Hannah Sobel

bio pic       My name is Hannah, and I have been thrilled to participate in the 2013 Practical Visionaries Workshop Field Project. I am a graduate student at Tufts, pursuing a dual-degree MA in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning, and MS in Food Policy and Applied Nutrition. My interests and passions lie in discovering the connection between sustainable environments and community development within the context of food production and consumption.
       In speaking to my life before moving to Boston in fall of 2012, my eclectic background reveals itself. For the past few years I have worked primarily in the specialty coffee world, first as a barista in Toronto, Ontario and most recently doing production work for my dad’s coffee roasting business in Cleveland, Ohio. I ended up in Canada after studying at the University of Toronto, where I majored in religion and semiotics. It was in Toronto where my interest in environmental and urban issues coalesced around food. I spent a great deal of my spare time volunteering with Toronto food organizations, community kitchens, and urban agriculture projects. My involvement with urban agriculture in Toronto spurred me to pursue an internship on an organic farm in Berkshire County, Massachusetts during the summer of 2009. I became interested in community engagement with environmental sustainability after spending the summer of 2011 as an environmental educator on a cycling and performing tour with The Otesha Project, a Canadian non-profit. Through each of these experiences I witnessed how communities can be formed around growing, sharing, and cooking healthy food.
       When I’m not busy being a student, I work part time as a barista and as the assistant marketing and low-income CSA coordinator for World PEAS CSA. I have also worked as an intern at the City of Boston’s Office of Food Initiatives, and am currently working with a Tufts professor on municipal food truck policy research.