Melanie grew up in Clovis, California and graduated from Gettysburg College in 2014 with a degree in globalization studies and public policy. In college, she coordinated the Campus Kitchen Project, a food rescue organization serving families and seniors and promoting nutrition education. She also ran the Gleaning Project of South Central Pennsylvania, a nonprofit that works directly with growers to reduce agricultural waste and distribute fresh produce through a network of community agencies that serve low income families and individuals. Melanie studied abroad in France and Cameroon and served as an Immersion Project Student Leader at the Center for Public Service.
Field placement: Vermont Housing and Conservation Board
Melanie worked on the Food Access & Affordable Housing Initiative. She facilitated collaboration between affordable housing nonprofits and food systems organizations in order to improve access to fresh and local food for low-income Vermonters. She convened gatherings between these groups in three cities to spur collaborative approaches to addressing food insecurity. Her research informed a resource guide and set of best practices for food access programming at affordable housing sites and policy recommendations.
Policy placement: Food Research & Action Center
Melanie improved FRAC's capacity to monitor implementation of the 2014 Farm Bill SNAP provisions. She analyzed USDA policy guidance and rule-making, and researched state best practices for maximizing SNAP benefits and access.