ExtraFood Founder Marv Zauderer: “Food Justice is Racial Justice”
July 07, 2020

Dear Friends,

Last year, one of my daughters and I visited the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. We were there to experience the Academy’s exhibit entitled, “What is Skin?” At the start of the exhibit, a sign labeled “Constructed Categories” beckoned, with these words:

A racial system shapes our lives

Human races are categories that humans invented. These groupings change over time and from place to place and are often linked to skin color. Society has used these notions of race to privilege some people over others and to assign judgments of people’s character based on their physical appearance.

In a society, and a region, that glorifies inventions, the insidious entrenchment and murderous destructiveness of race is – and long has been – a national emergency. The killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others makes that clear. Again. And again. And again.

Over the past two years, I have begun to confront myself on issues of race:

For me, seeing race for what it is – not as objective truth, but as constructed categories – carries with it a sense of responsibility: personal and professional. In my work, I feel an obligation to ensure ExtraFood makes an impact on ending racism, in a way that is connected with our mission to help end hunger and food waste in Marin. That connection starts with this: Food justice is racial justice. Everyone in our community – every child, every senior, every family -- should have the food they need, yet a root cause of food insecurity for many is systemic racism. ExtraFood is addressing this by increasing equitable access to healthy, fresh food in Marin: redistributing some of the best excess food in the world and working with restaurants and caterers to provide freshly-made meals for people struggling with hunger.

And we know we can do more. We will:

ExtraFood is an organization by, of, and for our community. As a steward of your trust and support, I will continue to report to you on the contributions ExtraFood is making to our community’s growing antiracist imperative.

What is skin? Layers of tissue that work together as a system to cover and protect. More so now than ever, I see it is not the time to cover and protect myself, but to open my heart as we work together toward the day when all in our community have the food they need.




Marv Zauderer

Founder and Executive Director, ExtraFood.org


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2017 Award Recipient: Achievement in Nonprofit Excellence

Supported in part by:

Marin Community Foundation County of Marin The San Francisco Foundation