Zach Lewis

’12 MA Urban Planning

“The urban planning program at San Jose State gave me the chance to take an idea and grow it into a nonprofit. It’s been the opportunity of a lifetime.”

The idea: find a way to address food access in Central San Jose and exploit the economic potential of converting vacant lots into urban farms. What started as a CommUniverCity project in collaboration with fellow SJSU students, faculty and community members grew into Garden to Table, a nonprofit dedicated to creating a replicable model for sustainable local food systems that takes advantage of underutilized resources in our neighborhoods. Native Floridian and Bay Area transplant Lewis serves as executive director, spearheading the mission to build community one garden/fruit tree at a time. “We have a really powerful model that can change the way food systems function,” he says, “and I am completely committed to making that vision a reality.”

Department: Urban Planning
College: College of Social Sciences

Photo: Thomas Sanders, ’15 MFA Photography

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