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Groundwork Center is seeking a Policy Specialist to carry out our 10 Cents a Meal for Michigan’s Kids & Farms outreach and advocacy initiative. The ideal candidate will be passionate and knowledgeable about the value of getting locally grown food to children in school and early childcare settings; experienced in public policy advocacy, networking, and facilitation; and wake up every day thinking about how to embed 10 Cents a Meal and the value of investing in healthy, locally grown food for children in school and early child care into Michigan’s identity. 10 Cents a Meal is a state of Michigan program that invests in healthy, locally grown fruits and vegetables for children in the places where they get up to two and even three meals a day. This position is full time, year round, and will report to Groundwork’s Senior Policy Specialist. 

The Policy Specialist will be a visible, credible leader on policy issues who will manage 10 Cents a Meal outreach and advocacy activities; publicly advocate for policy positions; build relationships with community, school, farm, health, economy, food systems, and policy stakeholders and support them in outreach, education, and advocacy; and help develop new project ideas and relationships with donors and grantors. 

By way of example, the Policy Specialist will be responsible for, but not limited to, the following:

  • Serve as a spokesperson for Groundwork on 10 Cents a Meal.
  • Manage, develop, and carry out day-to-day activities that build outreach, education, and advocacy for  10 Cents a Meal statewide.
  • Identify and broaden the number and type of stakeholders statewide who are interested in seeing 10 Cents a Meal thrive in Michigan’s communities. 
  • Develop and manage databases of supporters of varying degrees of engagement, 10 Cents a Meal grantees, farms that have received business as a result of the program, media, and policymakers. 
  • Develop fact sheets, social media and web content, email newsletters, and other materials that are useful for champions statewide to use in educating schools, parents, community leaders, and policymakers about 10 Cents a Meal.
  • Participate in statewide local food, health, and economy networks and lead the 10 Cents a Meal network.
  • Expand strategic partnerships so that champions for 10 Cents a Meal are developed within Michigan communities, carry out community outreach, find funding, and cultivate stories for policymakers and the public from within their communities.  
  • Develop and maintain relationships with key state policymakers who play an important role for 10 Cents a Meal, and support constituents around the state in educating policymakers about the program’s value.
  • Work with the Senior Policy Specialist, Digital/Social Media Specialist, and Communications Director to coordinate communications around 10 Cents a Meal.
  • Participate as a farm to school support resource to state officials carrying out the 10 Cents a Meal program.
  • Write grant proposals and reports; and build strong relationships with existing and potential funders, including foundations.

Professional Requirements

Candidates for this position must demonstrate:

  • Experience in farm to school policy, programming, school food models, and the impact that local food strategies can have for health and food economies.
  • An ability to develop and cultivate relationships with decision-makers and grassroots community leaders at all levels of community, health, education, and economic stakeholder groups; and with a broad spectrum of donors.
  • A proven ability to work independently and be self directed while collaborating well with others in a team setting.
  • And, a demonstrated standard of excellence with attention to detail and accuracy.

Personal Qualifications

Among the qualities we seek in successful candidates are a:

  • Strong commitment to Groundwork’s mission and programs.
  • Passion for building local food system connections to schools, early child care, health initiatives, and more.
  • Demonstrated commitment to addressing race, class, gender, place, and other social justice barriers.
  • Proven ability to organize priorities, with keen attention to detail and deadlines;
  • Self-directed working approach and ability to take initiative.
  • Professional and pleasant demeanor.
  • And, a sense of humor and positive outlook.

At Groundwork, the candidate will join a driven team of individuals who are advancing policy solutions and projects that are pragmatic, practical, caring, and visionary. We strive to create a positive, collaborative, healthy, and inspired working environment that gives the staff the support to be the leaders in their field.

We are optimistic about Michigan’s future and believe in a thriving local farm and food economy; stronger, more walkable, bike-able, and transit-friendly towns and villages; cleaner sources of energy, and climate solutions that support a more equitable world for all. The researchers, writers, advocates, system-changemakers, and coalition-builders that make up the Groundwork staff are passionately committed to realizing this vision.

Compensation, Benefits, and Application Procedure

This is a full-time position with flexible hours, generous vacation and health benefits, retirement contribution matching, and a competitive salary range. This is a specialist-level position, with a salary range of $40,000-45,000. While Groundwork Center is located in northwest Michigan, consideration will be given to candidates who need to reside elsewhere, particularly in the Lansing area.

Please send a one-page cover letter, résumé and three references to with the subject line: 10 Cents a Meal Policy Specialist. We will accept applications until midnight on September 30, 2020.

Groundwork is committed to creating a diverse workplace and seeks a wide-range of perspectives and backgrounds. People of color, persons with disabilities, veterans and LGBTQ candidates are encouraged to apply. Groundwork is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in its employment decisions. Applicants with disabilities may request reasonable accommodation at any point in the employment process.

*The safety and well-being of our staff, contractors, and communities is our top priority. Therefore, travel responsibilities of this position have been paused and replaced with remote communications in response to Covid-19. These responsibilities will resume in-person once it is safe to do so.


Groundwork Fellows work side-by-side with Groundwork staff on projects, build policy expertise, engage in networking opportunities, and gain valuable professional development skills. Fellows are provided an excellent opportunity to engage in policy advocacy while working for a well-established, community-based nonprofit organization.

Successful applicants will be awarded a competitive stipend in addition to assistance with housing and unique opportunities in our local community. A minimum of 25-35 hours per week is required, with a flexible schedule to allow for outside employment if desired. Depending on the institution, current students may be eligible to earn academic credit.


Current Fellowship Openings:

There are no fellowships at this time. Check back soon.


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