Give the power and joy of food this season!

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Camden City School District
FoodCorps service members leading a garden lesson with 4th grade students at Davis Family School in Camden, NJ.

Camden City School District

The Camden City School District’s vision is that “all Camden students will attend a high quality school where they are valued, challenged, and prepared for college and careers that positively impact their community and the world.” The mission of the Camden City School District’s Nutrition Team is ?to encourage and contribute to the development of our students and community. It is our mission to provide nutritious, appetizing, and quality meals in a healthy and courteous manner. Promoting healthy options and providing breakfast after the bell, School Breakfast, School Lunch, After School Snack, Dinner, and other nutrition programs assists in the overall wellness of our students. The CCSD participates in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) Program and offers free breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner meals to all students sponsored by the Camden City School District. Locally grown food items are served in schools regularly and many schools throughout the district participate in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. Camden is known as the ‘Invincible City,’ derived from the city’s one-time resident and poet Walt Whitman who wrote, “I dream’d in a dream I saw a city invincible.” Home to a proud community of artists, activists, urban farmers and great food, Camden sits directly on the Delaware River overlooking the Philadelphia city skyline. It’s also the home to the best Philly cheesesteak, not found in Philadelphia at all but at Donkey’s Place in Camden (we didn’t say it, Anthony Bourdain did!) Camden is a bustling city with numerous universities, historical landmarks and waterfront tourist attractions like Adventure Aquarium and BB&T Pavilion.

Recently, Camden ranked #1 in the state as having the most limited access to healthy and affordable food. But at the same time, Camden is home to a thriving grassroots community of urban farmers, food justice and environmental justice advocates. As you drive through the city you’ll pass flourishing community and school gardens, fruit orchards tucked between historical row-homes, and all the wonders of the natural landscapes native to the Delaware Valley.

Our FoodCorps service members will work both independently and collaboratively with the School Nutrition team, each other, and district/school-based leaders on the following activities: School Gardens: assessing, expanding and supporting the creation of new school gardens throughout the district in collaboration with school leaders and the district’s Green Team by writing grants, conducting school garden landscape assessments, and/or collaborating with Camden-based urban agriculture organizations; integrating school gardens across a variety of school meals programs such as breakfast, lunch and the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program; integrating school gardens into existing learning standards and across subject areas such as science, health and climate change; leading extracurricular activities such as garden and/or cooking clubs during and/or after school. Hands on Lessons: teaching and co-teaching hands-on cooking, nutrition and gardening lessons in classrooms and gardens in collaboration with teachers; collaborating with school community members such as teachers, principals and curriculum supervisors to integrate school gardens as extensions of the classroom and into the core curriculum across various subject areas; leading monthly lesson series based on New Jersey’s harvest of the month; leading lessons with classrooms participating in the Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Program across the district. School Meals: leading regular taste tests and events in cafeterias with students and/or supporting school meal times throughout the school day; promoting school meal programs throughout the district via social media and family newsletters; collaborating with Wellness Committees, school administrators and parent groups; conducting outreach and engagement activities regarding the District Wellness Policy and in an effort to get buy-in from a variety of school stakeholders throughout the district; supporting local procurement initiatives and highlighting Jersey Fresh menu items via social media, family newsletters, and communication with school leaders/teachers; creating materials for schools district-wide to connect the classroom to the cafeteria; attending and supporting cooking, gardening and nutrition-education focused professional development and/or workshops with cafeterias staff, school staff, students and families. Schoolwide/Districtwide Culture of Health: participating in and supporting the District/School Wellness Committee or working with school leaders to launch School Wellness committees if they don’t already exist; planning, attending, and/or supporting family engagement events that incorporate service member led nutrition, gardening, cooking and wellness activities; connecting and collaborating with community gardeners, farmers markets, local farmers and the community at large to support Camden’s local food system and its connection to the Camden City Public Schools.

Our 4 FoodCorps service members with the Camden City School District are part of the New Jersey/New York cohort that includes 16 members with 7 sites across 8 communities in New Jersey and New York City. Don’t be fooled by what you may have heard from the haters: New Jersey is a state with a heaping spoonful of love, a dash of attitude, and a heavy sprinkle of everything nature has to offer: gorgeous beaches along the Atlantic Ocean (AKA ‘the shore’), hiking opportunities from the Appalachian Trail in the north to the Pine Barrens in the south, flourishing urban spaces with every kind of cuisine and art form known to planet earth, and rolling farmland stretching for as far as the eye can see. Situated between two major cities – New York and Philadelphia – New Jersey is aptly named the Garden State and home to nearly 10,000 urban and rural farms producing over 100 crops enjoyed nationwide! Connecting New Jersey kids to local agriculture reinforces our agricultural roots, economy, and unites communities with a shared vision of improving child health and wellbeing. Like New Jersey itself, our service sites reflect a broad diversity of culture and geography. Too many New Jersey residents experience health disparities as a result of decades of systemic racism, and service members mainly serve in communities with the highest rates of food insecurity. In partnership with our network of service sites, we strive to positively impact the ways New Jersey children experience food in school by using a variety of action-driven and scientifically-backed farm to school efforts including promoting local procurement and student voice and choice in cafeterias, leading hands-on lessons in classrooms and school gardens, and by supporting our community partners to foster the culture of health that’s right for them within each unique school building we serve across the state. Our full New Jersey/New York Cohort meets regularly throughout the year for state-based trainings with local leaders, growers and organizers to set our service members up for success for their 1-2 years of service. During the first month of service, members research and present on the place-based histories and current context of the communities we serve; are introduced to a wide variety of food justice and farm to school stakeholders at the state and local levels; practice active learning by planning and leading culturally relevant classroom lessons, garden activities and taste tests with their fellow service members before entering their schools; spend ample time cooking and sharing meals together, learning from each other, and building community as a cohort (AKA ‘cohort bonding’), and orienting themselves at their sites throughout August prior to the first day of school in September all of which is necessary to serve our communities intentionally, respectfully and from a Community Assets Based Approach. Additionally, our service members participate in a wide variety of national, state, and site-based professional development and networking opportunities throughout the year that are necessary for our New Jersey/New York service members to advance in their chosen careers following their 1-2 years of service.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Project management
  • youth development
  • gardening
  • cooking and/or recipe development
  • outdoor education
  • social justice work
  • food systems understanding
  • Comfort with working with many partners, both within the school district and within the Camden School Food Collective
  • Strong organizational
  • Communication skills
  • Strong sense of equity as it applies to food systems and education
  • An understanding of the diversity of lived experiences within Camden
  • Ability to work independently
  • Demonstrated understanding of the inequalities in our education and food system, as well as a commitment to social justice, are essential
  • Interest, experience and knowledge of school food, recipe development, and school gardens is all ideal
  • A willingness to learn and adapt quickly, keep an open mind, ask questions when support is needed, and be flexible are highly valuable qualities in potential candidates!
  • Dietetics, Nutrition, Food Science, Sustainability, Education, Food Systems Majors — or folks with related skills and experiences — would be a good fit for this role, but are not required!

The Camden City School District’s vision is that “all Camden students will attend a high quality school where they are valued, challenged, and prepared for college and careers that positively impact their community and the world.” The mission of the Camden City School District’s Nutrition Team is ?to encourage and contribute to the development of our students and community. It is our mission to provide nutritious, appetizing, and quality meals in a healthy and courteous manner. Promoting healthy options and providing breakfast after the bell, School Breakfast, School Lunch, After School Snack, Dinner, and other nutrition programs assists in the overall wellness of our students. The CCSD participates in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) Program and offers free breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner meals to all students sponsored by the Camden City School District. Locally grown food items are served in schools regularly and many schools throughout the district participate in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. Camden is known as the ‘Invincible City,’ derived from the city’s one-time resident and poet Walt Whitman who wrote, “I dream’d in a dream I saw a city invincible.” Home to a proud community of artists, activists, urban farmers and great food, Camden sits directly on the Delaware River overlooking the Philadelphia city skyline. It’s also the home to the best Philly cheesesteak, not found in Philadelphia at all but at Donkey’s Place in Camden (we didn’t say it, Anthony Bourdain did!) Camden is a bustling city with numerous universities, historical landmarks and waterfront tourist attractions like Adventure Aquarium and BB&T Pavilion.

Recently, Camden ranked #1 in the state as having the most limited access to healthy and affordable food. But at the same time, Camden is home to a thriving grassroots community of urban farmers, food justice and environmental justice advocates. As you drive through the city you’ll pass flourishing community and school gardens, fruit orchards tucked between historical row-homes, and all the wonders of the natural landscapes native to the Delaware Valley.

Our FoodCorps service members will work both independently and collaboratively with the School Nutrition team, each other, and district/school-based leaders on the following activities: School Gardens: assessing, expanding and supporting the creation of new school gardens throughout the district in collaboration with school leaders and the district’s Green Team by writing grants, conducting school garden landscape assessments, and/or collaborating with Camden-based urban agriculture organizations; integrating school gardens across a variety of school meals programs such as breakfast, lunch and the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program; integrating school gardens into existing learning standards and across subject areas such as science, health and climate change; leading extracurricular activities such as garden and/or cooking clubs during and/or after school. Hands on Lessons: teaching and co-teaching hands-on cooking, nutrition and gardening lessons in classrooms and gardens in collaboration with teachers; collaborating with school community members such as teachers, principals and curriculum supervisors to integrate school gardens as extensions of the classroom and into the core curriculum across various subject areas; leading monthly lesson series based on New Jersey’s harvest of the month; leading lessons with classrooms participating in the Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Program across the district. School Meals: leading regular taste tests and events in cafeterias with students and/or supporting school meal times throughout the school day; promoting school meal programs throughout the district via social media and family newsletters; collaborating with Wellness Committees, school administrators and parent groups; conducting outreach and engagement activities regarding the District Wellness Policy and in an effort to get buy-in from a variety of school stakeholders throughout the district; supporting local procurement initiatives and highlighting Jersey Fresh menu items via social media, family newsletters, and communication with school leaders/teachers; creating materials for schools district-wide to connect the classroom to the cafeteria; attending and supporting cooking, gardening and nutrition-education focused professional development and/or workshops with cafeterias staff, school staff, students and families. Schoolwide/Districtwide Culture of Health: participating in and supporting the District/School Wellness Committee or working with school leaders to launch School Wellness committees if they don’t already exist; planning, attending, and/or supporting family engagement events that incorporate service member led nutrition, gardening, cooking and wellness activities; connecting and collaborating with community gardeners, farmers markets, local farmers and the community at large to support Camden’s local food system and its connection to the Camden City Public Schools.

Our 4 FoodCorps service members with the Camden City School District are part of the New Jersey/New York cohort that includes 16 members with 7 sites across 8 communities in New Jersey and New York City. Don’t be fooled by what you may have heard from the haters: New Jersey is a state with a heaping spoonful of love, a dash of attitude, and a heavy sprinkle of everything nature has to offer: gorgeous beaches along the Atlantic Ocean (AKA ‘the shore’), hiking opportunities from the Appalachian Trail in the north to the Pine Barrens in the south, flourishing urban spaces with every kind of cuisine and art form known to planet earth, and rolling farmland stretching for as far as the eye can see. Situated between two major cities – New York and Philadelphia – New Jersey is aptly named the Garden State and home to nearly 10,000 urban and rural farms producing over 100 crops enjoyed nationwide! Connecting New Jersey kids to local agriculture reinforces our agricultural roots, economy, and unites communities with a shared vision of improving child health and wellbeing. Like New Jersey itself, our service sites reflect a broad diversity of culture and geography. Too many New Jersey residents experience health disparities as a result of decades of systemic racism, and service members mainly serve in communities with the highest rates of food insecurity. In partnership with our network of service sites, we strive to positively impact the ways New Jersey children experience food in school by using a variety of action-driven and scientifically-backed farm to school efforts including promoting local procurement and student voice and choice in cafeterias, leading hands-on lessons in classrooms and school gardens, and by supporting our community partners to foster the culture of health that’s right for them within each unique school building we serve across the state. Our full New Jersey/New York Cohort meets regularly throughout the year for state-based trainings with local leaders, growers and organizers to set our service members up for success for their 1-2 years of service. During the first month of service, members research and present on the place-based histories and current context of the communities we serve; are introduced to a wide variety of food justice and farm to school stakeholders at the state and local levels; practice active learning by planning and leading culturally relevant classroom lessons, garden activities and taste tests with their fellow service members before entering their schools; spend ample time cooking and sharing meals together, learning from each other, and building community as a cohort (AKA ‘cohort bonding’), and orienting themselves at their sites throughout August prior to the first day of school in September all of which is necessary to serve our communities intentionally, respectfully and from a Community Assets Based Approach. Additionally, our service members participate in a wide variety of national, state, and site-based professional development and networking opportunities throughout the year that are necessary for our New Jersey/New York service members to advance in their chosen careers following their 1-2 years of service.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Project management
  • youth development
  • gardening
  • cooking and/or recipe development
  • outdoor education
  • social justice work
  • food systems understanding
  • Comfort with working with many partners, both within the school district and within the Camden School Food Collective
  • Strong organizational
  • Communication skills
  • Strong sense of equity as it applies to food systems and education
  • An understanding of the diversity of lived experiences within Camden
  • Ability to work independently
  • Demonstrated understanding of the inequalities in our education and food system, as well as a commitment to social justice, are essential
  • Interest, experience and knowledge of school food, recipe development, and school gardens is all ideal
  • A willingness to learn and adapt quickly, keep an open mind, ask questions when support is needed, and be flexible are highly valuable qualities in potential candidates!
  • Dietetics, Nutrition, Food Science, Sustainability, Education, Food Systems Majors — or folks with related skills and experiences — would be a good fit for this role, but are not required!