Taz Shah is a first-generation Kashmiri-American who graduated from the Johns Hopkins University in 2019 with a B.A. in Public Health Studies, where she researched and delivered community-based nutrition and health education in food-insecure and housing-insecure populations. After graduating, she worked as a policy consultant to the Sacramento County government, where she researched and proposed evidence-based solutions to end homelessness and helped mobilize resources to mitigate COVID-19 transmission among people experiencing homelessness. Since leaving Sacramento, she has consulted at a Baltimore nonprofit seeking to end malnutrition and food insecurity in communities of color through nutrition education. In the future, she hopes to work on local- and state-level public health initiatives that will end hunger, homelessness, and malnutrition.
Field placement: Hunger Free Oklahoma
Taz completed her field work at Hunger Free Oklahoma in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Her work focused on expanding school nutrition and childhood food insecurity programs across Oklahoma through program and policy research. Taz's projects included supporting statewide school breakfast and Breakfast After The Bell expansion, streamlining applications for Free- and Reduced-Price Meals with Medicaid Direct Certification and assessing the feasibility of online applications, and determining best practices in coalition-building and governance of the OK Childhood Food Security Coalition.
Policy placement: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Taz Shah is working with Food and Nutrition Services at the the U.S. Department of Agriculture to support nutritional guideline development and implementation for school nutrition programs across the nations. As she works on incorporating public, program provider, and vendor feedback into the next set of school meal guidelines and regulations, Taz hopes to elevate the voice of students and the tireless work of school nutrition professionals who make some of the country's largest nutrition assistance programs possible.