Lauren is a native of Harlem, New York City, where she grew up observing economic, social and health inequities in her neighborhood compared to the more affluent communities across the city. She graduated from Bates College in 2019 where she received her B.S. in Biology with a minor in African American studies. Following undergrad, Lauren worked with City Year AmeriCorps in Harlem, New York, where she provided academic and social-emotional support to middle school students and facilitated after school programming. After graduating with her masters of public health from Washington University in St. Louis in May 2022, Lauren is excited to utilize her strengthened public health skills to support the efforts of organizations working to fight poverty and hunger in the U.S.
Field placement: Chicago Food Policy Action Council
Lauren is working with the Chicago Food Policy Action Council in Chicago, IL on the organization’s Productive Landscapes initiative. She is working to increase transparency in the pathways to land access for community-based urban agriculture groups through researching land policies and interviewing land owning institutions and farmers across Chicago/Cook County. Her work will conclude with the development of an interactive tool to assist prospective farmers in finding suitable land and a better understanding of next steps and resources available to secure land for urban agriculture in the city and county.
Policy placement: Food Research & Action Center
Lauren Drumgold is working with the Food Research and Action Center to support SNAP-related policies through research, analysis and dissemination. Lauren is researching the Thrifty Food Plan, the measurement used by the USDA that represents the true cost of a healthy and nutritious diet and determines SNAP allotment calculations. She will be highlighting the challenges in using this calculation while exploring how the USDA's Low-Cost food plan could address the current challenges with SNAP allotments.