About

Mission

To empower people to connect to food and their community by revitalizing urban spaces and building a resilient food culture.

Vision

We envision a strong network of communities centered around the cultivation of fresh, healthy food.

Our Staff

Katie Nelson, Executive Director

Katie has been an active participant in the Salt Lake City food justice scene since 2012, when she began volunteering with the Green Urban Lunch Box. Since joining the staff in 2014, Katie has been assisting our founder, Shawn Peterson, in establishing and growing both the Back-Farms and FruitShare programs from the ground up. Katie has extensive experience in grassroots program development, gleaning, and urban farming. She is delighted to step into her new role as Executive Director and aims to continue growing the food rescue and distribution efforts of the Green Urban Lunch Box, while supporting the organization’s capacity to empower people to grow their own food creatively.                                                                    

Contact: katie@gulb.org

Jenae Ridge, Development Director

Jenae grows her passions for health equity and community empowerment through her role at the Green Urban Lunch Box. Believing whole-heartedly in our mission, her purpose is to get you on board as well. With mid-west blood running through her veins, and a tangled web of experiences in the nonprofit food world, Jenae comes to the Green Urban Lunch Box with a big heart, lots of ideas, and a top notch work ethic.

Check out her blog.

Jessica Collette, Back-Farms Program Coordinator

Jessica has been interested in working at the junction of sustainable farming and food justice since spending a few years living in a rural midwestern community that was both a haven for organic farms and a food insecure region. She has worked in various settings, from a food pantry in northern Wisconsin to a homestead in mid-coast Maine to an educational garden in Moab, but her path eventually led her to Salt Lake City to work with the Green Urban Lunch Box. She has spent time working with most of GULB’s programs, but really found her place within Back-Farms. After two seasons spent teaching volunteers how to grow vegetable gardens, she is now working to balance both coordinating the program and working in the gardens. If you find yourself in one of Jess’ gardens, she’ll probably try and convince you that the most exciting garden delicacies are radish seed pods, okra, and nasturtium leaves.

Hannah Goggin, FruitShare Outreach and Communications VISTA
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Hannah is a recent graduate from Miami University, where she majored in Environmental Earth Science and Sustainability. Her interest in sustainable food systems comes from first hand experience growing up on a small farm in rural Ohio and working as an outreach intern with a local farmer’s market in college. Hannah believes that the biggest shifts in the food system will come from improving the system itself by increasing efficiency, minimizing waste and finding new ways to collaborate. Outside of work, Hannah loves to prepare new dishes featuring seasonal produce as well as explore her new home in Salt Lake City!

Gabrielle James, Community Resources Coordinator and Farm Hand

Gabrielle’s interest in local food production has grown and developed as she works towards finishing her Sociology degree. She is passionate about equitable access to fresh, culturally appropriate food and community education as means of empowerment. As a long time vegetarian she could talk endlessly about why we should be kind to worms and snails but firmly believes in the beauty of diversity in all aspects- including each of our unique relationships to food, which she believes are enriched by approaching our bodies with compassion and love. Gabrielle is excited to continue her education and personal development through Green Urban Lunch Box this season!

Rob Grant, Farm Instructor

Rob Grant is an Army veteran who has found fulfillment in working with plants and the soil. As a chef he has seen the value and benefit of locally sourced organic produce. While working with grape vines as a vineyard manager he developed a joy for working with plants, as they are more forgiving and less verbal than an over bearing boss. Rob hopes to combine his previous experience with the knowledge gained with Green Urban Lunch Box to grow tea and medicinal grade herbs for holistic healing practitioners while growing produce on a small micro community scale.

Ali Scheig, Farm Hand and Garden Leader
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Ali’s interest in the food system began in college in Southwest Colorado while working with her school to offer more local, sustainable, fair trade, and humane foods in the cafeterias. Ali’s areas of interest in the food system involve almost all aspects of it—growing food, cooking, waste management, and so on. She believes that the connection food brings to people in a community is extremely important. To learn more about the food system, she pursued an internship on an urban farm in St. Paul, MN which sparked a huge passion for connecting with community by growing food. Years later, Ali made her way to Salt Lake City and is so excited to be working within the Back-Farms and Small Farm Initiative programs with GULB this season!

Jon Tomkinson, Garden Leader
Jon Tompkinson Green Urban Lunch Box

A lifetime gardener and former landscaper, Jon found his deep interest in fresh and local food while living with a chef in a small beach town in Uruguay. The more research he did on sustainable agriculture, the more he saw links to loads of other issues he cares about such as environmentalism and food insecurity. When a position opened up with the Green Urban Lunch Box, he knew it was time to dedicate his energy to supporting the causes of this organization. Jon has a passion for cooking with local and seasonal ingredients, especially over a fire. 

Maile Kilmer, Harvest Leader

Maile is a student at Westminster College and found her passion for food sustainability and justice through studying Environmental Studies and working at the school’s organic garden. Growing up, her father and brother raised a huge, beautiful garden every season that always provided an array of vegetables, fruits and flowers. Maile strives to further her education in the field of regenerative agriculture and sees a hopeful future for a dramatic change in our current food system that provides ethical, fresh and healthy foods for all people.

Tucker Good, Farm Hand
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Tucker came into urban farming largely with an interest in reducing our environmental impact, but also became enthralled with the deep sense of community it creates. Growing up in rural Illinois surrounded by farms and gardens, he has since become determined to share the wonder and sense of accomplishment that growing our own food can bring. Adding his experience with GULB to his work running community gardens and farmers markets helps him to do just that in the fight for food justice and security in our communities. When not on the farm, Tucker enjoys playing music, taking photos, and hitting the road with his dog, Luna, and wife, Sam. 

Our Board

Megan Warren, Board Chair

Event Coordinator, University of Utah

Mary Mahony, Board Treasurer 

Retired, Back Farms participant

Nicole Taylor, Board Secretary

Teacher, The International School

Beth Clifford, Board Member

Superhero, Salt Lake City

Shawn Peterson, Board Member (and former Executive Director)

 Founder and Director, Association of Gleaning Organizations

Jenn Blum, Board Member

 

Marketing and Systems Specialist, Minduct