CAE welcomes Nora Leccese: our Emerson Hunger Fellow!

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Posted: September 11, 2014

We would like to welcome Nora Leccese, who hails from Boulder Colorado. Nora will be working with us for 5 months, as an Emerson Hunger Fellow, on project which helps us to match our infrastructure here in Hardwick to  the larger charitable food system across the state.Nora Leccese

Nora helped to start Boulder Food Rescue, a non profit in CO which advances the sustainable redistribution of food “waste” to agencies that feed hungry, homeless, and low-income populations while educating communities about food justice. Nora, an avid cyclist herself, and a crew of her friends were cycling foods which would otherwise be wasted around Boulder, delivering to food pantries and more. Once the idea grew, so did the organization! Nora will be helping the CAE work with the Vermont Foodbank to find efficiencies and sustainable methods to process vegetables, aggregate rescued foods, and more. Her work in particular starts from the local food pantry level first; so she’ll get to know the Hardwick area and our local system here as well. Here’s some more info about Nora!

 1. The Emerson Program focuses on hunger, poverty and social justice. Tell us what fires you up about this work?
Nothing makes me more mad than seeing food wasted. How can we waste food when so many folks need it?! I find the answer in economics, which I use as a lens to understand why inequality exists in our society and what we can do about it. Essentially, I get really fired up about graphs!

2. You’re from Colorado. What’s your first impression of Vermont?

Coloradans and Vermonters seem to have a lot of bumper stickers in common (“imagine whirled peas,” “Wag More, Bark Less” ect)

3. What experience sticks in your mind as a moment when you got inspired to work on hunger issues?

In Colorado I helped organize big meals with Food Not Bombs, which serves vegetarian food for free in public places around the country. At the first meal I attended people brought instruments and there were kids running around everyone who ate was helping with the dishes. Basically, some top notch community building was going on, and all we had done was serve a free meal. I was totally struck by the power food has to bring people of different class backgrounds together, and have been hooked ever since.

4. If you could change one thing about the world that children of today will inherit, what would it be?

Make sure that every kid feels secure that their next meal will not only exist, but that it will be healthy and delicious. And maybe cut into dinosaur shapes, but that’s pretty ambitious.
5. If you were a fruit or vegetable, what would you be?
A beet for sure! I golden beet if I feel fancy….



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