Food Recovery and Security Engagement Fellow

Contact Info

Olivia Call

Livvy is the first Engagement Fellow for Food Access and Security. She is from Richmond and graduated from JMU in 2018 with a major in Dietetics. During her time in undergrad at JMU she also studied Spanish-English Translation and Interpretation, as well as Italian. She stayed very involved as an undergrad student as a member of the JMU club cross-country and track team for several years, and as a participant in the student organizations Food For Thought and GIVE Volunteers.  Her passions led her to co-founder and student leader of the Campus Kitchen at JMU, which is a food waste recovery operation that serves those who are food insecure in the community. She also served as a leader for two Alternative Weekend Breaks to farms. She attributes much of her personal development to the JMU Learning Centers, where she worked for three years with the Peer-Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) program as a PASS leader for General Chemistry II and Human Physiology, and then later as the Professional Development leader for the program.

        “There was also a food education/justice/sustainability thread that burgeoned during my time in undergrad. I took a semester off the fall of my sophomore year to first study sustainable farming at the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York, and then attend the Ballymaloe Cookery School near Cork, Ireland. The school was situated on an organic farm in southern Ireland, and introduced me to using cooking as a tool for sustainability and social change.  The following summer, I also studied food politics at the Morven Summer Institute through the University of Virginia. My junior year, I was also involved with the inaugural cohort of the Creative Fellows, and invested time in interdisciplinary collaboration and identify key areas of the Harrisonburg agricultural community with which JMU might engage. My senior year, I also began teaching after school cooking classes for underprivileged students of Harrisonburg High School through On The Road Collaborative.  To wrap up my undergrad experience, the spring of my senior year I received a Student Engagement Mini-Grant to host a sustainable and inclusive community meal that engaged JMU with the community. I brought together community organizers and local farmers to speak, and provided a free and accessible meal to ~120 university and community members. The meal almost exclusively used local, seasonal ingredients from many local farms and from the Friendly City Food Co-op.”

        Stepping into her new role, Livvy will be assessing food insecurity on campus through various means.  She plans to bring together JMU students, faculty and staff invested in this issue, and to be involved in establishing campus resources to address food insecurity based on identified needs.  Additionally, she will aid in strengthening the operations and community partnerships of the Campus Kitchen at JMU. Another aspect of her position will be to support the local community organizations that are currently addressing food insecurity, and to represent JMU as a resource to support their efforts.  She will be working out of the Community Service-Learning office, and is excited to deepen her understanding of broader social justice issues and community organizing through the lens of food.


The Position:

Livvy coordinates the Basic Needs Coalition, a cross-disciplinary and cross-departmental group dedicated to ensuring all JMU studentsbasic needs (housing, food, etc.) are met. Additionally, she presents to classes and student organizations to build awareness of food and housing insecurity.

The fellow must collaborate to identify and understand how to address current gaps in our institution's support services for students with basic needs insecurities.

They will also spend time connecting with community partners (Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, Our Community Place, Vine and Fig) as a representative of JMU to support greater food security in our community.

All the while actively participating in the Community Service-Learning office as part of the Professional Staff (this includes attending meetings with the team and contributing to office discussions).


The Basic Needs Access & Security Engagement Fellow must:

  • Have an interest or desire to learn more about food recovery and insecurity
  • Have the ability to manage multiple projects at once
  • Possess communication skills (via emails, meetings, presentations)
  • Have the ability to work collaboratively, and to make collective decisions
  • Have an understanding of social justice issues
  • Have an understanding of organizational structures and systems
  • Have prior experience serving in the Harrisonburg/Rockingham community (ideal, but not necessarily essential)

Back to Top