Food Bank Farm Intern

Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank

Website Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank

Background: One of the ways the Food Bank provides fresh food to communities with limited access to traditional sources of fresh food is through our Green Grocer program. This is a mobile farmstand that operates in 17 sites across 17 communities in the region weekly, with plans to grow. Green Grocer sources from local producers when possible through the growing season, and accepts multiple forms of payment, including SNAP/EBT and Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) vouchers.

The FMNP vouchers are a great way for low income patrons to access more fresh produce than their budgets may allow. For produce to qualify to be purchased with these vouchers it must be produced in Pennsylvania. Farms that are certified to accept these vouchers set the prices for their products as needed, including PA products the farm purchases to sell alongside their own products.

Through becoming a FMNP certified farm last year, we have the ability to expand our sourcing opportunities and set price points that are economically sustainable for the Green Grocer program, that are consistent across all forms of payment for customers. Green Grocer is hoping to continue to expand their sourcing this year to additional PA farms, and also work with the Food Bank Farm to hone their relationship in order to ensure more of the products coming from the farm are desirable to Green Grocer customers.

Chatham University has been a great partner over these first several years, and our collaborators there are excited to continue to expand and improve the Food Bank Farm as an important piece of our organization. One challenge we face is fulfilling labor needs on the farm. Managing a productive farm throughout the season that produces quality produce for sale at market requires a great deal of caring labor. Chatham relies primarily on student labor in the form of Graduate Assistants alongside their Farm Director, Tony Miga, to maintain the entire Eden Hall Farm, including our one-acre plot. During the summer, the most intensive part of the season on the farm, not as many students are available to bear that workload.

With our support, we can help ensure consistent labor through the summer on our farm. We currently recruit volunteers to work on the farm and will continue that. Funding an internship to manage those volunteers and provide care for the farm outside of the weekly volunteer session will help ensure our farm is successful is providing abundant quality produce to the Green Grocer truck, and also provide a valuable opportunity to a Chatham University Graduate Student in the form of an internship.

Internship Description:

The dates of the internship will be from May 2021 through August 2021.  The intern will work an average of 20 hours per week.  The pay for the position is $15 per hour.

Intern primarily works at Chatham University’s Eden Hall Campus managing the Food Bank Farm.

Responsibilities include:

  • Seeding crops
  • Preparing soil for planting rotating crops
  • Sowing and transplanting crops
  • Involves close collaboration with GPCFB volunteer team and Produce & Agricultural Programs Coordinator to coordinate volunteer labor to assist with this work.
  • Harvesting crops
  • Involves close collaboration with GPCFB volunteer team, Produce & Agricultural Programs Coordinator & Green Grocer to coordinate volunteer labor to assist in harvesting, and delivery of harvested crops on appropriate schedule for sale through Green Grocer.
  • Incorporating feedback from Green Grocer into planning for next year’s crops
  • Intern will also work on the Green Grocer truck two days per month. By working directly at the market the intern will get to know the customers of Green Grocer and the realities of working on the market truck. With this knowledge the intern will be able to understand customer needs and tailor the farms output to best meet those needs.

The following skills and traits are vital to success in this role:

  • Strong initiative and ability to work well independently
  • Detail-oriented and thorough
  • Strong and consistent communication skills
  • Flexibility and ability to handle ambiguity well
  • Highly reliable

Through this internship, the intern will gain valuable skills and experience in:

  • Small farm management including:  Crop planning, seeding, transplanting, soil health, nutrient management, pest control, harvesting, cleaning, and packing crops for distribution
  • Production of vegetable crops for sale at market including:  Planning a farm budget, managing a farm budget, working with Green Grocer to facilitate delivery of produce to Food Bank on appropriate schedule
  • Volunteer management:   Intern will oversee Food Bank volunteers assisting on the Food Bank Farm at Eden Hall Campus
  • Mobile market operation and sales:  Intern will participate in Green Grocer operation at various sites one day per week and learn how the market operates and get feedback on products directly from consumers
  • Food Bank operations:  Through this collaboration, the intern will have the chance to understand how the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank operates, and about the variety of ways we work to address food access challenges in our community.


  • Currently enrolled in a degree-seeking program Experience seeding, planting, transplanting, maintaining, harvesting, cleaning, and packing food crops.
  • Experience coordinating volunteers, preferably in an agricultural setting.
  • Demonstrated interest in food production, food access, and food security.
  • Ability to work independently and adhere to sometimes shifting deadlines.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Reliable source of independent transportation.
  • Ability to work flexible schedule including some weekends and evenings as needed.
  • Ability and willingness to work outdoors in all kinds of weather and lift up to 50 lbs.

Certificates: Act 33 & Act 34 Clearances

Disclaimer: The preceding job description has been designed to indicate the general nature and level of work performed by employees within this classification. It is not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all responsibilities, duties, and qualifications required of employees assigned to this job.

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