Lisa Nunn, who is only the second leader of the nearly 30-year-old Let’s Grow Akron, will receive the inaugural Local Food Hero Award.

“I’m very humbled and honored,” said Nunn, who is the lone full-time staff member of the nonprofit organization that helps neighborhoods turn unused parcels into community gardens.

“I really do feel like Let’s Grow Akron is such a community effort. I don’t do it alone,” the 44-year-old Akron resident said, noting that the organization includes a small staff of seasonal part-time workers as well as the many volunteers who tend gardens.

The Local Food Hero Award will be presented at a Sept. 26 event dubbed Savor the Summit: Celebrating Local Food, Brews and Heroes.

The Summit Food Coalition, a nonprofit group that seeks to increase access to healthy food, will present the award.

Nunn was a server at Crave restaurant in downtown Akron when she started volunteering with Let’s Grow Akron in 2005, growing vegetables at a community garden near her West Akron home.

She recalled taking her children to the garden so they also could interact with the other gardeners — residents of the nearby Saferstein Towers housing complex for elderly and disabled residents.

“We made great friendships there,” said Nunn, who has a degree from the University of Akron in art education. “That really got me interested in community gardening and how that can bring people together.”

Nunn became executive director of the organization in 2012 after three years of working on staff with the group’s founder, Elaine Evans. When Evans retired because of her health, Nunn moved into the top job. Evans, who started Let’s Grow Akron in 1988 as a way of making productive use of vacant lots in the city, died in 2013.

Nunn “is being honored for her significant positive impact on the local food system in Summit County,” said a statement from the Summit Food Coalition, noting her work “educating youth and adults on how to grow, prepare and preserve nutritious food for themselves and their families.”

Let’s Grow Akron has 99 community gardens. Many are vegetable gardens. Some are what Nunn calls “beautification sites,” and include flower beds.

Savor the Summit is the food coalition’s inaugural fundraiser. The event will run from 6 to 9 p.m. at HiHo Brewing, 1707 Front St., Cuyahoga Falls. Tickets are $45 in advance, $50 at the door. For tickets, go to summitfoodcoalition.org/upcoming-events. The Gage Brothers will perform and a cash bar will be available.

For more information on Let’s Grow Akron, go to http://letsgrowakron.org.

Katie Byard can be reached at kbyard@thebeaconjournal.com. You can follow her @KatieByardABJ on Twitter or on Facebook and read the Akron Dish blog at www.ohio.com/food.