Food Service Specialist


Performs routine food service tasks under general supervision or instructions in the Child & Family Development Center. Prepares and serves catered meals and/or snacks each day that meet Head Start and USDA requirements.  Ensures compliance with all food service safety rules and regulations.  Maintains food service preparation area and equipment.


  1. Serves all center children family style catered meals and/or snacks each day that meet Head Start and USDA nutrition requirements.
  2. Prepares food items which include cutting fresh produce and places food in serving containers. Transfers food from caterer’s containers to serving containers.
  3. Follows menu and uses portion control methods, including the weighing/measuring of meal components.
  4. Ensures that special diets (as determined by food restriction guide) are adhered to.
  5. Estimates food amounts to be prepared (consistent with indicated guidelines), utilizing leftovers for subsequent child meals where ever possible. Ensures that extra food or leftovers are distributed or disposed of per policy.
  6. Uses food production and food storage procedures that are in compliance with CACFP.
  7. Follows established procedures and produces standard product (cooking, serving) in accordance with established standards.
  8. Washes dishes and/or pots; washes and sanitizes utensils and dishes thoroughly.
  9. Plans and completes routine cleaning and maintenance of kitchen and equipment.
  10. Responsible for communicating and problem solving with Caterer on a regular basis. Presents recommendations to management.
  11. Responsible for preparing and maintaining records of purchases and distribution of meals and snacks.
  12. Places weekly requests for items needed.
  13. Conducts a complete and accurate physical inventory of: all food items, equipment, and supplies on the last Friday of each month.
  14. Maintains proper hygiene and dress requirements for food service staff
  15. Assists with training of Head Start volunteers in food service area.
  16. Assists with integrating the kitchen into Head Start programs by participating in nutrition education activities.
  17. Maintains a cooperative working relationship with staff and parents.
  18. Assists with summer projects and summer classroom cleanup
  19. Plans and completes work within scheduled deadlines.
  20. Completes agency training requirements. Attends all required center meetings/training sessions.
  21. Performs other duties as assigned to accomplish Agency goals and purposes.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill and or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable an individual with a disability to perform the essential duties and responsibilities.


No specific academic education is required. Mechanical aptitude may be specified.  A minimum of six month’s related experience is required.  Current Food Service Sanitation Certification required.


The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Kitchen area:


  • Manual dexterity necessary to operate food preparation equipment, cleaning equipment and to be able to perform necessary and routine cleaning.
  • Ability to lift steam tables/metal trays filled with hot water
  • Ability to lift boxes of produce, crates of milk, cases of cans, catered food, etc.


If helping in the classroom or in emergency evacuation situations:


Children 3-5: While children ages 3-5 can usually walk on their own, at times a child will need to be picked up, held, and/or carried.  When a child needs to be comforted, etc., staff should be able to lift, hold, and/or carry up to 50 pounds as CDC Growth Charts indicate boys and girls ages 3-5 can weigh up to 50 pounds.

Infants & Toddlers: Responsible for lifting, carrying and holding children as needed.  Staff must also be able to lower a child into the crib when the child is sleeping.  CDC Growth Charts indicate boys/girls, birth – 36 months can weigh up to 40 pounds.  As a result, staff must be able to regularly lift, hold, carry, and lower an infant up to 40 pounds.  In evacuation situations, staff must also be able to push a crib (on wheels) holding up to 4 children. Staff will also need to assist walking and crawling infants as needed.

Staff will occasionally need to rearrange equipment, and objects in order to prepare the environment for the children and to ensure safety for the children.  Staff will use proper lifting techniques and tools (dollys/carts) to move furniture, equipment, etc.  Staff should ask for assistance when moving furniture, equipment, or other heavy objects.

Work Environment:

While performing the duties of the job, the employee is regularly multi-tasking in a fast paced environment. The noise level is usually moderate. Working conditions sometimes involve exposure to excessive heat and cold associated with a kitchen environment. The employee will work with various foods, cleaning products, utensils, food preparation and cleaning equipment.

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