Gemma grew up in Garden City, New York, and graduated from Haverford College in 2012 with a degree in political science and a minor in peace and conflict studies. At Haverford, she designed and facilitated a student seminar exploring class privilege and oppression. She also served as a resident advisor and a steering committee member of the residential life program. Gemma previously worked as a policy intern for Children’s HealthWatch, preparing policy briefs on food insecurity and interviewing low-income families in the pediatric emergency department of Boston Medical Center.
Field placement: Idaho Hunger Relief Taskforce
Incorporating feedback from advocates and community members, Gemma updated a resource guide to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in Idaho that is now publicly available online. She then utilized this guide to provide interactive trainings on SNAP to advocate groups and direct service providers in two regions of the state. Gemma also wrote a SNAP outreach plan to be privately funded and implemented by nonprofit organizations throughout the state.
Policy placement: Food Research & Action Center
Gemma wrote reports regarding best practices for SNAP access, advocacy, and outreach in the aftermath of natural disasters. She then organized and facilitated a webinar about food assistance and disasters. Gemma also reached out to state and local leaders throughout the country to compile promising outreach strategies to improve participation in SNAP among older Americans.