Leccesse headshot

Emerson Fellow

Nora Leccese

21st Class, 2014-2015

Field Placement: Center for an Agricultural Economy (Hardwick, VT)

Nora assessed how local food infrastructure such as cold storage and processing facilities might better serve the needs of emergency food organizations (e.g. food banks, pantries, and congregate meal sites), with the goal of increasing access to fresh food for low-income Vermonters. She researched innovative models for regional farm surplus management and created the roadmap for a partnership to maximize the amount of fresh produce Vermont can source, process, and distribute through the charitable food system.

Hunger Free Community Report:

The Harvest Process catalogues case studies of processing projects within charitable food organizations around the country. Nora synthesized the information from the case studies and identified recommendations for the Vermont Foodbank to construct a financially viable model to preserve agricultural surplus.

Policy Site Placement: Presbyterian Church, USA (Washington, DC)

Nora worked with the Office of the Public Witness to educate and activate Presbyterians about root causes of poverty. She designed curriculum and educational resources on three primary areas of focus: access to education, mass incarceration, and economic inequality.

Pre-Fellowship Education and Experience:

Originally from Boulder, Colorado, Nora graduated from the University of Colorado in 2014, with a degree in economics and a focus on community leadership. Nora helped found Boulder Food Rescue, a national organization that uses bicycle power to redistribute produce that would otherwise go to waste from grocery stores to homeless, food insecure, and low income individuals. She has conducted research on worker owned cooperatives in Argentina and was a lead organizer in a campaign to divest Colorado University from the fossil fuel industry. She was an Americorps UCAN Serve Education Award Recipient for completion of 1200 hours community service.