Intake Worker (6 month temporary position)

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The Ottawa Food Bank is a highly respected social service agency with a mission to collect and distribute food to its network of agency partners, who in turn serve clients in need throughout the city. Established in 1984 to fight community hunger, the Ottawa Food Bank has been serving the community’s most vulnerable people with respect and dignity, providing healthy, accessible, and sustainable food for all. Due to an internal promotion, we are recruiting an Intake Worker to join our team for a 6 month temporary position. 


Working in partnership with the Ottawa Food Bank’s Operations, Programs and Planning, and Reception teams, volunteer home delivery drivers, and external community resources, the Intake Worker provides direct client service for the Ottawa Food Bank's home delivery program and for walk-in clients seeking food assistance. The incumbent acts as a support for clients and as a liaison between them and other community supports.

The Intake Worker uses a trauma-informed skill set to navigate the unique needs of clients, make appropriate referrals, and provide wellness checks. As this program serves individuals and families who are isolated, the Intake Worker may be the only external point of contact for a client. They substitute for the role of the community food banks in offering comfort and support. The Intake Worker also resources walk in clients seeking food assistance by providing them information about appropriate food programs, and in some circumstances, provides immediate food assistance.


Intake, Client, and Data Management

Intake Process

  • Acts as the primary point of contact for individuals requiring home delivery/walk-in support.
  • Determines home delivery eligibility and arranges home delivery services. Helps clients access food in a timely manner.
  • Uses a trauma-informed interview approach that is both inclusive and clear to determine eligibility for home delivery. Ensures accurate and appropriate client data is collected and captured using internal spreadsheets and the Link2Feed database.
  • Completes home delivery client intake over the phone, capturing all information required and delivery logistics. When possible, offers choice regarding food provided.
  • Confirms the date, time frame, and other logistical information regarding deliveries for home delivery clients. Provides clients information regarding what to expect during contactless delivery. Communicates with Operations team regarding any potential delays or changes to delivery.
  • Monitors and tracks home delivery program for reporting, evaluation, and to coordinate future services.
  • Maintains client case notes, ensuring privacy and confidentiality of client data.
  • Makes referrals to other appropriate community services and connects clients to community food banks, conducts wellness checks, and resolves any client issues related to the home delivery service.
  • Keeps the Home Delivery Working Group informed of any potential or actual challenges in achieving our service delivery goals. Informs the Home Delivery Working Group of common challenges, requests and needs to inform program development.

Client Support Approach

  • Uses a trauma-informed lens to engage with clients in a way that respects dignity and reduces food insecurity-related anxiety.
  • Recognizes the diverse situations of clients, provides a sensitive listening ear, and offers appropriate external social service referrals as required.
  • Engages with clients who display mental health challenges, cognitive disabilities, or other challenging presentations, using appropriate intervention techniques to provide effective, compassionate, and consistent service.
  • Manages client requests or concerns and seeks guidance and support from the Home Delivery Working Group regarding appropriate actions where necessary.
  • Develops appropriate relationships with home delivery clients which allow for brief interventions such as wellness checks and follow-ups on referrals.
  • Sets limits and establishes appropriate boundaries with home delivery clients based on the home delivery client rights and responsibilities document and procedures established by the Home Delivery Working Group.

Client Information Management

  • Reviews client profiles for recurring clients on a regular basis to maintain current and accurate data.
  • Identifies trends and gaps regarding clients accessing home delivery (i.e. single parents, individual with mental health challenges, special dietary requests, etc.) and reports to the Home Delivery Working Group.
  • Provides the Home Delivery Working Group and management with information and regular reporting for funders, and internally for program development purposes.


  • Participates in Home Delivery Working Group and in on-going evaluation of the home delivery program.
  • Creates information packages to be included in hampers (e.g., recipes, info cards, etc.) using material provided by the Home Delivery Working Group.
  • Provides feedback on client food requests to the Registered Dietician to ensure variety and appropriate dietary make-up of the hampers.


  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite; Word, Excel, One Drive and Outlook and familiarity with databases
  • Exceptional verbal communication, telephone, and client service skills
  • Excellent de-escalation skills
  • Able to work and resolve problems independently
  • Strong attention to detail and data entry skills
  • Outstanding organizational and time management skills


  • Post-secondary education in social work or related field
  • Experience working directly with vulnerable people and an understanding of poverty reduction and food security programs.
  • Experience in using a trauma informed approach
  • Experience working or volunteering in a social services organization, particularly those which offer food security assistance, is an asset
  • An equivalent combination of education and experience


The incumbent frequently deals with clients by telephone and occasionally face to face to gather client information, share information regarding Ottawa Food Bank or other supports, and to follow up on and resolve issues related to home delivery services. The position requires dealing with people who may be in crisis, that have mental health challenges, or that have other challenging presentations. Tact, discretion, patience, understanding, and a trauma-informed approach are required.

The incumbent interacts regularly with the Operations team regarding deliveries, client preferences or needs, and to resolve issues related to home deliveries.  

The incumbent interacts regularly with external agencies, referring clients to food security programs or other social services. The incumbent also receives requests from other support service providers.

The incumbent interacts with Reception, a data entry volunteer, and the Home Delivery Working Group to share information and facilitate the effective operation of the home delivery program.

The incumbent interacts with the Registered Dietitian to seek information regarding food choices and substitutions.


The incumbent is the first point of contact for any issues brought forward by clients regarding home delivery. 

The incumbent works closely with the Operations team to resolve, or escalate as necessary, any issues related to the delivery of hampers.


This position does not have supervisory responsibilities.


Errors in obtaining, recording, or maintaining client data can result in missed or incorrect home deliveries, or the delivery of inappropriate food items.

Errors in capturing data regarding the operation of the home delivery program could result in incorrect information being presented regarding the utilization of the program, the cost of the program and the effectiveness of the program.

Errors regarding client confidentiality can result in inappropriate disclosure of personal information.


The Intake Worker works on-site at the Ottawa Food Bank.


The work requires frequently and regularly working with clients that are sometimes in distress. The nature and frequency of these interactions may lead to compassion fatigue. Self-care practices are necessary.

The incumbent sometimes assists with packing hamper boxes.


Fluency in English and French (spoken and written) is required. The ability to speak additional languages is an asset.

Trauma-Informed Approach: A program, organization, or system that is trauma-informed:

  • Realizes the widespread impact of trauma and understands potential paths for recovery;
  • Recognizes the signs and symptoms of trauma in clients, families, staff, and others involved with the system;
  • Responds by fully integrating knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures, and practices; and
  • Seeks to actively resist re-traumatization.

A trauma-informed approach can be implemented in any type of service setting or organization and is distinct from trauma-specific interventions or treatments that are designed specifically to address the consequences of trauma and to facilitate healing.”



Salary is commensurate with experience. The salary range for the position is $50,000 - $70,000 annually, with a hiring range of up to $60,000.


In your cover letter please share what makes you an ideal fit for this position and why you want to join the Ottawa Food Bank.

If you are interested in this position, but do not have all the qualifications listed, we’d still like to hear from you. We recognize that people gain skills and experience through different paths.

The Ottawa Food Bank values diversity in our workforce. We invite applications from all qualified persons, including persons with disabilities and members of the LGBTQ2S+ and BIPOC communities. Please let your recruiter know if you require accommodation at any stage of the recruitment process.