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Redwood Bark

Twelve seniors were presented with awards to recognize their commitment to being outstanding high school athletes (Photo by Zoe Gister).
Redwood senior athletes recognized in new venue celebration
Charlotte LacyMay 30, 2024

On May 20, senior athletes, parents and coaches gathered at Sam’s Anchor Cafe in Tiburon to recognize and celebrate the seniors committed...

Smiling and holding their floats, seniors make the most of their lunch.
Seniors stay a-float for senior week
Hannah HerbstMay 29, 2024

On Tuesday, May 28, after a long Memorial Day Weekend and with only twelve more academic days left of school, leadership kicked off Senior...

Boys’ varsity baseball marks history with first-ever state playoff victory
Boys’ varsity baseball marks history with first-ever state playoff victory
Will ParsonsMay 29, 2024

On May 28, the Giants’ varsity baseball team took on the Carmel Padres in the first Norcal state playoff game in the program’s history. The...

ExtraFood tackles the job to end food waste and hunger since 2013

Marin is the fourth wealthiest county in the Bay Area and yet a significant portion of its population is struggling with hunger, according to a recent study by SmartAsset. At the same time, a staggering amount of food is wasted daily. ExtraFood, a local organization operating across the Bay Area is helping to address this issue by running a food recovery program, rescuing fresh food from businesses that would otherwise discard it and instead redistributing it to those in need within the community.

ExtraFood is not just an organization, it’s a beacon of hope in the fight against waste and hunger in the Bay Area. Led by Executive Director Will Dittmar, it has a clear and compelling mission to end food waste and hunger in the Bay Area. Dittmar shared the inspiration behind this crucial initiative.

“30 percent of the food that we produce in this country is wasted. If food waste, globally, were its own country, it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gasses behind only the United States and China,” Dittmar said.

Along with hunger, global warming is a tremendous issue to tackle. The problem that ExtraFood faces is the ability to bring awareness to areas like Marin County which is a critical factor in reaching their goal.

“The reality is [Marin] is also quite inequitable, one of the most inequitable counties in the country. I think part of the challenge has been making sure folks who are very well-meaning, hardworking and care about their community understand the realities of their community. It’s a lot of work to build awareness,” Dittmar said.

Students and staff from San Pedro Elementary School receive boxes from an ExtraFood volunteer (Photo courtesy of ExtraFood).

At the heart of ExtraFood’s operations are its dedicated volunteers, who play a vital role in the donation process. Junior Stella Calhoun is an active contributor to the organization’s mission.

“​​I went once because I had to, but I fell in love with the sense of community they had there. I see a lot of poverty and food insecurity in Marin. Although it’s not something I struggle with, it’s happening in the community, so being able to help and be involved opened my eyes and I was able to be a part of a great experience. It felt good to be helping our community, so it turned into a routine for me,” Calhoun said.

The organization collaborates with many students around the county and hopes to enlighten them about the significant issues within the community. During the next few years, their goal is to reduce food insecurity within different communities. To achieve this goal in the future they are aiming to significantly reduce waste all over the Bay Area.

Student volunteer pushes a cart full of recovered food at the San Rafael Farmers Market to contribute to ExtraFood’s goal to end food waste (Photo courtesy of ExtraFood).

​​ “Effectively analyzing and utilizing our data to meet the needs of our recipient population, making sure they’re getting the right types of food, the right product so they can cook with at home, strengthening food programs at those nonprofit organizations and generally participating in a collective impact approach to strengthening our safety net,” Dittmar said.

The ExtraFood program is a step in the right direction to begin addressing food insecurity and food waste in the county. It also effectively interacts with teens to help raise awareness of the cause. To become an active part of the community of Marin, sign up here to become a volunteer at ExtraFood.

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About the Contributor
Scarlett Musgrove
Scarlett Musgrove is a sophomore and a cub reporter for the nonfiction class. She enjoys listening to music and in her free time she loves to spend time in the sun and at the beach.