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Emerson Fellow

Shawn Powers

11th Class, 2004-2005

Shawn graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Williams College with a degree in economics.  He served for three years as director of Williams Recovery of All Perishable Surplus (WRAPS), which distributes surplus dining hall food to agencies serving the needy in northern Berkshire County, Massachusetts.  Shawn also organized and led alternative spring break trips to Vanceburg, Kentucky and Washington, D.C., and served as community service coordinator for the Newman Catholic Association.  He completed a Winter Study in Haiti, where he helped repair dirt roads and conducted research on agricultural cooperatives.

Field placement: Food Bank of Alaska

Anchorage, Alaska

Through a collaboration with state and local authorities, Shawn developed and taught a food safety certification program for food pantries throughout Alaska.  He also worked with the staff of the recently-formed Kids Café program inAnchorageto create safe food handling standards and monitoring procedures for hot meal sites that serve needy children after school.  Shawn traveled to the native villages of Seldovia, Noorvik, Point Hope, Kotzebue, and Atka to monitor and help establish TEFAP distribution sites.

Policy placement: Food Research & Action Center

Washington, D.C.

As part of the food stamps unit, Shawn wrote three reports on the Food Stamp Program for use by advocates in D.C. and around the country.  The Big Cities Report analyzed caseload trends and best practices in major U.S. cities.  The Disasters Report evaluated the response of the Disaster Food Stamp Benefit Program to recent events (including the terrorist attacks of September 11 and the 2004 hurricanes inFlorida) and summarized lessons learned.  A third report provided recommendations for more timely service to food stamp recipients.