Following Up On Our Previous Board Statement About Leadership Change

Food First Board of Directors | 06.29.2020

The board of directors of Food First believes deeply in the organization’s mission to end the injustices that cause hunger through research, education and action. The importance of Food First’s work has become even more urgent since the COVID-19 pandemic hit and our focus is on expanding the impact of what we do to meet this historic moment of uncertainty, hardship and societal change. Each person on the board has demonstrated their commitment both to the organization’s mission and the consistent engagement with staff to ensure the fulfillment of our mission.

The notice of the recent resignation of Food First’s Executive Director, Dr. Jahi Chappell, raised a concern brought to the board’s attention regarding the organization’s functioning and future, which we want to address. Like many small communitybased non-profit organizations, Food First benefits greatly from the involvement of engaged, proactive and passionate volunteers who provide valuable skills, experience, expertise and relationships to help achieve our program goals, meet our operational objectives, secure adequate budget resources and sustain our impact. The role of board member at any non-profit organization represents the highest level of volunteer service a person can provide and the members of Food First’s board of directors are no exception. 

Our appreciation for the service and effort that Dr. Chappell provided to Food First during his tenure is genuine. Clearly, the board of directors bears the ultimate responsibility for the organization with a legal and fiduciary duty which we take very seriously. We want to remind all of our constituents, partners and friends that while we cannot comment publicly on personnel matters or other related internal issues, Food First remains strong. In fact, the board is excited to welcome new board members who bring critical skills and experience as we move forward with enhanced energy to address the challenges of this moment with a focus on the future.

The board appreciates that every organization needs to change in order to grow, including assuming new and different roles. At the same time continuity is needed during tough times. We want to assure all our partners and friends that Food First always  functions within the laws that govern nonprofit organizations.

We remain grateful for the generosity of our many donors and numerous collaborations with valuable community partners who work hard every day to bring food justice to families and communities. We will provide updates as we make progress in the search for our next executive director and will keep our friends informed of ways they can continue to contribute to the fulfillment of our mission.

Thank you,

Food First Board of Directors

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