Larisa graduated magna cum laude with honors in International Relations from Brown University in 2003. She worked at New York City’s FoodChange as a Program Assistant in the Food Access Department, where she contributed to program development, media campaigns, and grant applications, including a USDA award for $125,000. Larisa she studied abroad in Buenos Aires and authored a thesis on the social implications of the Argentine economic crisis.
Field placement: Utahns Against Hunger
Salt Lake City, Utah
Larisa provided technical support and expertise to Utah's school districts as they developed "local wellness policies" in accordance with a new federal mandate. For the low-income district of Ogden, she devised a comprehensive policy that addressed childhood obesity as well as the area's high incidence of hunger and food insecurity. In addition, Larisa wrote a successful $25,000 grant proposal for the Utah Action for Healthy Kids Team. The funds from National Action for Healthy Kids and W.K. Kellogg Foundation will be used to assist school districts with the implementation of local wellness policies.
Policy placement: Food Research & Action Center
Larisa updated two previously published FRAC reports related to the federal Food Stamp Program. The first analyzed access to food stamps in major U.S. urban areas, focusing on program participation rates of potentially eligible households. The second was an advocate’s guide to the Disaster Food Stamp Program and includes lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina as well as potential responses to an avian or pandemic flu. Larisa also prepared a report evaluating the adequacy of food stamp allotments in terms of purchasing power and impact on household food security.