Just Food names interim director to permanent position

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Just Food, the Douglas County food bank, has named Aundrea Walker as its new permanent executive director, the organization announced Friday morning.

Walker was named interim executive director in June after former director Brett Hartford’s employment ended.

“Aundrea brings a wealth of experience to this role, having been an integral part of Just Food for the past eight years, most recently serving as the Impact Director and Interim Executive Director,” according to the release. “Her profound dedication to Just Food’s mission of eradicating hunger within our community, combined with her exceptional leadership qualities, positions her perfectly to lead the organization during a time when our community faces unprecedented levels of food insecurity.”

Walker said in the release that she is thrilled to step into the role and lead Just Food in its mission to combat hunger.

“Together, with the steadfast support of our incredible team, volunteers, board, and partners, we will continue our work to ensure that no one in our community goes without nutritious food,” Walker said in the release. “Food is one of many ways individuals can engage and stand in solidarity with their community. “

Just Food has seen some leadership turnover in the past year and a half.

Prior to Hartford, the previous permanent leader of Just Food, Elizabeth Keever, announced in March 2022 that she was taking a job at Heartland Community Health Center. From there, Just Food’s director of finance, Brett Salsbury, took over as interim director, but he departed in October 2022 to take a job back in his home town. Staff then reported to the board until Hartford took the helm after being announced as director in November 2022.

Just Food has broadened its network of community partnerships under Walker, “resulting in the creation of sustainable avenues for food distribution and empowering individuals and families towards sustained food security,” according to the release. “Her adeptness at fostering collaborations with local entities, governmental bodies, and community leaders has been pivotal in presenting a united front against hunger within our community.”

“Aundrea has consistently demonstrated a profound commitment to advancing our mission and making a positive difference in our community,” Jacki Becker, president of the Just Food Board of Directors, said in the release. “We are delighted that Aundrea will continue in this pivotal leadership role. Her forward-thinking, expertise, and unwavering determination to eliminate hunger will navigate Just Food as we work towards fostering a community that is both well-fed and equitable.”

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