Dear ExtraFood Community,
As I watched ExtraFood’s volunteers, at Nugget Market in Corte Madera, rescue our 5 millionth pound of food for vulnerable children, seniors, and families, a Nugget employee (I’ll call him George) approached me. “I want you to know,” he said, “I used to be on the receiving end of food donations when I was growing up in Marin. That’s why this work with ExtraFood is so important to me, and it’s why I make sure we set aside everything we can for you.”
Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, who marched arm-in-arm with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. from Selma to Montgomery, said, “The higher goal of spiritual living is not to amass a wealth of information, but to face sacred moments.” For me, that moment with George was a sacred moment. The circle was unbroken.
As my remaining time at ExtraFood grows shorter, and as I look back on these eight years of our work, I remember the day when we founded ExtraFood. I remember how I felt: shocked, by the extent of hunger in Marin and by the massive impact of food waste on the climate crisis; nervous, having never founded an organization; excited, by the twin challenges of leading a movement to transform Marin’s food system -- from wasting food to donating it -- and filling a gap between those who have food and those who need it.
Through these years, I have been guided, above all, by a single principle, a single commitment, a single word: Community. ExtraFood, then and now, is community-based and community-building. That has meant being blessed with an amazing staff and Board that shares our values. It has meant seeing our staff form, nurture, and appreciate an incredible volunteer team: 750+ volunteer “food runners” so far, with a frequent waitlist. It has meant having the honor of standing at the nexus of many rivers of generosity flowing from our generous funders during these sometimes dark times. And, most importantly, it has meant seeing our team create a powerful network of food donor and food distribution partners, focus on supporting and expanding Marin’s safety net to be more effective in its work, and, most importantly, working together to understand the needs of the most vulnerable in our community, needs that are the starting point for everything we do. Each and every one of you has my deepest gratitude for helping us reach this milestone.
As I look ahead, the future is bright for ExtraFood. I am proud to be part of such an inspiring, collaborative coalition of people and partners: hundreds of organizations and thousands of people working with ExtraFood to serve those among us who are struggling, to increase equitable access to fresh food, and to help heal our planet. Food waste and hunger are solvable problems in Marin, and this extraordinary community is rising up to solve them.
Dr. King spoke often of the Beloved Community, his vision of a time when all people will share in our abundance. May we all bring that time in this community.
Founder and Executive Director
Thank you to the ExtraFood community for helping us reach this milestone. We couldn't have done it without YOU.
Volunteers Kathy and Josh rescued our 5 millionth pound of food from Nugget Markets in Corte Madera and delivered it to Marin Community Clinics in San Rafael.
Hunger. Food Waste. Climate Change.
Help us fight all three.
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