Support Good Food and Our Local Food System

Friends of Edible Island,

As fall rolls around, so do annual appeal letters. We appreciate the support of our local and farther afield friends in our first handful of Edible Island years. For those of you who’ve supported us in the past, you share the credit for all the school lunches and culinary classes, Magic Bus runs, food pantry samples, and Good Food-based community events like “Men Who Cook”. For those of you who will join us for the first time, welcome and thanks. Each year the demand for our programs has grown. While some of our work is self-sustaining, much still relies on your generous help. We hope you’ll include Edible Island in your giving.

You’d be hard pressed to find an organization that can stretch a dollar like we can. With a small staff and a small budget, we have earned our chops through well-chosen collaborative efforts that let us tremendously leverage our work. As you read our newsletter, think about how much we do with just over the equivalent of two full-time people. That’s the power in our combining carefully crafted, replicable, scalable programs with strong collaboration. We now have several schools on the Blue Hill Peninsula asking for our help to bring culinary programs into their schools.

This summer we lost our founder, Ingrid Bengis-Palei. But we haven’t lost our direction at all. Over the last year, working hand-in-glove with Ingrid, we’ve strengthened our Board, adding new members and skills. What we all have in common is that Ingrid reeled in each of us because we are doers. We all share Ingrid’s drive to promote Good Food and her belief in the incredible value in the local food system. We are also saddened by the recent death of Lynn Verhey, our Treasurer. Lynn brought an unflappable demeanor and calm voice of practicality and reason to our Board. We miss them both.

With generous support last year, this spring we added two excellent part-time staffers. This frees up some of Wes’s time for exploring new potential arenas for Edible Island’s next development phase. It’s too soon to talk about that in any detail, and once we settle on these, you’ll be the first to hear about our proposed initiatives.

Over the summer, we engaged Michael Leviton to work with us to craft a new strategic path. Not only is he a standout chef, but he’s also served as Board Chair of Chefs Collaborative, a national nonprofit network of chefs committed to local foods and fostering a sustainable food supply. He’s a member of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Blue Ribbon Task Force and the James Beard Foundation’s Chef Action Network. His long-time relationship with Ingrid and our community makes him an ideal colleague as we chart our future course. This has already proved to be a tremendously good use of resources for Edible Island.

As we look ahead to 2018, our short-term aim is to see our programs’ impact expanding regionally through new collaborations and our longer-term goals involve expanding awareness of our local resources and positioning them at the center of a local food system to grow and sustain our communities and regional economy. With your support and carefully chosen partnerships with like-minded organizations, we will continue to work at the nexus of Good Food and our local food system to have positive economic, social, environmental, and wellness impacts here on the island and beyond.

Your help continues to be critical at this transitional time in Edible Island’s history. We hope you enjoy reading the newsletter and take pride in seeing the impact of your support in our community.

Thanks for your support and we look forward to seeing to you at our 2018 slate of classes and events.

Susan Toder

Board Chair

Wes Norton

Executive Director

P.S. Your gift will extend Good Food education and improve food security through greater access to local food.

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