Policy & Advocacy
Serving with FoodCorps is in many ways about community organizing. Members build skills around mobilizing their communities towards a unified cause. We encourage alums to share their stories from service in order to build the case for policy platforms that support our work. We’re proud of our alumni who advocate for or implement policies and programs that help kids grow up healthy.
We hold policy trainings for alumni focused on building their advocacy and community-organizing skills. In addition to in-person opportunities, this year we are launching a distance learning practicum for alumni interested in advocating for these issues. We encourage alumni to continue their learning in this area through a new pilot partnership with The George Washington University Food Policy Leadership Institute that will help them be better advocates for child health.
Southwest Regional Farm to School Lead, USDA
Presidential Management Fellow
Rachel earned her undergraduate degree in public health from the University of Georgia, which served as her springboard for a career in healthy food and sustainable food systems. As an undergraduate she interned at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Environmental Health Services Branch, helped found UGA’s Office of Sustainability, and started her university’s Real Food Challenge chapter. With FoodCorps she served in Arkansas in the rural Ozark Mountains. Smitten with the rivers and people of Arkansas, she stayed after her service term to continue to build FoodCorps Arkansas as a FoodCorps fellow. Rachel recently earned her master’s in agricultural economics from the University of Arkansas. While in graduate school, Rachel was a founding member of the university’s Associated Student Government Graduate Student Congress, as well as a member of the FoodCorps Policy Institute.
FoodCorps taught me what it means to have the courage to believe in a vision for a better world, and equipped me with the skills to build it. Nowhere will you make friends with a network of leaders that are more passionate, grounded, and sincere. – Rachel Spencer
Farm to School Director, Farm to Table New Mexico
Kendal Chavez works on the farm to school team at Farm to Table, a small nonprofit based in New Mexico that focuses on food systems’ impact on the local, regional, and national levels through strengthening community-based programs and policy. Prior to joining Farm to Table, Kendal served as a service member and state fellow for the FoodCorps New Mexico program. Kendal brings experience designing, facilitating, and supporting farm to school programs in local, state, regional, and national contexts. Her work is deeply rooted in community and the unique attributes, challenges, and perspectives that each place brings to the conversation around food. Kendal focuses on capacity, coalition-building, and systems change as the guiding principles of her work.