Welcome Danielle!

Danielle Goldfinger, Not Far From the Tree's new Interim Director, balances an apple on her head

Not Far From The Tree is thrilled to officially introduce our new Interim Director, Danielle Goldfinger. I sat down with Danielle to talk about her experiences in Toronto’s food community and her hopes for our organization. Here’s what she had to say…

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Heather: What filled your time before you joined the Not Far From the Tree team?

Danielle: Before this, I worked at The Stop Community Food Centre as the Events Coordinator.  I also spend a lot of time with my son, Moishe, who is three.

H: How did you connect with The Stop and  Toronto’s community food scene?

D: I worked internationally for about a year in Lagos, Nigeria doing work around AIDS, TB, and malaria. I studied International Development and thought that was where I wanted to be – but while I was there, I realized that a lot of the issues that communities were facing were things that I didn’t have personal experience with. So, it just felt there was a disconnect.

And then I realized that there were lots of issues in my own city that I wanted to get involved with. So when I got home, I Googled “community food Toronto,” because I always had an interest in food. The Stop came up, and I thought, “This place is so cool! Why have I never heard of this? Oh yah, because I’ve been focusing on international work!”

So, I started volunteering with The Stop in their drop-in centre. Then a job opened up in their fundraising team. I  had a bit of experience in fundraising, and I got the job. It was a short-term contract that turned into something permanent, and I stayed there for almost six years.

H: Oh, lovely! And then, what drew you to Not Far From The Tree?

D: What I love the most about Not Far From The Tree is that there is a problem in the city – there is so much fruit currently growing in the city that is not getting used – and then there is – well, I won’t say it’s a simple solution, because I can see the work that goes into coordinating it – but there is a solution to the problem. It’s one idea. I love that the folks who have worked here have never veered away from that core idea.

H. Yah, the focus.

D: Exactly. The focus has been there from the beginning, and I believe it will continue to be there, as long as trees need picking.

H: And what are some of your plans or hopes as the new Interim Director?

D: Well, I hope that I can do as great a job as Laura (Not Far From The Tree’s founder) has done for so many years! She is wonderful and brilliant and charming, and so I want to do her proud. I want to continue in the vein that she has taken this organization.

In terms of work, I have a bunch of experience in fundraising, and I hope to create a really achievable fundraising plan for myself and the organization. I want to get some new grants, and I want to work on individual giving and corporate donors. I think there are a lot of people who are really interested in what we’re doing and want to support what we’re doing.

H: Is there one or two things that you’re especially excited about for joining the Not Far From The Tree team?

D: There are probably more than two! But I’m excited to work with such a dynamic team of people. And I’m excited to eat lots of fruit.

H: Which brings me to my final question! If you were on a deserted island, with only three fruit trees, what trees would you want them to be?

D: Mango. Because I cannot get a good mango in this city. I just don’t eat mangoes here. But If I’m overseas and happen to be in a place where they grow mangoes, it’s like “Ohhh, that’s a mango.” So, mangoes.

H: I feel that way about bananas.

D: Oh, I don’t really like bananas. But bananas are really good for you, so they might actually go on the list.

H: Oh no! I’m biasing you!

D: Seriously. So, mangoes, peaches, and apples – because apples store really well. Very practical!

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