Celebrity chef Duskie Estes, the very public face of Healdsburg food-justice nonprofit Farm to Pantry, has decided to step down as the org’s executive director at the end of this month. “It is critical that devote my time to my family at this time,” she wrote in an email to the org’s followers last week, adding: “It will be nice to have focused time with my family, but fighting food injustice is a part of me. So, you can guarantee I will still be out there and staying connected to Farm to Pantry, which will always hold a special place in my heart. This is not a goodbye but an unfolding of a new chapter of involvement, more from the sidelines as a coach and cheerleader.” The org is now searching for a new executive director, according to the Press Democrat. Farm to Pantry oversees teams of volunteers who harvest surplus fruits and veggies that are about to go to waste at local farms, which then gets distributed to people in need. In her four years as head of Farm to Pantry, the PD reports that Duskie has increased the number of yearly harvests, or “gleans,” from less than 100 to around 1,200, and added 310 farms to the lineup — bringing in around 1.6 million pounds of food in that time. She also started up some programs for local kids, to help educate them and get them excited about fresh, healthy food. In her goodbye email, Duskie encouraged the community to continue donating and supporting her beloved nonprofit. “My wish is to see Farm to Pantry continue to grow and thrive,” she wrote. “Thank you for making sure no one has to go hungry amidst abundance.” (Source: Farm to Pantry & Press Democrat; paywall)

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Simone Wilson was born and raised in Healdsburg, CA, where she was the editor of the Healdsburg High School Hound's Bark. She has since worked as a local journalist for publications in San Diego, Los Angeles, New York City and the Middle East. Simone is now a senior product manager and staff writer for the Healdsburg Tribune.


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