Born and raised in Oakdale, Minnesota, Anne Marie studied environmental studies and anthropology at Macalester College. Through the Bonner Scholars Program, a program committed to community service and social justice, she developed a citizenship curriculum and free childcare program at a local community organization in St Paul, Minnesota. She also helped build an environmental outings program for youth living in the Twin Cities and worked with a youth employment and mentorship organization that centered on conservation, gardening, and nutrition. After college, she spent a year in Washington, D.C., living in an intentional community and working as a volunteer coordinator.
Field placement: Illinois Hunger Coalition
Anne Marie supported the Illinois Hunger Coalition (IHC)’s advocacy work around a subset of SNAP recipients known as able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs). Anne Marie researched SNAP Employment and Training (E&T) program best practices across the U.S. and the current SNAP E&T program in Illinois. She also built a coalition that meets monthly to identify ways to support ABAWDs at-risk of losing their SNAP benefits. Anne Marie’s project led to the Executive Director of the Illinois Hunger Coalition being selected as one of 34 individuals to participate in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service’s SNAP E&T Learning Academy.
Policy placement: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Anne Marie assisted with the development of webinars, toolkits, fact sheets, and other communication materials as needed for the Program and Policy Development Division of the Child Nutrition Programs. Anne Marie analyzed data to identify 24 case studies for the Office of Community Food Systems (OCFS), which administers the Farm to School Grant Program. She also authored a communications piece for OCFS that provides an example of how grantees can utilize multiple funding streams to advance their local farm to school initiatives. In addition, Anne Marie assisted the SNAP Employment & Training program team by updating and enhancing existing resources and toolkits.
Hunger Free Community Report
Anne Marie produced four fact sheets that cover the ABAWD waiver, the current state of the SNAP E&T program, opportunities for clients to enroll in a USDA E&T pilot program, and a checklist for Social Service Providers working with ABAWDs. These fact sheets were designed to help social service providers and advocates better assist ABAWDs and advance SNAP policy in Illinois. She also authored a report analyzing the systemic barriers to SNAP E&T for ABAWDs.