Gather seeks an innovative and talented Executive Director to lead and inspire staff and volunteers to fully embrace its mission to end hunger and to partner with its Board of Directors to complete the execution of its strategic plan while positioning the organization for its next decade of impact.
For 200 years, Gather has been serving Seacoast residents facing hunger. The agency was founded in 1816 by a small group of women to feed the families of fishermen. Today, Gather is committed to ending local hunger through leadership and collaboration with the community. Gather serves those in the greater community experiencing hunger by providing nutritious food through innovative distribution programs across the Seacoast including Portsmouth, Rochester, Somersworth, Seabrook, Kittery and beyond. Gather offers nutrition education and recipes for healthy living and collaborates with community partners to address the root causes of hunger.
Gather’s mission focuses on streamlined internal systems, processes, and controls that ensure every dollar donated has a big impact on hunger. To make the Greater Seacoast a hunger-free community, Gather’s mission is designed to address three core areas:
In addition to the Pantry Market (open shopping model 5 days each week), Gather provides innovative mobile programs (Meals 4 Seniors, Meals 4 Kids, Mobile Markets), a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, support to smaller food pantries, gleaning, referrals/community outreach as well as a prepared meals program (Cooking 4 Community), and a food re-purposing project in collaboration with the University of New Hampshire.
To support smaller pantries and ensure healthy food reaches all hungry residents, Gather collaborates and has also taken a leadership role in the region and made the reduction of food waste a priority. A key partner in much of this work is the New Hampshire Food Bank. Gather currently leads the activities of NH Gleans and facilitates the activities of the Food Providers Network (FPN). The FPN (a Gather project) is comprised of local food pantries and soup kitchens working together to share excess food and resources to ensure residents have barrier-free access to nutritious food. NH Gleans is a network of organizations working to reduce food waste and increase the availability of fresh and local produce that is distributed to those needing it most. Because of Gather’s relationships, partnerships, and existing capacity, Gather regularly provides fresh produce and other food to dozens of smaller food pantries in the area.
In addition to providing food items, Gather’s Cooking 4 Community (C4C) has expanded the organization’s impact by providing ready prepared meals to those at risk of hunger. This program uses a mix of food from the gleaning projects, donated pantry foods that are still nourishing yet aesthetically past their prime, and purchased ingredients as needed for recipe success. These prepared, tasty, and convenient meals help to meet the nutritional needs of those with limited access to cooking facilities, or diminished capacity to prepare meals.
Likewise, Gather has partnered with the University of New Hampshire (UNH) to promote food repurposing on its Durham campus. A combination of staff, students and volunteers are now using a previously underutilized production kitchen space to address food insecurity.
Using a combination of food from the UNH dining services, Gather donations, and direct purchasing, the UNH and Gather collaboration has reduced food waste, while redirecting food and meals for the University’s food pantry, for Gather and beyond.
With the help of 300+ volunteers, Gather provided nearly 2 million pounds of food to the Greater Seacoast community in 2021. More than 200 additional individuals were served weekly through the mobile Community Markets. When Covid-19 emerged, Gather responded to meet the changing needs of the community. The mobile programs have operated on an uninterrupted basis since spring 2020 and Gather continues to serve hundreds of individuals (children and family members) each week at the Pantry. A total of 597,000 pounds of food have been provided through mobile markets alone this year. Gather is currently serving 2,260 individuals each month through the Pantry Market and reached 1,635 children through the mobile Meals 4 Kids program.
The food insecurity needs in the region Gather serves have remained at critically high levels. Due to the Covid-19 crisis, the current Executive Director (who will be retiring) and staff have had to rapidly increase every aspect of service delivery to meet the growing needs in the community. This tremendous growth has presented challenges for both staff, space, and logistics, and while Gather is able to continue its work at truly extraordinary levels, these challenges must be addressed.
Gather has determined that it must focus on expanding the reach of mobile food delivery and strengthening the regional food system. Over the coming year, Gather will be focusing on supporting and expanding mobile programming in existing and new communities and building the capacity of smaller local food providers and social service organizations. This approach will help the region it serves be better equipped to meet the growing and ever-changing needs of food insecure individuals and households.
The new Executive Director will be charged with partnering with the Board to build on a highly successful foundation to address these challenges/opportunities and make recommendations for investments in space, technology, staff capacity, and planning for increased service delivery.
For more information about Gather, please visit: https://www.gathernh.org/
The Executive Director (ED) is responsible for the overall management of the organization, including resource allocation, and business operations. The ED establishes clear goals and direction for the organization, inspires and leads a diverse team of experienced professionals, advises and informs the board of directors, and champions the organization’s vision, goals, and values. The ED works for the Board of Directors reporting to the Chair of the Board, and supervises the Chief Financial Officer, Associate Executive Director, Chief Operations Officer, and the Director of Cooking 4 Community. Gather employs 25 staff in total.
All qualified candidates will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.
If you are interested in being considered for this search, please email your cover letter and resume in confidence to:
Senior Vice President, Principal
Development Guild DDI