Imelda Rodriguez Benavides


Imelda Rodriguez Benavides is an inspiring and knowledgeable advocate for food justice and sustainable food systems. Hailing from Watsonville, CA, and raised in the vibrant community of East Palo Alto, Imelda’s passion for creating positive change in the food landscape began early in her life. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Food Studies from Syracuse University in New York, where she co-founded the first nationally recognized Food Policy club, launched a CSA drop-off program, and helped establish the university’s first slow food cafe.

Returning to the Bay Area after graduation, Imelda continued her mission to empower communities through food justice initiatives, serving San Jose, Oakland, and, most recently, as a Dean of Students and Families in San Francisco. Currently, she is the program coordinator at Nuestra Casa and serves as the California Alumni Policy Chapter Lead at FoodCorps, influencing legislative priorities in the state.

Imelda contributes her knowledge and experience to Nuestra Casa as the Food Distribution Coordinator/Site Lead. In this role, she fully supports our Food Recovery program and assists the Promotoras program. When she’s not hard at work or working on her Master of Science in Sustainable Food Systems at Arizona State University (virtual studies), Imelda channels her creative spirit into sculpting and painting. Connect with Imelda on LinkedIn.