Elle Mari is the Director of Urban Food Environments at the Center for Community Health. Elle conducts applied community research and implements projects to improve the urban food environment in San Diego. Specifically, she directs the Live Well Community Market Program that aims to improve and promote access to healthy affordable foods by working with small neighborhood markets and community stakeholders. Elle is also an urban agriculture advocate and provides guidance to several local food system groups, projects, and policies in San Diego. Most recently, Elle started a new project working with San Diego’s urban growers to support the viability of small urban farms and increase fresh food access for limited-resource urban residents.
Elle holds a Master’s of Science degree in Food Systems and Society from Marylhurst University in Oregon. She has worked in the public sector supporting under-served neighborhoods and vulnerable populations for over 12 years, with a passion and drive to tackle issues related to health equity and food justice. She is also a motivated mentor and advisor, and thrives when working with students.
Elle was honored with the 2016-2017 UC San Diego Exemplary Staff Employee of the Year award. She recently published a chapter on mobile produce markets and food justice in Food Justice in US and Global Contexts: Bringing Theory and Practice Together (2017). Elle was also featured in the San Diego Union Tribune as a notable person in San Diego for her work with small neighborhood markets.