20th Class, 2013-2014
Field Placement: Detroit Food Policy Council (Detroit, MI)
Brenda developed strategies to increase community engagement within food justice networks in Detroit. She interviewed community leaders and researched best practices, developed public education tools on Detroit’s food system, and engaged more citizens in dialogue, creative collaboration and advocacy on food justice issues. Brenda also conducted surveys on levels of food security in Detroit group homes.
Hunger Free Community Report:
The Politics of Community Engagement: How to Involve Community in Needed Food Policy Reform focuses on the best practices of food policy councils and their ability to keep community members involved in the policy-making process. The report also provides recommendations on how to accelerate the engagement process for the Detroit Food Policy Council.
Policy Placement: USDA, Food and Nutrition Service, Office of External and Government Affairs (Alexandria, VA)
Brenda worked with USDA Food and Nutrition Services on enhancing strategies to improve children’s participation in the Summer Meals Program. She published articles and blogs promoting summer feeding partnerships, developed outreach plans, and coordinated with State agencies to better improve transportation challenges faced across the country.
Pre-Fellowship Education and Experience:
Hailing from Modesto, California, Brenda graduated from Stanford University in 2013 with a degree in political science, concentrating in political theory. Passionate about food justice issues, she built a community garden on Stanford University’s campus and was a Heifer International Fellow working in Uganda on livestock management. In coordination with Night Outreach, a homelessness and community engagement project at Stanford University, Brenda started a women’s shelter in the Palo Alto area and was responsible for coordinating meals for the shelter’s residents.