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Police Athletic League Nutritionist/Cook in Brooklyn, New York

  The Police Athletic League (PAL) is the largest independent youth organization in New York City that provides educational and recreational activities for children and young adults. PAL Inc. and The New York City Police Department work in partnership to provide communities with summer and after-school recreational and educational activities.

We are looking for a Nutritionist/Cook who will be responsible for food preparation, food purchases, and service of meals in accordance with established United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), CACFP, State guidelines, standards of nutrition, health, and sanitation. This employee will work with the team under the guidance of the Nutrition Consultant to plan nutritious meals and snacks for Head Start/Early Head students, parents, and staff. The cook will perform administrative tasks including ordering and maintaining inventory of food and supplies, food production records, and ordering supplies needed to prepare menus for children with food allergies.

Under the supervision of the Program Director, the cook is primarily responsible for preparing and serving all food in the center, to maintaining the kitchen in a sanitary and efficient condition. Additionally, the cook is responsible for the supervision and training of other staff assigned to the kitchen or food service responsibilities. 

Major Duties & Responsibilities

  • Follow individual work schedule provided by the Director to indicate specific responsibilities and the time scheduled for them 

  • Cooperates in total staff effort designed to improve the center’s Service.

  • Participates in periodic individual conferences and regular staff meetings as scheduled by the director. 

  • These will be called when changes are planned in the children’s program which affects the cook, so that discussions and suggestions for improving the services may be shared among the director and staff.

  • Such meetings will also be called when policy changes are to be made effecting budgetary needs for food and supplies or   re-arrangement of space.

  • Participation in staff parties and attendance in parent meetings are also encouraged, but not required, as a means of promoting a feeling of total staff unity and providing opportunities for informal exchanges of information between parents and total staff.

Specifics Duties

  • Under the supervision of the Program Director and the support of the Food Program Manager, the cook will carry out the following functions:

    Nutritious Cooking:

  • Prepares nutritious meals that take into consideration children’s various cultures and individual needs.

  • Understands and uses child nutritional needs and age-specific to prepare meals in accordance with USDA (CACFP), Head Start, and CACFP Guidelines

  • Follows menu guidelines and adjusts when necessary due to the availability of menu items or an individual child’s needs.

  • Understands and strictly adheres to health, safety, food handling, and sanitation requirements before, during, and after a meal

  • Prepare, cook and serve food according to recommended

  • responsibilities chiefly fall within the core functions, although s/he may perform other tasks as needed

    Food Services

  • Prepare assigned menus

  • Maintain food service record- keeping and reporting as directed by supervisor

  • Conduct weekly inventory of food and supplies

  • Check food deliveries for accuracy and good quality. Follow up on missing items or poor quality.

  • Store food and supplies properly Date all canned, boxed and bagged foods. Use the FIFO method of inventory.

  • Monitor and maintain proper food temperatures

  • Monitor and maintain proper temperature of all refrigerator and freezers

  • Maintain appropriate cleanliness of all kitchen materials and supplies as required.

  • Maintain list and be aware of food allergies and concerns. Prepare alternate menu items as needed for the affected children.

  • Prepare food and assist in delivery of food to classrooms and retrieval of dirty dishes from classrooms

  • Wash, sanitize and store dishes, pots and pans

General Staff Responsibilites

  • Participate in staff meetings, conferences, training sessions, and workshops as assigned  

  • Maintain confidentiality in regard to staff and family information

  • Fulfill role as mandated reporter as stated in Child Abuse and Neglect Policy

  • Perform any other work-related duties as requested by the supervisor

  • Be present at work in order to provide consistency of services

  • Be a contributory team member in a positive/productive manner

  • Demonstrate commitment to mission, values, and policies in the performance of daily duties.

  • Follow the weekly menu made out in consultation with the  Director.

  • Confer with the director when menu changes are indicated, i.e., necessary substation or the use of left-over’s.

  • Portion food for children’s groups according to need.

  • Make local food purchases when necessary.


  • Wash dishes and utensils according to sanitary practices.

  • Keep kitchen and storeroom in a clean, sanitary, and orderly condition e.g., range, sink, refrigerator, and cupboard.

  • Keep kitchen equipment and utensils in good condition.

  • Place kitchen garbage in a designated covered receptacle.

  • In the absence of a helper, the cook shall wash dish towels and truck covers.

Inventory and Supplies:

  • Keep a simple inventory of food and household supplies on hand as needed.

  • Inform the director of needed food supplies, repairs, and replacement of kitchen equipment and utensils.

  • Be responsible for storing or supervising the storage of all food and household supplies.

  • Other related duties as assigned, consistent with the above.

Skills/Knowledge Required

  • Minimum High School Diploma/GED.

  • Food Handlers Certificate.

  • Previous work experience in food service is preferred. 

  • Knowledge of early childhood nutrition.

  • Lift and move heavy and/or bulky objects weighing up to 50 lbs.

  • Basic computer literacy in email usage, word processing, and internet navigation.

  • Pass a physical examination and all Head Start/licensing required background checks.

  • Maintain current Physical/TB screen requirements.

  • Travel is required locally or long-distance up to 10% of the time for work-related meetings and functions.   

Salary Range: $29,089.44 - $29,868.81

The Police Athletic League seeks to hire staff who reflect the diversity of the communities we serve. All positions at PAL are filled without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, HIV/AIDS status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. All are encouraged to apply.

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