over 900 youth, averting almost 500 mental health crises.


Friends of Ruby is a welcoming space for LGBTQI2S youth. We believe that every person is a gem - perfectly unique and precious - and we go above and beyond to ensure that the youth who come to our doors feel embraced, accepted, and empowered with the social and wellness tools they need to thrive.


This is a mission that is a genuine part of who we are as individuals and as an organization. If you are a member of the LGBTQI2S community or an active ally for equality, diversity, and the needs of our community's youth, please consider joining us as a Food Access Worker.


The opportunity


We are excited to open a Home for youth to provide transitional and emergency housing as well as mental health and support services to 33 LGBTQI2S youth. As we ramp up for our opening in December 2020, we have a one-year contract, with the possibility of extension, for a Food Access Worker to provide meals, health promotion activities, and food-related skills to the youth living at the Friends of Ruby's Home. You will take on multiple aspects of planning, preparing, and coordination as you assist youth in building personal, social, and life skills related to food procurement, safe handling, and meal planning to enable independent living. 


Who you are


You are an energetic, compassionate, and caring individual with a passion for healthy cooking on a budget, food security, and knowledge sharing. You want a role where you can make genuine connections, have meaningful conversations, and make a tangible impact on the lives of LGBTQI2S youth experiencing homelessness, mental health challenges, and a need for support.


You have all of the office administration and client services skills to create a detailed schedule and run an environment on a budget, combined with the relationship-building skills. With endless patience and empathy, you can gain the trust of the youth in your care and your colleagues. 


You understand the demands, and you are willing and able to do whatever it takes to maintain a safe, secure, clean, and well-run kitchen and foodservice. You have a diverse way of thinking and personally understand the issues, hardships, and challenges that youth in the LGBTQI2S and BIPOC communities face. You are excited to help our youth and work with them compassionately and respectfully.


What's in it for you


Impact and fulfillment. This is a life-altering offering for the youth we serve - the chance to be heard, nurtured, and empowered with the skills to overcome hardship, including the ability to secure and prepare healthy food as part of their quest for long-term, stable housing. You will change lives as you work with marginalized individuals experiencing homelessness, substance use and mental health challenges, providing support through programming, advocacy, and networking from an anti-oppressive, strengths-based, and trauma-informed lens. 


Growth and rewards. From managing crises, motivating youth, and assigning kitchen duties to running activities, making connections, and acting as a reliable presence, this is challenging and exciting. It's a purposeful next step in your career with a chance to explore other opportunities at Friends of Ruby.


How you will make a difference:

  • Oversee. You will manage the end-to-end planning, procurement, preparation, cooking, and storing of food and meals for the five emergency rooms and ensuring snacks are always available for the rest of the residents. You will:
    • Plan, coordinate, and deliver monthly community meals on the weekend.
    • Operate the kitchen safely, according to Toronto Public Health regulations, including food handling, sanitization, equipment maintenance, and safe food storage.
    • Collaborate with partners to provide access to community supports and food security.
    • Train and supervise volunteers in food handling, preparation, and service practice.
    • Purchase and coordinate food supplies for the House and the Youth Services Centre.
  • Create and run programming. You will develop and coordinate drop-in events and social well-being programs to build healthier communities and improve the well-being of residents. You will coach the youth in healthy eating, food security, and grocery budgeting. You will plan and facilitate cooking groups, educating residents on cooking skills, healthy eating, nutritious food, and life skills.
  • Maintain documentation. You will collect and report on data related to food programming, inventory of kitchen supplies, food, and groceries, tracking of volunteer hours.
  • Manage community relationships. You will nurture beneficial external relationships, work in close partnership with a food community partner (Second Harvest), coordinate the weekly food delivery at both locations, and liaise with other food vendors.
  • Diffuse crises. You will recognize and provide appropriate intervention as needed, addressing conflict directly and respectfully. You will inform the Housing Manager at the earliest point regarding potential safety or escalation concerns.
  • Follow organizational policies and operating procedures. You will implement all the City of Toronto Shelter & Housing office and Ministry of Health protocols towards COVID-19 measures in addition to ensuring compliance with any legislation and City Standards, Municipal Fire Safety, Board of Health, Toronto Shelter Standards, and provincial transitional housing guidelines.
  • Meet the needs of the residents in a safe environment. You will contribute to the day-to-day operation of the House, its Food Access and Meals programs, and services; ensuring the protection of each individual's health, safety, comfort, and well-being.
  • Maintain internal communications. You will relay all updates and issues to your colleagues as you start or end a shift. You will meet regularly with the Housing Manager to discuss individual goals, responsibilities, and performance, and the overall effectiveness of client service. You will always carry a 2-way radio on-site and be available completely during your shift. You will actively participate in meetings and training as required. 

What you bring to the team:

  • The education. You have a degree, diploma, or practical experience in a relevant discipline such as Cooking, Nutrition, Health Education, Dietitian, Social Services, Community Worker or comparable work experience. Both Food Handler and Food Services Worker licenses are required (May be obtained upon hiring).
  • The experience. You have 2+ years of demonstrated food handling and meal planning at a drop-in kitchen or shelter setting, serving folks who have substance use issues, mental health, and homelessness. You are self-directed and thrive as part of a multidisciplinary team in collaboration with other community service professionals.
  • The knowledge. You bring an understanding of anti-racist and anti-oppression frameworks; the function of power structures in directly disadvantaging marginalized populations; the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, gender identity, class, sexual orientation, and ability; providing care through an equity lens.
  • The relationship building. You know how to gain trust and respect, while understanding it's not about you. You have exceptional conflict management, de-escalation, crisis intervention, harm reduction, and advocacy skills. 
  • The collaborative approach. You can work as part of a team or independently, and you have the patience and personality to teach skills to youth. You have excellent interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills and a willingness to offer support to anyone who needs it. 
  • The passion and compassion. You have an understanding of substance use, mental health, and harm reduction gained through direct experience working with individuals, preferably youth. You have previous experience working with LGBTQI2S marginalized populations and employing community development, harm reduction, or recovery approaches to service delivery. 
  • Additional requirements. You have satisfactory clearance under the Vulnerable Sector Police Check Program. You must be eligible to legally work in Canada. You are open to a flexible schedule, including occasional evenings and weekends. You are able to travel to other community-based settings as needed.

Who is Ruby?


Ruby is a golden retriever, but she is not just any dog. She is a beloved friend and an empathetic listener. If she could, Ruby would tell you about the pain and angst the youth who visit her feel; how sometimes all it takes is a comforting paw and unbounded love to brighten their lives. Ruby would tell you that sometimes, it takes so much more than what she feels she can offer - real crisis intervention, mental health support, tokens for transit, and counselling. That's why Ruby has surrounded herself with a team of incredible people to help her friends. 


Our Front Line and in-office teams are made up of individuals who are truly dedicated to what we do, excited to be part of our restructuring and growth, and eager to see the impact of our work and the services we provide every day. 


Are you ready to make an impact with us?


We foster an atmosphere of diversity, belonging, and compassion for others. We come together for staff meetings (remote or in-person), collaborate and support the ideas of others, and provide access to advancement opportunities within our existing and new groups and projects.


We are committed to ensuring that members of traditionally marginalized groups, from a broad range of communities, feel empowered to apply for positions within the organization. We recognize that a diverse workforce and volunteer base are critical to accomplishing our mission, and encourage anyone who feels they meet at least 70% of the qualifications listed, to apply. We promise to consider your full potential and application. 


Statement on Employment Equity and Diversity


Friends of Ruby is dedicated to taking proactive steps to overcome historical patterns of discrimination in our society which have created barriers of race, colour, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, language, class, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression for some individuals and have resulted in the denial of their full participation in society.


Accommodations are available on request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process. If you require an accommodation (including alternate format materials, accessible meeting rooms or other accommodation), please let us know, and we will work with you to meet your needs.

Please Note: is not affiliated with and in no way endorses or vets the organization that posted this job. Any links posted within the job will take you to their external site where the same disclaimer applies.

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