Internship with Food Forward

Ventura County Branch Program Assistant


ORGANIZATION: Food Forward (501c3 non-profit),


COMMITMENT: 10 weeks, 15-20 hrs/week out of our Ventura County Branch office beginning in May or June (must be available over the weekend)


COMPENSATION: This is an unpaid internship position. We will work with students to arrange to receive credit from their school. Non-commuter miles may be reimbursed on a case-by-case basis.


ORGANIZATION OVERVIEW: Food Forward rescues fresh, local produce that would otherwise go to waste, connecting this abundance with people in need, and inspiring others to do the same. This food helps feed Southern California’s most vulnerable: be they children, homeless individuals, veterans, those with HIV/AIDS, women, low­‐income families, immigrants, or anyone who does not have access to a sufficient quantity of food. We also aim to tap into an awareness and consciousness of sustainability and community building, and to become a bright voice on Southern California’s edible landscape around food security and food justice issues.


POSITION OVERVIEW: The Ventura County branch of Food Forward is growing rapidly, and we are looking for a Program Assistant to help facilitate that growth. This position provides an opportunity to become deeply involved in the urban food justice community while working for a prominent and growing nonprofit. The Program Assistant will work directly with our Ventura County Branch Coordinator and Manager.

What you will learn:

  • Community organizing and outreach methods in cities, towns, and neighborhoods
  • The in’s and out’s of working at a growing non-profit
  • Communication and presentation skills
  • Strategic planning, geographic growth, and program development
  • First hand experience with food security work in Southern California
  • Seasonality of locally grown produce and fruit trees
  • Writing for communication and for online and print media
  • Event coordination and recruitment strategies



  • Follow up with current property owners about scheduling harvests
  • Coordinate Backyard Harvest and Farmers Market Recovery program events
  • Reach out to potential homeowners with fruit trees and interested volunteers
  • Train as a Pick Leader and Community Ambassador
  • Lead Backyard Harvest events and engage new and returning volunteers
  • Organize and lead a Pick Leader/Property Scout training
  • Assist with data entry and record keeping
  • Identify large fruit tree properties where we can accommodate 20+ volunteers
  • Recruit volunteers to become Pick Leaders and Community Ambassadors
  • Identify and form partnerships with key groups and organizations in Ventura County
  • Give presentations to community groups (i.e. community government, schools and school groups, churches & temples)
  • Assist with wholesale produce pick up and coordination
  • Interact with stakeholders including receiving agencies, market managers, volunteer groups, etc. and organize stakeholder contact information and data
  • Complete a summary report at the end of the internship term that details internship projects and future recommendations

QUALIFICATIONS: Ideal candidate will have a strong interest in hunger and food justice issues. We are looking for an extremely detail-oriented person who enjoys both research and outreach work. He/she is comfortable with public speaking and  should be personable and able to communicate with various personalities and temperaments. The candidate should be familiar with Ventura County.

Other qualifications include:

  • Completed or pursuing a degree in a related field
  • Ability to take initiative on projects
  • A supportive co-worker who is able to work well individually or collaboratively
  • Comfortable with lifting 40 pound boxes of fruit/vegetables
  • Valid driver’s license and access to a vehicle
  • Access to a laptop computer
  • Willingness and availability to work weekends

HOW TO APPLY: Please attach your current resume and write a cover letter in the body of an email explaining your interest in the position. Email with the subject line reading, “Ventura County Program Assistant- (YOUR NAME HERE).”

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