Oli Sivula was born and raised in the Palouse region, a bioregion that emcompasses part of southeastern Washington state and northwestern Idaho. The Palouse is home to some of the most productive farmland in the US, and this success is sadly underpinned by food insecurity rates high above national averages. While attending the University of Idaho for undergraduate and masters degrees, Oli began finding their voice in activism, and food soon became the foundation of that activism. Co-founding Food Not Bombs of the Palouse in 2018 and Moscow Welcome Table in 2019, Oli brings their love of sharing compassion and heritage through food into grassroots community building.
As a Harvest VISTA, Oli serves as the Community Food Coordinator VISTA at the Community Action Center (CAC) in Pullman, WA. The CAC is a one-stop-shop with a myriad of poverty-alleviation services for Palouse residents, and Oli serves specifically in the Community Food department. Community Food administers a choice-model food bank twice a week, a rentable community kitchen, and the establishment and growth of a mobile farm stand program to deliver produce to largely rural communities. Serving two college towns, and small rural communities made up of two or three families is an immense challenge. To meet this need, Community Food works with local growers, gleaners, food recovery efforts, and partner organizations to provide the highest level of nutrition and choice possible for those they serve.