WV Food & Farm Coalition Program Manager
Savanna joins the Hub after four years of community development and nonprofit work in West Virginia. She originally came to the state to serve for two years as a VISTA Leader with the Appalachian Coal Country Watershed Team, supporting community development and water quality projects throughout eight Appalachian states. She later became projects coordinator at a West Virginia nonprofit, designing, implementing and managing three new job training programs in weatherization, home energy efficiency assessment and urban landscaping.
Savanna has been involved in supporting local foods and agricultural systems throughout her career. While completing her degree at Harvard University, Savanna conducted thesis research on the sustainable agriculture practices of the Landless Workers Movement, traveling throughout northern and northeastern Brazil to interview farmers, extension agents and political figures in the food system.
In West Virginia, Savanna helped to found the Fayette County Farmers Market, which now has four weekly locations, and has managed that market for four seasons. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the West Virginia Farmers Market Association. She helped produce the Appalachia filming tour of The Greenhorns, a soon-to-be released documentary on young farmers in the U.S., and has shaped a multitude of other projects including a mini-grants program for high tunnel construction and an urban bioremediation volunteer program in post-Katrina New Orleans.
Through her work with the Hub Savanna will provide logistical and technical support to build the WV Local Food Coalition and assist local communities and food producers in the organization of local food systems. This project will address the challenge of developing local food systems in regions across West Virginia that can provide healthy locally grown and produced food to all citizens, but most specifically to low income families.