I'm inspired by the people we serve. When I started working with Keep Austin Fed, I knew how much food waste there was and that's really what got me started, but then when I actually started meeting the people we distribute the food to, it was what really kept me going. And really what brings out the passion in it.
Becoming the executive director of Keep Austin Fed was not the original path Lisa Barden embarked upon. After all, she spent over 20 years in the information technology industry and two years in the fitness industry. It wasn’t until April of 2015 when Lisa watched the documentary Just Eat that everything changed.
Astounded by the prevalence of food insecurity and the vast amount of perfectly good food that gets thrown away, she immediately signed up to volunteer at Keep Austin Fed. In the first 18 months, Lisa volunteered over 300 hours and personally rescued over 25,000 pounds of food, redistributing it to thousands of our neighbors that regularly face food insecurity.
She became Keep Austin Fed’s first ever paid employee, and her passion and dedication to the cause eventually led to her role today as the organization’s executive director. With her background in growing small businesses and entrepreneurial endeavors, Lisa helps this grassroots organization remain sustainable in the face of huge opportunities and challenges.