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Vice President, Food and Benefits Access, Community Impact Department

New York, NY

Relocation expenses: Not paid

C-Suite/Vice President
Full time
Master's Degree

Published on 1 Oct 2021

Expires on 1 Oct 2021

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Vice President, Food and Benefits Access, Community Impact Department

Vice President, Food and Benefits Access,

Community Impact Department

REPORTS TO: Senior Vice President, Chief Impact Officer

Organization Summary: United Way of New York City (UWNYC) is a nonprofit mobilizing people and organizations to eradicate barriers and create opportunities that improve the lives of low-income New Yorkers. Part of the United Way Worldwide system, one of the world's most recognized charitable brands, we envision caring communities in which all individuals and families have access to quality education and the opportunity to lead healthy and financially secure lives. We strive to model our values in all our relationships, both internal and external: Collaboration, Compassion, Integrity, Accountability, and Superior Performance.


Food and Benefits Access Strategy

Our Food and Basic Needs strategy addresses inadequate access to healthy food and financial resources to improve economic outcomes over the long term for New Yorkers facing food and financial hardship in partnership with 500 CBOs; and collaborates with network leaders including CBOs and colleague organizations as founding member of Policy Committee on NYC Hunger Resources, and in collaboration with leading food assistance providers, advocate for system level solutions that can reduce need for emergency food (ie shorten the line) and network level collaborations to enrich experience for EFP leaders and/or providers, neighbors and communities (ie feed the line).


Food and Benefits Access Strategy

The Food and Benefits Access unit brings together Federal and State government grant programs and private sector initiatives that provide $9M annually in food and operations support resources to more than 500 community-based organizations running food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and benefit access programs to address food and financial insecurity. 

  • Impacting the Community:
    • In partnership with nonprofit, philanthropic and government partners, FBA
    • Increases access to healthy food for estimated 2 million New Yorkers facing food hardship through innovative, flexible, nutrition-based food purchasing programs, and fresh produce initiatives for 500 emergency food providers.
    • Ensures 7,000 eligible households increase annual food budgets and 1,200 households on the verge of eviction, loss of essential utility services to improve economic outcomes over the long term.
    • Provides a Expand reach of Plentiful to Supporting growth of Plentiful NYC
  • Strengthening the Network FBA emergency food and financial insecurity programs aim to increase network efficiency:
    • In partnership with nonprofit and government partners, the FBA unit provides funding for operations support, food safety equipment and supplies to support network sustainability and capacity building to increase provider capacity to maintain high standards for client dignity, nutrition, food safety and program management.
    • UWNYC operates Plentiful, in partnership with City Harvest and in collaboration with Policy Committee, as NYC’s no-cost pantry management platform to support efficient and dignified operations.
    • The FBA Unit is administrator of the FeedNYC  data system, the central point of contact and operating framework for more than 1000 EFPs, in partnership with the Policy Committee on NYC Hunger Resources with ongoing support from NYS-HPNAP and convenes a network of community-based benefits access providers to target and coordinate outreach.  
  • Systems Change:
    • In collaboration with NYC’s top food assistance nonprofit leaders, UWNYC engages government, corporate and other stakeholders to advocate for system level solutions that address root causes that necessitate the emergency food network and reduce community time burden and support network level collaborations to enrich experience for program leaders and organizations and contribute to neighbors' satisfaction with service availability and customer service.


Position Description

Reporting to the Senior Vice President, Chief Impact Officer, the Vice President is responsible for strategic direction, management, and implementation of UWNYC’s Food and Benefits Access portfolio of government programs, collaborative, and cross-sectoral initiatives.  This includes foundational programs Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP), Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program (HPNAP), Food Support Connections (FSC), and emerging pandemic related food and financial security initiatives. This position requires deep knowledge, experience, and respect for the community-based organizations and emergency food network. The VP develops and manages the portfolio of FBA initiatives and ensures programs and strategies are well-designed and well-implemented. The VP also develops and manages strategic partnerships with government, major funders and other external partners to drive system and policy changes in support of FBA goals including expansion to other services, supports and benefits to stabilize household incomes and community access to affordable, high-quality food and nutrition. The VP is responsible for leading and managing a Food and Benefits team including UWNYC staff, temporary employees and consultants.  They will ensure the sound financial management of the unit ensuring budgets are within company guidelines and are in compliance withagreements. The VP participates in fundraising, resource development, and promotion of Food and Benefits Access initiatives with the support of Resource Development and the Marketing and Communications teams. 


Job Responsibilities:

Strategic Leadership

In partnership with SVP for Community Impact, the VP of FBA sets strategic direction for FBA initiatives to ensure well-designed, implemented and resourced programs and strategies. The VP also plays a key strategic leadership role within the Community Impact department, cross-functionally with their internal peers in the Community Impact Department (Education, Workforce and Economic Mobility, Justice and Opportunity, StrengthenNYC, AdvocateNYC, and Transformation and Learning) Marketing & Communications and Resource Development, as well as external peers within collaborative, cross-sectoral initiatives, such as the Policy Committee on NYC Hunger Resources, and with community partners.

Specifically, the VP will be expected to:


  • Set strategic direction of the Food and Benefits Access portfolio of government programs, internal and cross sector initiatives to achieve system, network, and community level change.
  • Develop and manage strategic partnerships with external partners, including government, philanthropy, and policy makers in support of FBA goals.  
  • Partner across UWNYC initiatives to connect families and children in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty with emergency food resources and household supports.


Team Leadership

The VP of FBA will collaborate with unit leaders to design and implement programs and strategies to meet strategic unit goals and align with cross sector initiatives, such as a collective resource allocation methodology to promote in neighborhood access to nutritious food in under resourced neighborhoods.


Specifically, the VP will be expected to:

  • Build talent by establishing and communicating performance standards and assessing and developing internal and external resources to ensure that they meet those standards.
  • Facilitate effective cross-functional teamwork with all Unit staff, and community partners.
  • Lead a team of twelve to fourteen program leaders, grant managers and associates, including three registered dietitians with community nutrition expertise, and provide direct supervision to four to five director level program leaders responsible for food and benefits access workplan goals.
  • Partner with team members to develop and implement operational workplan to encourage grant teams and programs to collaborate differently, at certain times, to come together as an outcomes-based team leveraging team and UWNYC resources to collaborate on the network level towards a collective team approach in grant making, program administration and capacity building.



Programs Leadership

The VP of FBA will collaborate with team leaders to design and implement programs and strategies to meet program and unit goals and align with cross sector initiatives.


Specifically, the VP will:

  • Provide strategic management on design, implementation, and evaluation of the FBA portfolio of government programs and private sector initiatives for alignment with internal and external priorities, and cross sector initiatives, and reflects FBA’s collective outcomes across grant programs that increase access to food and basic needs, through CBO partnerships.   
  • Sets strategic direction for annual FBA portfolio of government contract workplans and budgets; including annual grant awards, allocations, and reallocation processes; and accountable for timely programmatic and financial reporting and management for:
    • Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program, Food Support Connections, Emergency Food Support and Shelter, and new initiatives including NourishNY.
  • Develop and expand strategic partnerships with Community Impact units to support network capacity building objectives and increase community access to healthy food and basic needs.
  • Develop and expand strategic partnerships to expand network coordination benefits access strategy,
  • Develop and expand network coordination goals to grow reach and impact of FeedNYC and other technology platforms to increase among network coordination.


Personal Leadership

The VP of FBA will be expected to inspire the trust and confidence of others on the Community Impact team, in the organization, and from the Board and stakeholder organizations with whom the person interacts.  The position requires the ability to lead and collaborate with a diverse team of professionals, including direct reports, peers within the Department, cross-functionally, externally with collaboration partners, including members of the Policy Committee on NYC Hunger Resources, and with our community partners and community members.


Specifically, the VP will be expected to:

  • Demonstrate individual and collaborative leadership representing United Way of NYC (UWNYC) on the Policy Committee on NYC Hunger Resources, collaborations with Mayor’s Office of Food Policy, and
  • Represent UWNYC programs at local, state, or national conferences.
  • Serve as chair and convene the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP)Local Board and UWNYC’s Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Program (HPNAP) Advisory Committee
  • Gain the confidence and trust of others through principled leadership and sound business ethics.
  • Learn and develop from personal experience and from others.
  • Embrace the opportunities in change and lead others to a place of clarity and commitment and continue to operationalize the Food and Basic Needs work plan.
  • Foster a sense of energy, ownership, and personal connection to the work of UWNYC, the communities we serve, and our staff.
  • Lead by example and demonstrate UWNYC’s core values (Collaboration, Compassion, Integrity, Accountability, and Superior Performance) in all internal and external relationships.



Qualifications & Skills

Skills, Knowledge and Experience:

  • Master’s degree in Community Nutrition, Nutrition Science, or Public Health Nutrition, Social Work, Public Policy related field preferred. 
  • Minimum of 10 years of progressively responsible positions in public health, community nutrition, public benefits enrollment, or related social services field
    • Strategic program planning, management, and evaluation, including government grant administration and financial management
    • Facilitation and management of cross-sectoral initiatives
    • People management
  • In-depth knowledge of public health nutrition, social determinants of health, structural racism and other systemic barriers that contribute to food and financial insecurity.
  • Excellent writing, editing, verbal, and presentation skills
  • Innovative thinker, with a track record for translating strategic thinking into action plans and results
  • Experience with using population and program data to inform strategic and programmatic decisions
  • Demonstrated experience building, leading, and mentoring a team of program leaders and specialists, both internal and external
  • Excellent judgment and creative problem-solving skills
  • Superior management skills, including the ability to advocate for and manage to budget priorities
  • Presence and confidence to project credibility to community partners, the Board, SLT, and other strategic stakeholders
  • A passion for UWNYC’s mission, vision, and accomplishments


Key Competencies:

  • Cultivate
    • Equity Mindset
    • Network Mindset
    • Learning Mindset
  • Think Strategically
    Applies appropriate strategic logic to decisions and initiatives.  Identifies efforts that will have the greatest strategic impact.
  • Promote Collaboration
    Fosters a sense of teamwork, leverages differences, and facilitates the effective interaction and contribution of others to achieve goals.
  • Build Talent
    Ensures the availability and development of the talent needed to meet current and future organizational goals.
  • Engage and Inspire
    Articulates and inspires commitment to a plan of action aligned with organizational mission and goals.
  • Inspire Trust
    Gains the confidence and trust of others through principled leadership and sound business ethics.
  • Innovate
    Champions new ideas and initiatives and creates an environment that supports innovation.
  • Focus on Community
    Ensures the delivery of exceptional service and value to the communities we serve.


United Way of NYC Core Competencies for all Staff

Mission Focused: Catalyze others’ commitment to the mission to create real social change that leads to better lives and healthier communities.  This drives their performance and professional motivations.
Relationship-Oriented: Understands that people come before processes and is astute in cultivating and managing relationships toward a common goal.
Collaborator: Understands the roles and contributions of all sectors of the community and can mobilize resources (financial and human) through meaningful engagement
Results Driven: Dedicated to shared and measurable goals for the common good: creating, resourcing, scaling and leveraging strategies and innovations for broad investment and impact
Brand Steward: Steward of the brand and understands his/her role in growing and protecting the reputation and results of the greater network.