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Executive Director, Community Soup Kitchen

Community Soup Kitchen
Job Title: Executive Director, Community Soup Kitchen
Job Type:
Executive Director
New Haven
Job Search Ends:
February 28th, 2021
Organization's Website:


The Community Soup Kitchen (CSK) has been a cornerstone of New Haven, Connecticut’s emergency food system for over 40 years. Housed at its close partner Christ Church in the heart of downtown New Haven, CSK provides hot, nutritious mid-day meals to all who come, requirement free. The long-term executive director retired at the end of 2020; thus, the board seeks a collaborative executive director with compassion and deep respect for CSK’s low-income guests seeking sustenance.

About Community Soup Kitchen

The Community Soup Kitchen is “the rock at lunchtime” for a large portion of New Haven’s low-income residents. CSK has a reputation as the soup kitchen with a big heart; it is known for its friendly, kind, welcoming, and non-judgmental environment for guests, staff, and volunteers. A multi-course hot lunch is provided during the week (except Wednesday) and breakfast on Saturdays. CSK also provides outreach meals at neighboring churches, packaged hot dinner meals to the City’s warming centers, and sandwiches for distribution at the nearby town green on Wednesdays during the summer months. CSK served approximately 81,000 meals in 2020. Much of its food is donated by grocery stores and the Connecticut Food Bank. Ancillary services, such as medical screenings, legal services, and veteran services, are provided to the guests in partnership with local agencies. With the COVID19 pandemic they have adapted to feeding quests safely and meeting increased demand with far fewer volunteers.

CSK is a steady and stable organization with high-functioning operations and a legion of approximately 50 committed volunteers who help with a wide range of tasks. CSK employs four staff – an executive director and three part-time employees: a chef, a dining room/operations manager, and an administrative assistant. Its annual operating budget is around $400,000 (plus in-kind food donations). It is governed by an 18-member board.

CSK operates within a larger emergency food network in Greater New Haven that includes 13 soup kitchens, 28 food pantries, and nine mobile pantry sites and summer meals programs.

Position Responsibilities

Currently, the executive director is responsible for organizing and managing the necessary staffing and resources to provide free, nutritious cooked lunches four days a week, breakfast one day a week, and auxiliary meals to other service providers.  The executive director (ED) supervises all staff and volunteers in the preparation of food, kitchen maintenance, food delivery, and general maintenance. 

With staff, the ED develops meal plans and places food orders; manages food inventory; determines food and supplies necessary for daily meals; and picks up and delivers donated and purchased food using CSK’s van.

The executive works with the board treasurer in review and payment of all bills. The ED reports to the board of directors through the board chair, attends monthly board meetings (currently virtual), and prepares reports and updates for the board.

New Opportunities

CSK’s client population continues to grow due to the impact of COVID19, an increase in poverty, reduction of government financial assistance for food and veterans’ benefits, and the opioid crisis, to name a few. CSK is poised for growth in service depth and expansion, and this will require building the business infrastructure of the organization, expanding its revenue sources, and deepening the collaborations with the extensive service provider network in Greater New Haven. The board expects to work with the new executive to realignment of staff duties to afford the ED the ability to step away from the day-to-day kitchen responsibilities to have the time to focus on implementing CSK’s three-year strategic priorities:

  • Establish a solid financial position with a strong base of support from foundations and individual donors, an actively engaged board, and clear and efficient financial procedures.
  • Actively participate in advocacy groups and food networks to address poverty and food insecurity issues.
  • Build bridges and service collaborations to meet the ever-growing needs of CSK’s guests.
  • Support the building of a leadership governance body that is diverse in skills, age, gender, race, ethnicity, and has a culture of engagement and inquiry.
  • Engage people and groups throughout New Haven as volunteers, including young people.

Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate for this role will embrace and embody the values and mission of CSK, with demonstrated, principled commitment to working on behalf of those who are homesless, low income and hungry.

While no one candidate will possess every quality outlined for this position, a successful candidate will bring many of the following professional qualifications and personal attributes:

Experienced Builder of Community Relationships

The ideal ED will bring strong listening and collaboration skills, a warm, humble, approachable style, and an ability to engender immediate trust in their relationships. Candidates will have demonstrated experience in structuring partnerships that jointly meet the needs of clients.

Inclusive Leadership

We seek candidates that demonstrate a deep commitment to and draw on experience serving as a facilitative and inclusive leader within multi-cultural settings. They will be guided by a deep level of respect for others in working with constituents from all walks of life.

Engaging and Strategic Fundraiser

The ideal candidate will have successful fundraising experience that includes activating government, individual and philanthropic funders. The next ED will continue to build CSK’s visibility as a vital resource and engaging the funding community as an outgoing spokesperson and prolific networker in the region.

Effective Advocate

The ED will possess an understanding of policy and advocacy efforts aligned with CSK’s mission and be able to effectively position and represent the agency at the local, regional, and state level with government officials and policy and advocacy partners.

An Organizational Leader with Financial and Business Acumen

The ED will have a good track record in nonprofit, public sector, and/or business leadership roles, demonstrating the ability to set and implement a strategic vision and achieve goals. Candidates must be creative risk-takers, with the ability to identify opportunities to innovate and to expand an organization’s impact, while also considering pragmatic realities.

Ideal candidates will demonstrate a working knowledge of nonprofit financial management and demonstrate sound decision-making skills, as well as creativity and resourcefulness, to drive the organization’s financial growth and sustainability.

A Hands-On, Hard Worker

The successful candidate will be flexible and focused, a good delegator and have hands-on experience in managing similar operations. Kitchen management experience is a plus. It is essential they be in good health, capable of physical duties, possess a valid driver’s license, and have (or be able to acquire) a current Safe Food Certificate. 

This is a salaried position with a pay scale commensurate with experience, to be agreed upon. A background check and drug test are required.

Application Guidelines

CSK has engaged Eos Transition Partners to help with this hire. Nancy Jackson is leading this search. To express interest in this role, submit your cover letter and resume at https://eostransitions.applicantpool.com/jobs/.  All nominations, inquiries, and discussions will be considered strictly confidential. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

CSK is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, women, and LGBTQ+ applicants.

About Eos Transition Partners

Eos Transition Partners hires remarkable leaders by treating client organizations as a respected, engaged, and informed partner throughout the transition process. Eos appreciates and holds the anxiety about finding the next leader, listening carefully to the uniqueness of the client organization, culture, or field of work. Eos then does the groundwork of recruiting and vetting candidates and provides the search committee with quality information and candidates. Comprehensive search services are offered as well as an a la carte menu of engagement options, allowing organizations a choice in the degree of consulting involvement needed to meet transition needs and costs. Nancy Jackson and John Tarvin are the principal owners of Eos Transition Partners. For more information, visit: https://eostransitionpartners.com.

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