New Executive Director joins CSF team

Dear CSF Community,

My name is Kelly and I’m the new Executive Director at City Slicker Farms. I hope that this finds you and your loved ones healthy and safe during this difficult time. I wish that I were reaching out to invite you to a celebration at the Farm Park where we could meet in person, but for now I wanted to reach out and introduce myself and tell you a bit about what we’re up to. I’m so excited to join the CSF team and to get to know the wonderful community that has supported this organization for almost twenty years! I myself have lived in West Oakland, just a few blocks from the Farm Park, for only about seven years, but I have known about and admired CSF since I moved to the Bay Area from Washington DC almost a decade ago. It is an honor to be part of the CSF family and to connect with the community in this way, but I know I have a lot to learn and I’m so excited to get started.

As part of my transition into this role, we are working on re-grounding ourselves in CSF’s mission and vision and determining what our priorities will be in the coming years and during this current health crisis.

Our world is in crisis. Unemployment has skyrocketed. Hunger is increasing and food banks are struggling to keep up with the surge in demand. There is suffering and uncertainty.

Covid-19 may be new, but to many in our communities, food insecurity, unemployment and housing insecurity are not new. City Slicker Farms has always worked in places where healthy fresh produce is too expensive or out of reach. As we meet this moment, we draw on two decades of experience helping our community members access healthy food. We’ve built more than 300 gardens, mentored families and community groups in their gardens all around the East Bay, and grown thousands of pounds of food to share with our neighbors, historically through a pay-what-you-can farmstand.

For the last two decades, City Slicker Farms has been a leader in urban farming and food justice in Oakland and beyond. In these challenging times, we carry on doing this work. We are increasing support to all the members of our garden program through supplies (such as seeds, seedlings and compost) and garden mentorship, and we are expanding our urban farming operation at the West Oakland Farm Park, where we’ll work with community partners to make sure that food goes where it is needed most.

We are continually working on ways to best support the community, increase access to nutrient-dense vegetables and celebrate the creativity, resiliency and spirit of West Oakland. I’m looking forward to connecting with all of you during this new season of grounding and re-growth.

In community,

KEF Sign.jpg

Kelly ErnstFriedman
Executive Director, City Slicker Farms

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