For far too long, food insecurity has been stigmatized in our communities. Those affected are often left out of decision-making and have been isolated by inequitable policies and practices. We believe access to food is the backbone of thriving economies and communities, and no one deserves to live without it.
Since our inception, Activate Food Arizona and Farm Express mobile markets have been on a mission to provide better access to healthy, affordable food for Arizona community members in both urban and rural regions of our state.
But the work we do goes beyond simply the sourcing and delivery of fresh, affordable food. Our larger, overarching goal is to ensure all individuals have the ability to make their own food decisions and to, in turn, build more connected and united communities across Arizona.
At Activate Food Arizona, we’ve already served nearly 60,000 individuals and families in the state. As proud as we are about the difference we’re making, we know there is plenty more work to be done, and we won’t rest until all Arizonans have equitable access to the food they deserve.
MEET OUR TEAM
Click on a Team Member’s Photo for More Information
Executive Director, she/her
Elyse's earliest food memories involve family and connection with community. It is these memories that propelled her to work in public health, ensuring all communities have opportunities to thrive, to connect with each other, and to access to healthy food. Her work experience includes health policy planning and development as well as local food system advocacy. As Executive Director, she works with local and regional partners to create thriving food systems across Arizona.
Program Director, she/her
Casey began working in food and food justice as a farm worker on several small-scale organic farms in California and Arizona. Agriculture led to a passion for cooking, which began an almost decade-long career as a pastry chef and program manager for a variety of restaurants and cafés. As Program Manager of Farm Express, she blends her experience from many different facets of the modern food system to benefit Farm Express communities.
Alisa's industry expertise includes workforce and economic development, higher education, including university and community college policy, and commercial real estate development advocacy. On behalf of Activate Food Arizona and the Farm Express mobile market program, Alisa provides leadership support and administrative consulting to organization management and staff.
Sales Associate, he/him
Jacob Pettinato is an Arizona native from Mesa and has worked in the Valley for the past 10 years. As a working musician, Jacob spent years working retail and restaurant jobs until he decided he wanted to do more for his community. In Fall 2020, he joined forces with Farm Express to give back and provide all community members access to healthy, affordable food. Whether driving a bus or serving customers, Jacob is committed to doing his part for the Farm Express community.
Sales Associate, she/her
Lilly May started serving in restaurants at age 14, which led to her becoming the talented cook and bartender she is today. Having to put a hold on both jobs as a result of the pandemic, she leaned into what was once a hobby, canning and distributing preserves and pickles. She works hard to accommodate any allergies, sensitivities, aversions, and price points, which translates well to her work with Farm Express, ensuring everyone has access to high-quality produce.
Sales Associate, he/him
Aaron Valdivia was born and raised in San Diego, California. He has 11 years of experience of working with produce. In the summer of 2021 Aaron joined the Farm Express team. He is happy to help customers with any questions they might have and any recommendations they may need.
Community Outreach Coordinator and Sales Associate, she/her
Howdy y’all, I’m Coco. Arizona native. Been in the service industry for 15 years with my experience ranging from sales associate to Restaurant manager. In November 2021, I jumped at the chance to join the Farm Express Team. I have a passion for food, especially fresh fruit and vegetables. Having grown up in a food desert, I’m grateful to be part of a team dedicated to promoting healthy options to the communities of PHX. Cheers friends! Hope to see you at one of our Farm Express sites in the community!
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Lloyd Ramsey, Board Chair
Global Engineering Leader,
Sara Dial, Board Treasurer
Principal, Sara Dial & Associates
Vice President and Associate General Counsel of Litigation and Compliance, TPI Composites, Inc.
Dr. Christine Bracamonte Wiggs
Director, Community Development & Health Advancement, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona
Director of Community Relations,
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