Apply now Job no: 505395
Position type: Full-Time 12-Month
Department: 012102 - Human Sciences- Early Childhood
Location: Harrison County
Categories: Support Staff
Position Open Date:

Position Function:

The Cook is responsible for the implementation of food services in a Head Start program serving children ages 3-5. Responsibilities include preparing attractive, USDA-approved meals; keeping the kitchen clean and sanitary according to Health Department ordinances; and maintaining adequate food stocks, kitchen supplies, and food service records.

The Cook will ultimately be evaluated on a combination of skills, dispositions and behaviors, some of which are related to the specific service area of this position and others that represent general expectations of all Mississippi State University – Extension Head Start Program employees.

Salary Grade:  07

Please see Staff Compensation Structure or Skilled Crafts and Service Maintenance Compensation Schedule for salary ranges.  For salary grade UC, these positions are "Unclassified" and salary ranges are determined by the hiring department.

Anticipated Appointment Date:

February 2023. 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

Nutritious Cooking: Prepares nutritious meals that take into consideration children’s various cultures and individual nutritional needs.
• Understands and uses child nutritional needs and age-specific portion sizes to prepare
meals in accordance with USDA, Head Start, and CACFP guidelines
• Understands and strictly adheres to health, safety, food handling, and sanitation
requirements before, during and after meal preparation.
• Follows menu guidelines and adjusts when necessary due to the availability of menu items or an individual child’s needs.
• Plan and participate in nutritious cooking activities with children.

The Cook’s responsibilities chiefly fall within the following core functions, although s/he may perform other tasks as needed:

Food Services
• Prepare assigned menu and participate in family-style meals with children, volunteers, and staff.
• Work in conjunction with the Site Supervisor and Faculty to monitor family style dining in
classrooms and document as appropriate.
• Maintain food service record-keeping and reporting as directed by supervisor.
• Conduct weekly inventory of food and supplies.
• Complete weekly food and supplies order sheets and fax to Headquarters.
• Check food deliveries for accuracy and for good quality. Notify Headquarters when an item is missing or of 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 temperatures of all refrigerator and freezers.
• Maintain appropriate cleanliness of all kitchen materials and supplies as required.
• Maintain list and be aware of center food allergies and concerns. Prepare alternate menu items as needed for the affected children.
• Assist in delivery of food to classrooms and of dirty dishes from the classroom.
• Participates in assigned meetings, events and training as required.

• Performs any and all other duties as assigned

Minimum Qualifications:

Education: High School diploma or GED.
Experience: Two (2) years’ experience in purchasing and preparing culturally diverse foods for groups.
Substitution: An equivalent combination of related education and related experience may be considered for this position.
- ServSafe Certification
- Must have a valid driver’s license and reliable transportation.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

• Ability to interact effectively with people from diverse backgrounds.
• Ability to communicate effectively, verbally and in writing.
• Demonstrated computer literacy skills, using MS Office applications and other basic data
systems including internet navigation.
• Must be honest, dependable and able to meet deadlines.
• Self-motivated and able to work independently.

Working Conditions and Physical Effort

Physical Requirements:
• Physical exam and background checks are required for this position.
• Travel required locally or long-distance up to 10% of the time for work-related meetings
and functions.
• Ability to stand, walk, and bend periodically.
• Ability to engage in repetitive movement of wrists, hands, and fingers – typing and/or
• Ability to work frequently at close visual range (i.e. preparing and analyzing data and
figures, accounting, transcription, computer terminal, extensive reading).
• Ability to receive and respond to oral communication.
• Ability to exert up to 50 pounds of force to lift, carry, push, pull, or otherwise move objects.

Work Environment:
• Noise level in the work environment is moderate to occasionally loud (examples: business
office with computers and printers, light to moderate traffic, human voices).

Standard office equipment generally used includes:
• Telephone
• Personal Computer (monitor, keyboard, and mouse) or Tablet
• Printer/Photocopy Machine
• Calculator
• Fax Machine
• May be required to operate a motor vehicle during the course of duties.

Instructions for Applying:

Link to apply:

All applicants MUST apply online at to be considered for this position.

The following documents and information are required for application:
- Cover Letter
- Resume
- Contact information for at least three professional references

Screening Date:

January 27, 2023 until filled. 

Restricted Clause:

Position is contingent upon continued availability of funding.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement:

MSU is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, pregnancy, gender identity, status as a U.S. veteran, and/or any other status protected by applicable law. We always welcome nominations and applications from women, members of any minority group, and others who share our passion for building a diverse community that reflects the diversity in our student population.

What do I do if I need an accommodation?

In compliance with the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA), if you have a disability and would like to request an accommodation in order to apply for a position with Mississippi State University, please contact the Department of Human Resources Management at tel: (662) 325-3713 or

If you have any questions regarding this policy, contact the Department of Human Resources Management at (662) 325-3713 or Upon request, sections of this job listing are available in large print, and readers are available to assist the visually impaired.

Advertised: Central Standard Time
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