Food Policy Research Fellow

Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty | Manhattan, NY, United States

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Posted Date 1/31/2023

FLSA: Non-Exempt

Benefits: Eligible

Hours Per Week: 40/Full-time 

Met Council is America’s largest Jewish charity dedicated to serving the needy. Met Council’s ten different departments are staffed by experts who helped over 305,000 clients in 2021 and continuously advocate on behalf of all needy New Yorkers. Our holistic programs range from 100% affordable housing at 20 locations to our award-winning family violence program to comprehensive Holocaust survivor assistance to senior programming to crisis intervention to the largest free kosher food distribution program in the world. Our network of 101 food pantries, 20 affordable housing sites, and 15 JCCs provide services directly in neighborhoods across New York.

Position Summary:

The New York State Food Policy Research Fellow will report directly to our Food Policy Manager and collaborate directly with our Food Policy Coalition Building Fellow to assess the statewide need for kosher and halal emergency food and benefits access. The Fellow will analyze publicly available data and generate additional quantitative data to evaluate the need and available resources within the specific geographic locations of Jewish and Muslim communities throughout NYS. Additionally, the Fellow will work to develop multiple deliverables based on this outreach and analysis, including a formal policy report that includes detailed geospatial analysis along with state and local policy recommendations. In addition to specific research work, the Food Policy Fellow will represent Met Council in interviews and meetings focusing on food insecurity and cultural competency and work closely with like-minded organizations throughout New York City and State. This position requires an individual able to thrive in a fast-paced work environment, with a background in local and state emergency food programming, NYS food and nutrition policy, and data collection and quantitative research methods, along with a strong interest in hunger, nutrition, and cultural competency issues, and the experience and ability to work and communicate with a variety of audiences.

Please note: This is a temporary fellowship expected to extend through December 2023.

Principal Responsibilities: 

Data Collection & Analysis

  • Utilize data tools, such as those from the US Census, American Community Survey, and other resources, to develop a profile of Jewish and Muslim Communities in Met Council’s current service area; Use these data points to search for similar community characteristics throughout New York State; 
  • Locate, track, and map the location of pantries, places of worship, and other physical landmarks relevant to Jewish and Muslim communities that could serve as potential community markers and partners or coalition members.
  • Utilize the information gleaned from publicly available data to conduct qualitative analysis of communities in New York State; This may include interviews, surveys, and possibly focus groups;
  • Create a database of contact information complete with relevant data for all New York State Jewish and Muslim food supports.


  • In collaboration with our Coalition Building Fellow and Food Policy Manager, utilize the quantitative and geospatial data collected to draft a formal report on Jewish and Muslim Food Insecurity and emergency food programming in NYS, including tangible policy recommendations;
  • Build an advocacy platform, complete with NYS legislative goals and timelines, based on the report and recommendations included in this study.

Policy and Advocacy Support

  • Act as a supporting expert on public policies that impact communities served by Met Council Food Programs and our partner organizations; 
  • Develop briefs, reports, and other materials for target audiences, including elected officials, foundations, corporate and individual donors, and the general public;
  • Draft policy messaging, including talking points and other content for advocacy use by Met Council’s Food Programs team.

Additional Responsibilities 

  • Perform additional duties as assigned.


  • Demonstrated interest in food and poverty policy.
  • Familiarity with local, state, and federal nutrition and food systems policies required. 
  • Background in data collection and database management.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Excellent administrative and organizational skills and ability to work in a fast-paced environment.
  • Ability to work independently and coordinate the work of others.

Skill and Education: 

  • Current Social Science Masters students or recent master’s recipients preferred (Public Policy, Public Health, Political Science, Etc.); Minimum BA/BS required in Social Science or related field.
  • Proficiency with Arc GIS and MS Excel (other data analysis tools, including R, Stata, or SPSS, preferred but not required).
  • General knowledge of statistics, including the ability to read and understand quantitative and qualitative analysis and to possibly conduct small-scale statistical analysis.
  • Proficiency with all MS Office and Office 365 applications.
  • Flexibility to work independently, coordinate the work of others, and grow with a small team of researchers exploring a new area of research.
  • Hybrid work availability (NYC/NYS).

Physical Demands: 

  • Required Constantly: Walking, sitting, grasping, bending, stooping, squatting, computer input, finger 
  • dexterity, and coordination of hand, eye, and foot.
  • Required Frequently: Standing and climbing stairs; carrying laptop & files (approx. 8-10 lbs.). 
  • Required Occasionally: Reaching above the shoulder, lifting 5-25 pounds, pushing and pulling.

Special Requirements: 

  • Possible travel throughout NYC and NYS using either public or personal transportation.

Compensation: $50,000 per year

Full Time
Retirement Plans | Dental | FSA | Leave Early for Shabbat | Medical Insurance | Paid Holidays | Sick Days | Vision
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