EATS welcomes Jenae Ridge as Executive Director beginning July 1, 2017. Jenae brings her passion for healthy food and experience working in the non-profit world to our growing organization.
Ever since Jenae realized her passion of community growth through food, she has thrown her heart and soul into the cause – both personally and professionally. Her journey began with a pursuit of a degree in Social Work at Michigan State University where she studied diversity and saw first-hand through field work the impact of food systems on cultures locally and in India. Combining social impacts with food systems, Jenae set her path, beginning with volunteering on farms in Hawaii and Utah and leading eventually to the Green Urban Lunch Box (GULB) in Salt Lake City. As an AmeriCorps VISTA working in development for GULB, Jenae helped the young non-profit put in systems for growth and was quickly promoted to FruitShare Coordinator where she oversaw a program that rescues locally grown food to ensure its best use, rather than going into landfills.
Jenae brings her multi-faceted experience to direct the growth of EATS within its mission to ensure every student in Park City has opportunities to develop lifelong healthy habits and access to fresh, nutritious, appealing food. Her strong knowledge of food systems and her experience developing programs, relationships and administrative protocols are an ideal fit for EATS at this stage of the organization. Jenae looks forward to joining EATS and says:
“I am excited to continue pursuing my passion for community growth through food. One thing that we all have in common is we need to eat, using this common thread, everyone in the community can be included and tied to one another. I was brought up on fast food and frozen dinners, only later in life did I find a connection to earth, food, and farmer. The happiness that came from that merging is what I am hoping to share with and inspire throughout the Park City/Summit County community.”
Growing up in a small farming community in Michigan, the smell of manure will forever remind Jenae of home. Living now in Utah with her fiancé, Andy, and dog, Fenn, Jenae enjoys traveling and exploring, hiking, biking, climbing, cooking/eating, dancing, volleyball, yoga/meditation – and causing a ruckus once in a while. Jenae and Andy are also expecting their first child in the Fall!