Many Slow Food Los Angeles members and friends first heard of Emily Ventura, the chairperson of our Social Action committee, in connection with our chapter’s participation in Slow Food USA’s Time For Lunch campaign. Emily not only managed volunteer organizers at all six of the Los Angeles-area Eat-Ins but also took the lead role in coordinating the largest of them, held at the Milagro Allegro Community Garden in Highland Park. Emily efficiently, tirelessly, and pleasantly worked with the board and volunteers of the Milagro Allegro Community Garden, Homegirl Cafe, her colleagues at the USC Childhood Obesity Research Center, management and staff at Whole Foods Arroyo Parkway, and Slow Food Los Angeles volunteers.
Others have read of Emily’s efforts to bring nutrition education to working families though the Los Angeles Times’ “Pantry Raid” feature (see here and here and here) and of her role in developing the L.A. Sprouts program for 4th- and 5th-grade students at the Loreto Elementary School.
So it is with pride and affection that we share the news that Emily is about to embark on an exciting journey that will take her away from Slow Food Los Angeles, at least for the remainder of 2010. For the rest of the year, as a Fulbright fellow, Emily will be engaged in a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy. Co-founded by Slow Food International, the UNISG brings together undergraduate and graduate students from around the world to study academic and practical issues related to the business and culture of food. Although we will miss Emily, we’re already looking forward to her return to Los Angeles with a wealth of information and experience.
To shrink the distance between Los Angeles and the UNISG campus, and to let us learn vicariously, Emily has graciously agreed to share stories from her travels with us. We’ll post her updates and photos, and invite you to share your questions with her via the comments section on her posts.
Buona fortuna e buono viaggio, Emily!