Lisa Barden is the Executive Director for Keep Austin Fed, a food rescue nonprofit organization with a mission of reducing hunger and helping the environment by connecting surplus food with neighbors in need. Over ten years after this grassroots effort was founded, Barden became the first paid employee of the organization, and over the next few years, rapidly grew the operations by adding many food contributors and increasing the reach by doubling the number of recipient partner organizations. Juggling the schedules of food businesses, nonprofit recipient organizations, and hundreds of volunteers to do the individual food rescues, Keep Austin Fed has redistributed over 6 million pounds of wholesome surplus food, keeping it out of the landfill and getting it to their community facing food insecurity. In 2017, Barden co-organized the first Feeding the 5000 event in Texas, a global campaign designed to bring awareness to the needlessness of food waste by preparing a delicious communal meal for 5000 people made entirely out of food that would have otherwise ended up in the waste stream. She currently serves as Vice Chair for the Austin Travis County Food Policy Board.
Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.