Dear Community Food Security Coalition community:
I am writing to let you know that after 16 years of leadership, collaboration, and groundbreaking work in the food justice movement, the Board of Directors and senior staff of the Community Food Security Coalition have made the difficult decision to begin transitioning our programs and services to our trusted partner organizations and coalition members and close current operations of the Community Food Security Coalition by the end of 2012.
The inspiring growth of the food movement in the last few years has brought a diverse range of extraordinary and highly skilled partner organizations to the movement, and grant funding has become more competitive. As several of our significant grants come to a close, we had to ask ourselves a tough question: What will best serve the movement? Should we compete for funding, or sow our work with great care back into the broader movement, where we know it will continue to grow.
At CFSC’s 2011 Annual Conference, one of our members referenced a book about movement building and the evolving model of organizations called “The Starfish and the Spider.” A spider, when you cut off one of its legs, becomes weaker. A starfish, on the other hand, when faced with the loss of a leg, regenerates another—and the first leg, off on its own, grows a new starfish. “Is CFSC a starfish or a spider?” we asked ourselves.
As a new leader within CFSC, I spent the last months in conversation with our membership and our leaders, contemplating our purpose and our role within the movement. Ultimately, our leadership came to the decision that the movement is best served by sunsetting CFSC’s operations, and embedding components of our work with trusted partner organizations. We are the starfish.
On behalf of CFSC, I humbly thank the hundreds of organizers, activists, staff and members who made this great organization a founding cornerstone of this vibrant movement.
As we implement our transition plans over the next few months, I encourage you to follow our blog to stay updated, and visit the FAQ page of our website for more information. I welcome your thoughts and ideas as we embark upon this next chapter together.
In great solidarity and with deep gratitude,
Miriam Barnard, Executive Director
with Darlene Wolnik, Chair, CFSC Board of Directors and the CFSC Board