Elizabeth Kemp started to cook for seasonal migrant vineyard workers out of temporary trailers next to St. Leo’s Catholic Church, and eventually co-led Sonoma Overnight Support.
Maité Iturri, a tri-lingual former principal, launched Food for All/Comida para Todos to supply and deliver basic needs to the Springs community and beyond.
Duskie Estes, a chef and Food Network star whose restaurant was flooded out, joined Farm to Pantry to distribute fresh produce to the hungry among us.
And Sonoma’s Haystack Farm started to grow 14 acres of produce just to give away.
What was going on?
Sonoma Valley is known as a lush, beautiful Valley of bucolic vineyards, big houses and refurbished little resort cottages, corporate leaders in hillside homes with views of San Francisco, and gourmet grocery stores and restaurants.
The Valley is also home to the people who work in the vineyards, build fences, clean hotel bathrooms, and many of whom lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are also retirees on fixed incomes that don’t keep up with the pace of inflation, and those who are unable to work from physical or psychological injury.
With the rising costs of everything in 2021, we have many neighbors with low-paying but demanding jobs who still can’t afford to house and feed their families. They are left with the unenviable position of paying for rent, or paying for food.
In many ways, we have two Sonomas – the one depicted in the brochures, and the one based in reality, where families are hungry and increasingly reliant on the support of our many nonprofits.
Continue reading on Sonoma Index-Tribune.