Fleurian Filkins grew up near Keuka Lake in New York state, before transferring to Finger Lakes Community College to finish high school and earn associate degrees in Psychology and Liberal Arts & Sciences. During their time at community college, they engaged in queer community building and environmental advocacy, with a focus on gardening. Upon transferring to SUNY Geneseo to pursue a B.A. in Psychology, they became heavily involved in campus sustainability, serving as an Ecological Representative, a co-chair of Food Security Advocates, and a member of the President's Commission on Sustainability. In these positions, they wrote a policy proposal to put a food pantry on campus, co-developed a student-run food pantry delivery program, and obtained a grant to fund the creation of an indoor vertical garden.
Field placement: Government of the District of Columbia Office of Planning, Food Policy Division
Fleurian conducted research on local senior food insecurity at the D.C. Office of Planning in Washington, D.C. Their research centered on interviewing seniors and community partners to identify barriers to access that limit senior engagement with federal and local nutrition programs. Findings from these interviews were combined with an analysis of best practices, resulting in a brief on ways that the District can better utilize nutrition programs to address senior food insecurity.
Policy placement: Feeding America
Fleurian Filkins is working with Feeding America's Advocacy and Public Benefits Access teams. They are supporting the Advocacy team's efforts to engage the public on food insecurity issues by evaluating best practices for toolkit development and producing blogs. With the Public Benefits Access team, Fleurian is developing materials and facilitating events to help food banks build capacity.