Oregon School Meal Access During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Oregon was on track to implement legislation that would provide most of the state’s students with free school lunch and breakfast. This report examines the impact of the pandemic on school meal access in Oregon through … Read more

Food System Dashboards

This report and series of recommendations will assist the Pittsburgh Food Policy Council as we set goals for and design our own dashboard, build a community engagement strategy around the dashboard and our food action plan, and move with a … Read more

Niisoja Torto

Niisoja graduated from Duke University, where he studied public policy with a focus on health and nutrition policy. His Ghanaian heritage and experience growing up in Florida inform his interest in equity issues. Niisoja’s particular passion for food and nutrition solidified with his senior thesis that explored the role of … Read more

Xavier Roberts

Homeschooled until college, Xavier graduated with his associate’s degree from Piedmont Virginia Community College at the age of eighteen before traveling to India for six months to study yoga and meditation in advance of completing a year of service as a third grade teacher in Southeast Washington, D.C., with the … Read more

Leslie Rios

Born in Wisconsin and raised in Hidalgo, Texas, Leslie graduated from St. Edward’s University with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a minor in Economics, becoming a Presidential Award Receipt and a McNair Scholar in the process. Leslie first became interested in food justice when she took a course … Read more

Rocio Perez

Rocio Perez is a first-generation Latina who was born and raised in Downtown Los Angeles. Growing up in a low-income and predominantly undocumented community, Rocio learned how to navigate educational, legal, and health barriers that influenced her public service career. She has staffed a bill aimed at protecting low-income workers … Read more

Michelle Nikfarjam

Michelle, a second-generation Iranian-American raised in Massachusetts, is an M.A. graduate of the University of Oregon’s (UO) International Studies and Food Studies Programs, a UO Promising Scholar and a David L. Boren Fellow. She comes to the Emerson Fellowship having recently returned from Rajasthan, India where she conducted research on … Read more

Janiah Miller

Janiah is a native of the Greater Cincinnati area where her lived experiences have shaped her worldview. She attended Northern Kentucky University where she gained her Bachelor’s degree in Integrative Studies which consists of three minors in Political Science, Social Justice and University Honors with focus areas in Women & … Read more

Sara Maillacheruvu

A longtime Midwesterner, Sara Maillacheruvu graduated with honors from the University of Chicago in 2018 and returned to her hometown of Peoria, Illinois, where she spent two years working in community development as an urban planner. While there, she researched affordable housing trends and created policy proposals, relevant and applicable … Read more