Program Assistant, Northeast Emergency Food Program (NEFP)

TO APPLY: Submit cover letter and resume to; or mail to EMO, 0245 SW Bancroft St., Suite B, Portland, OR 97239; or fax to (503) 223-7007. Position closes on November 11, 2019.

PURPOSE: The Northeast Emergency Food Program, a program of Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon (EMO), meets the urgent food and clothing needs of our Portland neighbors while working to develop community solutions to food and economic security. NEFP does this through the five-fold mission of NEFP: 1) Providing emergency food and clothing assistance three days a week, and by appointment; 2) securing access to adequate and healthy food; 3) building a more secure safety net; 4) providing job and service leadership training; and 5) working for improved job and economic opportunity.  Northeast Emergency Food Program serves the emergency needs of our neighbors by operating an emergency food and clothing program, coordinating the efforts of 250 volunteers (as many as 25 in a shift) to provide 11,000 clients 850,000 pounds of food provisions and 40,000 articles of clothing annually in the Portland metro area, particularly the eastside. The Program Assistant will assist the Program Manager in the daily operations of NEFP and fulfilling the mission of NEFP.

ACCOUNTABILITY: To the mission and goals of Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon as determined by the Board of Directors and as administered by the EMO President and his/her delegates.

REPORTS TO: Program Manager, NEFP

DIRECT REPORTS: Up to 25 volunteers a day, community service workers, contractual positions, and Service Learner Initiative participants.

LOCATION: EMO’s Northeast Emergency Food Program site, and other sites as assigned.

CLASSIFICATION: 20-30 hours/week, non-exempt

BENEFITS: Salary range starts at $15.00 hourly. All regular employees (does not include on-call or temporary) are eligible for vacation, holidays, sick leave, 401(k) retirement plan, employee assistance program and employee trainings. Employees in exempt positions or non-exempt positions that are 20 hours per week or more, also receive medical insurance, dental insurance, disability insurance and life insurance, per eligibility requirements.


  1. With the Program Manager, ensure dignified and welcoming services to clients, receptive and rewarding experiences for volunteers, and efficient and equitable use of donations.
  2. Daily supervision and execution of client and volunteer operations.
  3. Volunteer management, coordination and recruitment.
  4. Inventory management and quality control.
  5. Perform and/or supervise others in client processing and assist in the maintenance of a shared electronic database.
  6. Maintain other records and databases as assigned.
  7. Assist in supervision and training of contractual workers (such as Jobs Plus, Jesuit Volunteers, and student interns) and volunteers with special needs.
  8. Maintain positive relationships and open communication with key donors and stakeholders.
  9. With Program Manager, oversee operation and proper functioning of NEFP facilities and equipment.
  10. Assist in maintenance and development of NEFP pantry garden and grounds.
  11. Assist with food and clothing drives and pickups as assigned.
  12. Occasional participation in neighborhood and community development, advocacy and outreach.
  13. Monitor NEFP email and voicemail.
  14. Maintain a social media presence for NEFP.
  15. Develop or participate in strategies for increased client engagement, volunteer and donor appreciation, political advocacy, and use of physical and emotional space.
  16. Perform other duties as assigned.

QUALIFICATIONS: Ability to work within the mission, vision and ethics of EMO, and maintain an understanding of the services provided by the programs and projects of EMO.

KNOWLEDGE: Have experience with and show sensitivity in multicultural/cross-cultural interactions; Be able to learn quickly the in-house database software; Be proficient at using the internet and social media.

SKILLS: Excellent oral, interpersonal and client service skills with the ability to listen to and affirm people from a wide variety of cultures, backgrounds and circumstances; treat all individuals with respect and dignity; Be highly organized with a strong attention to detail; Be able to work well independently, with minimal supervision, and to balance multiple priorities.

EFFORT: Be able to make decisions in high tension settings and to adjust to fluid and occasionally seemingly chaotic situations; Be able to lift and carry up to 50 pounds several times a day. 

RESPONSIBILITY: Flexibility in scheduling is a must because the day is done when all the families have been helped, which can extend past normal hours, especially towards the end of the month and during holidays; Demonstrated ability to work independently while maintaining a close relationship with supervisors and with the broader organization; Experience and demonstrated ability to work with volunteers and supervise small staff; Be able to make decisions in high-tension settings and to adjust to fluid and occasionally seemingly chaotic situations.

WORKING CONDITIONS: Ability to work in a respectful manner with people of diverse ethnicity, socio-economic circumstances, religion, culture and sexual orientation; High tolerance for ambiguity and change; Occasional availability for evening and Sunday events.

Be able to drive a box truck; possess valid driver’s license and evidence of insurability.
Be able to speak a second language, particularly Mandarin Chinese, Russian or Spanish.

Equal Opportunity Employer
Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon is an equal opportunity employer and, as such, considers individuals for employment according to their abilities and performance. People of color, women, LGBTQ individuals, and people living with HIV are encouraged to apply.

Employment decisions are made without regard to race, age, religion, color, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical or mental disability, marital or veteran status, or any other classification protected by law. All employment requirements mandated by state and federal regulations will be observed.