SARE Seeking National Program Manager in Support of Food Loss and Food Waste Initiative in 2024

December 18, 2023
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Distributed by SARE Outreach on behalf of Southern SARE. To apply, log in to or create an account in the SARE Grant Management System using the link below. For more information, contact Southern SARE Program Director Jeff Jordan at jjordan@uga.edu.

GRIFFIN, Georgia -- In 2024, the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program will initiate a $10 million national food loss and food waste grants program to support projects that align with USDA activities aimed at reducing food loss and reducing food waste, getting surplus wholesome food to individuals, and developing linkages between food producers, providers, and food recovery organizations.

The goal is to create pathways to strengthen food rescue and get surplus food to feed those experiencing food and nutrition insecurity; reduce food loss waste, such as by gleaning surplus produce on the farm; and find new outlets for uneaten food to bolster supply chain resiliency.

To accomplish the goals of the grant program, SARE is seeking a Program Manager/Coordinator to assist in the organization, coordination, and implementation of selected grant projects. The Program Manager/Coordinator is a national seat, open to qualified applicants in the contiguous U.S.; Alaska; Hawaii; the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, Micronesia, and Northern Mariana Islands; and sovereign nations Republic of Palau and Marshall Islands. Institutions, such as colleges and universities; and organizations such as non-governmental organizations meeting qualifications are invited to apply.

The Southern region SARE program, based at the University of Georgia, will serve as host institution for the food loss and food waste grants program, as well as serve as grant facilitator for the Program Manager/Coordinator position. The successful candidate will be funded through a one-time, cost reimbursement subaward agreement between the University of Georgia and their employing organization to fulfill the position responsibilities, and will report to Southern SARE.

The anticipated budget over the period will be $500,000, broken down into the following categories: Salary of the Program Manager/Coordinator; fringe benefits; travel; indirect costs; and other direct costs, such as job-specific materials and supplies, computer, conferences/meetings, and communications.

The deadline to apply is January 31, 2024 at 5 p.m. EST. Applications are being accepted through the SARE Grant Management System. The anticipated hire date is April 1, 2024, with an anticipated end date of April 1, 2028.


Scope of Work

Responsibilities of the Program Manager/Coordinator:

  • 1) Work to
    • a) Implement training and technical assistance efforts across funded grant projects nationally through collaboration with Third Sector New England. These efforts may include:
      • Assistance in project development;
      • Grantsmanship training;
      • Leadership development
      • And/or assistance on a particular type of project. For example, youth farm enterprises, urban farms, direct marketing, farm-to-institution, or other services.
    • b) Build capacity for Food Loss Food Waste initiatives for current and future grantees. Activities may include, but are not limited to, workshop trainings, peer to peer interaction, one on one trainings, curricula development, webinars, and/or video-conferencing.
  • 2) Engage interested organizations/institutions to apply for FLW grants - especially current and prior SARE grant recipients.
  • 3) Collaborate with Southern SARE in assisting applicants of FLW grants to apply/complete proposals per the application requirements.
  • 4) Collaboration with Southern SARE in assist project awardees in completing annual/progress and final reports per the reporting requirements.
  • 5) Coordinate the efforts of FLW projects and regional SARE offices as they relate to their respective SARE regions.
  • 6) Engage the National IT Coordinator for this program to develop an application/grant reporting system designed to examine common metrics and collect information for national program evaluation and program impacts.
    • a) Collaborate with a National Program evaluation specialist (contracted)
  • 7) Establish and engage the FLW Outreach Steering Committee specific to this project (includes representation from each SARE region).
    • a) Engage SARE FLW grantees to develop a steering committee and develop outreach/educational materials focused on food loss and food waste. This includes representation from each SARE region.
    • b) Coordinate all educational resources with the SARE Outreach Steering Committee and National Reporting, Coordination and Communications Office (NRCCO) staff
  • 8) Provide guidance/advice and linkages to sustain FLW efforts beyond FLW project funding.

Who Can Apply

Community Foods Project (CFP) Food Loss and Waste (FLW) Training and Technical Assistance (T&TA) Program Manager/Coordinator is a national seat open to qualified applicants in the contiguous U.S., Alaska, Hawaii, and the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, Micronesia, and Northern Mariana Islands. Institutions, such as colleges and universities; and organizations such as non-governmental organizations meeting qualifications are invited to apply.

The Program Manager/Coordinator position will be funded through a one-time, cost reimbursement subaward agreement between University of Georgia and their employing organization to fulfill the listed responsibilities. The successful candidate will report to Southern SARE as needed throughout each year of the contract. In addition, an annual report of accomplished duties is required each year.

Other collaborators include Northeast SARE, North Central SARE, Western SARE, SARE National Reporting, Coordination and Communications Office (NRCCO), and Community Food Program Training and Technical Assistance Center (Third Sector New England).

Applicants should:

  • Be familiar with the USDA and SARE programs;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of sustainable agriculture production and marketing practices, environmental stewardship, and community quality of life;
  • Exhibit a commitment to food security and food sovereignty;
  • Have an understanding of food waste and loss programs and policies across the spectrum of food systems (agriculture, businesses, consumers, schools);
  • Be skilled in project management, including, but not limited to, planning, leadership development, grantmaking, business management, evaluation and communications.
  • Have knowledge in training and technical assistance, specifically in areas of food systems.
  • Have a proven track record of ability to work with diverse stakeholders.
  • Demonstrate strong governance and exhibit good research and critical thinking skills.
  • Provide organizational support from the applicant’s institution.

Southern SARE has a strong commitment to diversity, encouraging proposals submitted from or in collaboration with historically underserved communities. Southern SARE also encourages collaboration with NGOs, community groups, Black colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, and tribal colleges and universities, as well as with other organizations that serve historically underserved communities.

SSARE defines underserved communities as those populations sharing a particular characteristic, as well as geographic communities, that have been systematically denied full opportunity to participate in aspects of economic, social, and civil life.

Applications received by the deadline will be reviewed by a National SARE Review Committee, comprised of the Regional Coordinators of the four regions of the SARE program: Southern SARE, Western SARE, Northeast SARE and North Central SARE; as well as the National SARE Program Leaders and National SARE Assistant Director.

Applicants will be contacted by e-mail regarding the status of their application once the review process is complete.

For more information, contact Southern SARE Program Director Jeff Jordan at jjordan@uga.edu.

Published by the Southern Region of the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program. Funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), Southern SARE operates under cooperative agreements with the University of Georgia, Fort Valley State University, and the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture to offer competitive grants to advance sustainable agriculture in America’s Southern region. USDA is an equal-opportunity employer and service provider.




Topics: 2023, Infrastructure Analysis, Local and Regional Food Systems, Public Policy
Related Locations: North Central, Northeast, South, West