Cal Lutheran Alumni

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Finding Purpose in Sustainable Food Systems

Sometimes planting a single seed can grow into a life-changing purpose. That’s true for alumnus Erik Fruth, who graduated magna cum laude in 2014 with a degree in Global Studies. During his time at Cal Lu, he worked in the SEEd Garden  where getting his hands dirty pulling weeds got him thinking about where our food actually comes from, and all the work that goes into producing it. As he thought more deeply about food, he realized there is much to be done to improve the current state of our food systems.

Erik found his purpose at Cal Lutheran — voicing, engaging and acting his passions in the world. Through those experiences in the classroom, and in the garden, he has formed a foundation of knowledge that empowers him to perform duties as a grant writer and resource development associate at Many Mansions, as well as serving as a farm hand for The Abundant Table, a non-profit that sells wholesale organic produce to four school districts in Ventura County.

Today he wears many hats in his career. His work with Many Mansions helps him to engage more deeply with the system he’s seeking to improve, by providing housing to low-income and food insecure residents. Working with The Abundant Table is very much a labor of love, where Erik serves as a farmhand, delivery driver and volunteer organizer.

“We need to be both tactical and innovative with how we connect food to people — especially food insecure communities,” he says. And that’s exactly where his passion resides.

Erik also is executive editor of Good Food Gratitude and author of the Bushmeat Stirfry.