Kolu Zigbi, program director for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems at the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation, has spent 13 years working for a more vibrant, equitable and sustainable food system. She has supported organizations throughout the US to grow ecological farming, preserve land for low-income communities and spread urban agriculture. She has helped to link workers along the food supply chain, develop innovative distribution systems, popularize new ways of understanding food systems and diversify leadership.
Zigbi has used her platform as a funder to dismantle barriers to equitable food distribution through policy change and alternative models. She has collaborated with other funders on initiatives like Diversifying Leadership for Sustainable Food Policy, which built advocacy capacity in grassroots organizations, and EAT4Health, which united frontline community groups and national advocacy organizations. Zigbi also co-founded Community Food Funders, a philanthropic organizing project to inform, network and coordinate funders in New York City’s tri-state region.
Zigbi will use her Loeb Fellowship to explore food-oriented development that spans the rural-urban continuum and builds health and wealth within low-income communities internationally.