17th Class, 2010-2011
Field Placement: Hunger Solutions Minnesota (St. Paul, MN)
Sarah conducted an evaluation of the Minnesota Food HelpLine, a statewide program that screens callers for SNAP eligibility, provides application information for food assistance programs, and connects callers with local emergency food resources. In addition to analyzing the Minnesota Food Helpline’s collection of call data and service methods, she incorporated the experiences of past callers through conducting a large mailing survey and follow-up phone interviews.
Hunger Free Community Report:
Answering the Call to End Hunger: A Report to the Community on the Minnesota Food HelpLine evaluates how the helpline operates and explains how it functions as an important resource for the people of Minnesota. By presenting call data and real stories about the impact the helpline has had on callers’ lives, this first-ever helpline report seeks to raise the visibility of the Minnesota Food HelpLine among social service agencies and within the state legislature.
Policy Placement: Center for American Progress (Washington, DC)
Sarah worked with the Poverty and Prosperity team on their emerging food agenda, conducting research and preparing columns on simplifying access to federal nutrition programs and incorporating whole-family approaches in the structure of safety net programs. She also worked closely with the Women’s Health and Rights team to develop policy strategies to address the disproportionate effects of poverty on women.
Pre-Fellowship Education and Experience:
Originally from Sandwich, Illinois, Sarah graduated with honors from Illinois Wesleyan University in 2009 with a degree in women’s studies and a minor in English. She became interested in activism through involvement with feminist and LGBTQ organizations and conferences and has volunteered with Stepping Stones, the YWCA’s sexual assault response program. Since graduating she has worked as an advocate at a domestic violence shelter counseling victims, connecting individuals with community resources, and facilitating support groups.