Hiring a Program Lead

Not Far From The Tree (NFFTT), a project of MakeWay Charitable Society, puts Toronto’s abundance of local fruit to use by picking and sharing the harvest via a ⅓ model. NFFTT has picked and shared over 275,000 pounds of fruit since 2008, and schedules over 300 fruit picks per season. Not Far From The Tree builds community, fosters environmental sustainability and enables access to an existing supply of healthy, local food.

The Opportunity

We are seeking a results-driven, enthusiastic, and adaptable program planner, volunteer manager for the role of Program Lead. Reporting to the Project Director and overseeing the Program Coordinator you will be responsible for implementing NFFTT core fruit picking program and season teardown.  We’re looking for a positive, tenacious individual who’s excited to coordinate fruit picks across Toronto, and maintain strong relationships with our volunteers, homeowners, and community partners. This position is ideal for someone who is comfortable working outside for extended periods, has experience or interest in learning new technical systems and has an interest in fruit trees. Fruit picking operating area.

This position is Wednesday to Friday from 12:00 pm – 7:30 pm and Saturdays from 10:00 am to 5:30pm. The team works remotely and outdoors.

Fixed- Term, Seasonal – 32 hours per week, from June – October 11, 2024

Salary: $25.00/ hour

Who We’re Looking For 

You’re an experienced manager who motivates employees and excels in organization, handling multiple projects with effective systems. You build strong relationships, work well with volunteers, and communicate professionally, inspiring those around you. As a creative problem solver, you are strategic, motivated, and open to new ideas. Additionally, you enjoy outdoor activities like picking fruit and biking around the city.

Key Responsibilities

  • Lead and support the field operations of the picking program; ensure the successful tree scouting, scheduling and delivery of 350+ fruit picks ;
  • Manage 11 storage locations ensuring equipment is restocked throughout the season,ensure the cargo bikes are safe and supported and returned to the winter storage site. 
  • Purchase equipment set replenishments and oversee the fruit picking program budget; 
  • Lead and manage the new payment system for Tree Registrants and process payments; 
  • Attend and represent program participants during the Program Working Group and tech consultant meetings with the Project Director. 
  • Ensure Pick Leaders are getting the support needed to lead picks, provide opportunities to collect their feedback and make changes to the program to improve efficiency; 
  • Steward and manage relationships fruit pickers, tree registrants, community partners, and partner agencies;
  • Recruit, train, schedule and manage NFFTT’s volunteers providing leadership and guidance;
  • Liaise with and visit  NFFTT’s  social service partner agencies to ensure satisfaction with fruit deliveries and community programming;
  • Lead fruit picks throughout the week (if no Pick Leaders are available) which involves picking up a cargo bike and fruit picking equipment, biking to pick sites, safely leading volunteers through picks, and delivering fruit via cargo bike to multiple agency partners across Toronto.
  • Utilize NFFTT’s online fruit picking portal to approve and schedule pick requests in a timely manner after scooting their ripeness. 
  • Monitor the picks email  account regularly to actively respond to inquiries and requests regarding picks;
  • Work with the Program Lead and volunteers to close down the fruit picking program in the fall, organize inventory day and collect the equipment across our catchment area.
  • Contribute to the evaluation and 2024 season debrief report used to impact the following season. 
  • Represent NFFTT in the community, build relationships with community stakeholders, and develop new project partnerships.
  • Maintain a positive and safe working environment that is compliant with health and safety requirements. 
  • Represent NFFTT in the community, build relationships with community stakeholders, and develop new project partnerships.
  • Understand and follow all MakeWay policies, practices, and procedures. 


  • Experience creating, leading, or overseeing community program development and delivery; 
  • Demonstrated ability to anticipate needs and take initiative, problem solve, manage time effectively, and exercise sound judgment;
  • Comfortable with urban cycling, specifically using NFFTT’s cargo bikes or your own;
  • You have some knowledge about fruit trees (not mandatory);
  • Demonstrated ability to take on a public-facing role in the community, and professionally liaise with a variety of stakeholders and volunteers;
  • Demonstrated ability to anticipate needs and take initiative, problem solve, manage time effectively, and exercise sound judgment;
  • Exceptional interpersonal and active listening skills; comfortable engaging stakeholders through phone calls, emails, and workshops;
  • Familiar with G-Suite (Google Drive, Sheets, Docs, Calendar, Gmail, etc.)


  • Experience with bike maintenance;
  • Experience working in a community organization, charity and/or non-profit with a proven track record of managing logistics and relationships, 
  • Experience in urban ecology, fruit preserving or fruit tree care;
  • Valid G Driver’s Licence;
  • Fluency in or conversational understanding of a second language 
  • Have participated in NFFTT fruit picking program in the past 
  • Reliable access to internet on the go (a cell phone with data works great)

To be eligible, the successful applicant must:

  • Be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or person to whom refugee protection has been conferred under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act for the duration of the employment; and,
  • Have a valid Social Insurance Number at the start of employment and be legally entitled to work in Canada in accordance with relevant provincial or territorial legislation and regulations.

How to Apply:

Please send your resume and cover letter to pickme@notfarfromthetree.org with “Program Lead” in the subject line. The deadline for applications is Thursday, June 6th  and interviews will be rolling. The ideal start date is Wednesday, June 19th. 

In your cover letter, help us understand why you’re an excellent candidate by addressing the following:

1. Tell us why you think that you are our ideal candidate. 

2. What excites you about working at Not Far From The Tree, and this position in particular?

3. Make connections with your resume — how will your past experiences translate into success in this position?

4. What skills or experiences do you look forward to developing during your time at Not Far From The Tree?

Not Far From The Tree is a project of MakeWay Charitable Society. For more information, please go to makeway.org. The selected candidate will be an employee of MakeWay Charitable Society. MakeWay will provide accommodation during all steps of the selection process, upon request, to applicants with disabilities. Please advise us if you need any accommodation.

MakeWay is strongly committed to creating a diverse workplace environment and we welcome and encourage applications from the communities we serve. We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer.

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