Ms. Ellen Olack smiling brightly with a bright green bunch of cilantro in her hand, standing a farm field with rows of green crops, and soft green rolling hills in the background, bright blue sky.  She is wearing a pink headwarmer, purple scarf, and blue jean jacket.
Ms. Ellen Olack, Food Access Program Manager, Fresh Approach

Fresh Approach, a San Francisco Bay Area non-profit focused on healthy food access,  faced the challenges that 2020 brought—the pandemic, soaring food insecurity, and thousands displaced by the historic California wildfires—and they did what few companies would be able to do—they shifted from food access work to emergency food relief. 

Addressing Hunger During Crisis
Speaker:  Ms. Ellen Olack, Food Access Program Manager, Fresh Approach
Tuesday, April 27th, 2021
12:30pm to 1:30pm Pacific Time
Online via Zoom (details below)

About the Topic

Learn how Fresh Approach was able to invest $2 million into small-scale farmers, deliver 80,000 boxes of farm fresh produce to families affected by COVID-19, and share 10,000 locally sourced meals to those displaced by wildfires.

About the Speaker

Originally from Mississippi, Ellen began her journey in food access as a grassroots organizer in the food desert of the Delta. She moved to California in order to earn her Masters in Environmental Policy from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. Ellen joined the Fresh Approach team in 2018 as a Program Coordinator and is now the East Bay Food Access Program Manager. She has always had a passion for gardening, cooking, and environmental justice.

Suggested Reading

Zoom Link

Link to Join: from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: Sustainability Speaker Series, Spring 2021

    Password Required:   IdeasHeal

Or iPhone one-tap :

    US: +16699006833„92687052609#  or +13462487799„92687052609#

Or Telephone:

        US: +1 669 900 6833  or +1 346 248 7799  or +1 253 215 8782  or +1 301 715 8592  or +1 312 626 6799  or +1 646 876 9923

    Meeting ID: 926 8705 2609

    Password for Phone: 192459570 (no participant ID, press # to bypass)

    International numbers available:

Please note:   We will be filming this lecture, so participants must consent to be filmed to participate.  We reserve the right to exclude disruptive participants.   


The Center for the Blue Economy is a research organization at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.  Our mission is to promote a sustainable ocean and coastal economy (the “Blue Economy”) through leadership in research, analysis, and education.  For questions contact: Rachel C. at or visit or call 831-647-4183 (must leave message and receive call back).