Green.Org listens to June Ross, the founder and CEO of Esther Community Enterprise, to hear more about how her nonprofit is helping divert food waste from landfills while helping feed her community.
Tell us a little bit about your background.
“I am the Founder & CEO of Esther Community Enterprise (ECE), the largest Black-led consortium of Foodbanks in the United Kingdom. Our non-profit organization feeds more than 50,000 people a week with numbers increasing monthly. Recently, I launched my own his & hers brand of fragrances called ‘J’Delle’ which is an intergenerational brand.
As a single mum of 2, I am very much in touch with the complexities of single parenting which has been the driving force in all that I do. l would describe myself as a social butterfly who supports justice and fairness. ‘Everyone needs to eat…no one should go hungry’ it’s a basic need for humanity.
I became very concerned about the amount of surplus food and other consumables being diverted to landfill sites which could otherwise benefit others, so I decided to do something about it. My charitable organisation has been running for the last 20 years with the support and selfless work of our army of volunteers. I have been honored to receive awards from the late Queen of England – Elizabeth ll on two separate occasions for my non-profit organization. This was a defining moment for me and one that l will never forget. I am very passionate about supporting and championing others to succeed, especially those who are marginalized or disadvantaged.”
What would you do with $1 billion dollars?
“I would use 70% to roll out and implement Esther Community Enterprise’s framework and infrastructure on a global level. This would ensure that communities would have their basic needs met by those familiar with their own social cohesion and lifestyles. In addition to this, l would support sustainable and ethical business practices by investing in companies that prioritize sustainability and corporate social responsibility.
I would use 10% to invest in the next generation by partnering with educational programs that encourage taking ownership, awareness, and environmental responsibilities. The other 10% would be allocated to volunteers who I believe are the ‘unsung heroes’ that keep the globe spinning. ‘Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they’re worthless, but because they’re priceless’
With the remaining 10%, I would ensure that those closest to me would receive financial support to make their dreams become a reality.”
Why do you think sustainability is such an important topic today?
“Sustainability is an important topic today because it impacts the fabric of society and our global living space. Clean air, promoting human well-being, ensuring economic stability, and addressing complex global challenges are just a few of the factors to consider. It represents a holistic approach to development that seeks to balance the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
What do you envision your industry looking like in ten years?
“Farming and growing your own food will be top of the list for many households that seek a sustainable and economical way of bringing communities together.”