Chief Operating Officer, Loaves & Fishes/Friendship Trays


Loaves & Fishes/Friendship Trays is the merger of two longstanding hunger fighters. Loaves & Fishes provides a week’s worth of nutritionally balanced groceries to individuals and families experiencing a short-term crisis through a network of emergency food pantries located throughout Mecklenburg County.

Friendship Trays delivers nutritious meals to elderly or infirm individuals in the Charlotte community who are unable to obtain or prepare their own meals while also providing human connection to the isolated and lonely and peace of mind to their families.

Now stronger together in fighting hunger, it is the mission of Loaves & Fishes/Friendship Trays to meet the community’s food insecurity needs by providing nutritious groceries and prepared meals to people in need. The organization believes that working together as one will improve overall access to healthy food in a way that ensures that kindness, dignity, and hope are byproducts of its services.

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This position will report directly to the Chief Executive Officer. Direct reports include Community Outreach Director, Loaves & Fishes Operations Director, and Friendship Trays’ Program Director.


The Chief Operating Officer serves as a member of Loaves & Fishes/Friendship Trays’ senior leadership team, providing strategic leadership in operations to advance Loaves & Fishes/Friendship Trays’ mission through effective programming. This position is responsible for overseeing the organization’s ongoing operations and procedures as well as the efficiency of the business. The COO will design and implement a comprehensive plan for the program operations and ensure that processes are defined and adhered to. It is expected that the COO will systematically and effectively strengthen the organization’s overall capacity to improve food access to all those in need.

Specific duties will include, but not necessarily be limited to:

  • Oversee all aspects of the program operations; research best practices in food distribution; evaluate program and organization impact by analyzing and interpreting data and metrics.
  • Provide key input on operational capabilities, requirements, and solutions to support the execution of organizational strategies; utilize technology as needed for optimized operations.
  • Implement and enforce standard program operating policies and procedures.
  • Support and advise CEO on operational business issues; interface with CEO, CFO, CDO, and board as needed for assessing/evaluating the organization’s strategic competencies and needs.
  • Work with CEO to evaluate growth opportunities that address critical community needs and are aligned with organizational mission and vision.
  • Create and maintain a team culture that values, recognizes, and generates high performance, supports innovation, and challenges the status quo.
  • Set comprehensive goals for performance and growth.
  • Develop effective communication methods with programming staff, volunteers, and key stakeholders.
  • Develop and implement robust strategies, policies, and practices relating to appropriate facility management and security.
  • Responsible for the planning and execution of program expenses within budgetary guidelines.
  • Develop relationships with community partners/vendors/distributors as needed.
  • Ensure all program and warehouse operations meet and/or exceed all building/vehicle safety, food safety, food handling, and sanitation guidelines and regulations.
  • Respond to special needs presented by staff, volunteers, clients, donors, vendors, and tenants (e.g., emergency needs, conflicts, etc.).
  • Attend staff meetings/trainings and other meetings as required.
  • Represent the organization as required by the CEO.
  • Participate in and support Loaves & Fishes fundraising efforts.
  • Directly supervise program and outreach directors and maintain indirect oversight of associated programming teams and volunteers.
  • Carry supervisory responsibilities in accordance with Loaves & Fishes/Friendship Trays’ policies and applicable laws: responsibilities include interviewing, hiring, and training employees; scheduling, planning, assigning, and directing work; appraising performance; rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints and resolving problems.


  • Strong data analysis, technology, and organizational skills.
  • Five or more years of supervisory experience with a background in distribution/warehouse management or food distribution preferred.
  • Strong inventory tracking and organizational skills; logistics/supply chain certification/training a plus.
  • Proven management and leadership capabilities; demonstratable competency in strategic planning and program development.
  • Valid Carolina driver’s license with an excellent driving record.
  • Ability to lift up to 50 pounds repetitiously.
  • Exceptional interpersonal, oral, written, and presentation skills.
  • Excellent computer skills and knowledge of database programs.
  • Ability to work with sensitivity and without discrimination towards peoples of diverse cultures, races/ethnicity, socioeconomic positions, ages, religions, genders, physical/mental challenges/disabilities, and sexual orientations.
  • High energy, positive, “can-do” attitude, flexibility, teamwork, and attention to detail; high degree of initiative and an ability to manage multiple tasks and projects at the same time.
  • A passion for Loaves & Fishes/Friendship Trays’ mission is essential.


Compensation will be commensurate with experience including a competitive base salary, bonus opportunity, and competitive benefits package.


Chris Shade, Consultant