Meeting Essential Needs with Dignity, Inc. (MEND) is a hunger relief network that supports 21 food pantries located throughout Essex County. The MEND network includes ten pantries in Newark, four in East Orange, and the remaining seven in Bloomfield, Irvington, Maplewood, Montclair, Orange, South Orange, and West Orange. Our mission is to alleviate hunger by providing fresh and healthy food, funds, volunteers, and a collaborative forum for its member pantries, so that they may share ideas and resources, and make a greater impact on the communities they serve. MEND also advocates for policies to eliminate food insecurity and to improve the lives of our patrons.
MEND provides infrastructure and financial support, along with food sourcing and distribution, so its pantries can do what they do best – serve their clients. MEND applies for grants that benefit pantries. It also builds relationships with businesses, foundations, schools, service organizations, and government agencies and officials, so that it may help its pantries make a greater impact. MEND provides a monthly forum for information-sharing, support, and community building among its pantries.
Over the last several years, MEND has grown in visibility and programming, and recently leased a physical space known as the Fresh Food Hub in Orange, NJ, to serve as a centralized facility to support its member pantries and community partners with greater access to fresh and healthy food to meet the needs of those they serve.
MEND is currently run by a 3-person staff (Executive Director, Program Manager, and Operations Manager), along with support from the Board of Trustees, an Advisory Board of food pantry managers, and a growing number of community volunteers. Each employee, Board member and volunteer collectively contributes to the mission and growth of the organization. Self-starters who want to play a key role in shaping the future of MEND will thrive here.
MEND is seeking an enthusiastic, organized, detail-oriented and self-motivated part-time (20 hours/week) Administrative Assistant to join our small, results-oriented team. This is an exciting opportunity for someone who is willing to take on a variety of responsibilities in a start-up environment, to help continue to grow MEND’s mission and impact.
The Administrative Assistant will report to the Executive Director. Key responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
● Answering phone calls and responding to general inquiries;
● Scheduling meetings and managing calendars;
● Drafting correspondence and creating, updating and managing reports;
● Organizing and maintaining electronic and paper office files and ordering supplies;
● Regularly checking post office box for mail, and processing written and electronic correspondence;
● Supporting budget and audit processes;
● Maintaining and updating donor database;
● Processing financial donations and preparing and depositing checks, processing invoices and preparing check request forms, and assisting with grant revenue and expense tracking;
● Assisting with drafting presentations, grant applications, and other external communications;
● Ensuring compliance with nonprofit filing, insurance, and recordkeeping requirements;
● Preparing for Advisory Board and Board of Trustees meetings, and managing Board communications;
● Tracking food pantry statistics and food donations and purchases; and
● Assisting with fundraising and programming events.
● A belief that all people are entitled to access to fresh and healthy food.
● A firm commitment to racial, social, and food justice and sovereignty.
● Proficiency with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and Google products.
● Excellent interpersonal, communication, and time management skills.
● The ability to prioritize a variety of assignments and to work independently.
● At least 1-3 years of office experience, ideally in a nonprofit setting.
● Language proficiency in Spanish and/or Creole.
● Experience in community building and/or volunteering for a nonprofit.
● Flexible work schedule and PTO offered.
● Occasional evening or weekend work may be required (primarily to support MEND committee or Board meetings, or events).
● COVID-19 protocols are in place – including the supply of masks, gloves and hand-sanitizer, as well as a commitment to social distancing and limited numbers of volunteers/staff on hand at one time.
● Preference will be given to residents of towns where MEND pantries are located (Bloomfield, East Orange Irvington, Maplewood, Montclair, Newark, Orange, South Orange, West Orange).