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The Future of Food Shift: A Letter from Our Founder

Dear Food Shift Community,

After dedicating much of my life over the past eight years to Food Shift, I want you to be among the first to know of my decision to transition out of my role as Executive Director by the end of 2019. This has been an incredible journey and it’s a joy to reflect on our impact, and the abundance of love and support along the way. 

When I decided to launch Food Shift in 2011, food waste was a hidden topic – rarely discussed even in the Bay Area. In fact, that year, I attended a three-day sustainable food conference at Fort Mason in San Francisco at which no one was speaking about the fact that we were wasting nearly half our food! At that same event, untouched food from the farm to table dinner was being dumped. This was my call to action, illustrating a massive gap in the ecosystem, and I immediately began my proposal to launch Food Shift. 

From designing two years of public transit ads for BART, to tabling at farmers markets each week, to speaking at 50+ events each year, to petitioning the EPA to adopt a food waste toolkit, and co-hosting the Zero Food Waste Forum and Feeding the 5000 – we made some noise, and helped catalyze a movement! 

As people, businesses, and institutions came on board – recognizing this problem as an opportunity, Food Shift moved toward demonstrating collaborative solutions; a school food recovery program and guide; a pilot that showed that food recovery and donation saves businesses money; a report to guide food recovery strategy; and finally, The Food Shift Kitchen social enterprise involving food recovery, job training, and catering. 

I am proud of what we have accomplished together, and by how far the movement has come. In these times of climate crisis and widespread social inequity, our collective efforts that inspire a more just and regenerative way forward are needed. As I create space to explore my future contributions in these areas, I truly believe that new leadership, with fresh ideas, energy, and resources can strengthen Food Shift’s impact. 

I am working closely with staff, advisors, and Earth Island Institute to prepare for this transition and am confident that the strength and stability of our team, relationships, budget, and programs will ensure a bright and productive future for Food Shift. We will release a formal announcement in June and welcome your support with the search to find Food Shift’s next passionate and inspired leader. 

I am excited by the opportunities that lie ahead for Food Shift and am so grateful to all of you – partners, donors, mentors, friends, and supporters who have made this work possible. Each one of you has a special place in my heart, and in the story of Food Shift. Thank you, and stay tuned for exciting updates about our impact in the year ahead! 


Dana M. Frasz

Founder & Executive Director, Food Shift 


Dana transitioned out November 15, 2019. Learn about Yuka Nagashima, Food Shift’s new Executive Director here.

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