Downtown Eastside Women's Centre

Job Summary

The Cook is responsible for providing a nutritious meal within a busy and chaotic drop-in center and/or emergency shelter including meal planning and preparation, serving, cleaning and maintenance, customer service skills, stock taking, and order.   She will participate in supporting the training program for community volunteers in all aspects of kitchen operations.

Reporting directly to the Kitchen Manager, she will work in collaboration with other DEWC staff to promote integrated services to women.  She will work from a feminist perspective and within an anti-oppression framework.

Key Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Ensures the provision of the meal program within the Drop-In and/or Shelter including the planning, preparation, serving, cleaning, stock-taking, and ordering
  • Ensures maintenance and repair needs are reported to the appropriate staff
  • Supports community volunteers in all aspects of the kitchen including in the planning, preparation, and serving of meals.
  • Works with the Kitchen Manager to develop and grow the food program at the DEWC with the goal of integrating a “health through nutrition” strategy.
  • Manages crises between, within, and among community volunteers and/or DEWC members including mentoring a variety of stress-coping skills.
  • Maintains a culture of ‘people helping people help themselves.
  • Communicates effectively with women in crises and refers to appropriate in-center staff.
  • Ensures effective communication and team approach in the smooth operation of the DEWC.
  • Act as an ambassador for DEWC by representing and modeling DEWC mission and values
  • Other related duties not specified that may be assigned from time to time


Required Qualifications:

  • At least 2 years of related experience preferably within a nonprofit drop in or shelter environment
  • Ability to lift 40 pounds
  • Food Safe level 1 is required
  • Experience working in a busy, chaotic, high turnover kitchen
  • Must have understanding of “health through nutrition”
  • Must have a strong working knowledge and analysis of the issues impacting women in the Downtown Eastside, including gender based violence, mental health, homelessness, and addictions
  • Candidate must work from strong feminist analysis and within an anti-oppression framework
  • Strong conflict resolution skills and practice
  • Demonstrated crises intervention training and experience
  • Excellent communication skills required, including the ability to work in a respectful and cooperative manner with co-workers, volunteers, and center members
  • Ability to work within a chaotic environment and with a diverse community of women
  • A First Aid certificate and NVCI is required
  • Candidate must undergo a criminal record check
  • Women with addiction issues need to be at least 2 years clean and sober


Position reports to: Kitchen Services Manager

Organizational Status

The Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre operates on the unceded & ancestral Musqueam, Squamish & Tsleil-Waututh Territories (xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ), to provide a safe, non-judgmental environment for women from all walks of life, who live and/or work in the Downtown Eastside.  To achieve this goal, the Centre provides supportive surroundings with meals, counseling, advocacy and programs which nurture and empower members. The Downtown Eastside (DTES) as a neighbourhood is well-known within Vancouver and even across Canada for its disproportionate levels of poverty and extreme marginalization. Home to populations made vulnerable including those who are homeless, mentally ill, and/or with addictions, it is also a place known for its creativity, community activism, and tenacity in the face of tremendous stigma.

DEWC staff are called to enhance connections and collaboration and promote an atmosphere of safety in all aspects of their work.  DEWC acknowledges that our work environment is directly impacted by all forms of oppression and the impact of colonialism where staff will be witness to women’s trauma and the consequences of injustice.

Kitchen Services Manager
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