I am an advocate for bringing healthy, affordable food to every community and increasing access to safe places for people to play and be physically active because I believe they are fundamental components of building and sustaining vibrant communities.
I grew up in a rural, California town in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains where opportunities to be physically active are abundant. I developed a love for the outdoors, rock-climbing, running, and snowboarding. These activities still fill my free time today not only because of their availability but because of the strong social support such life choices received where I grew up. When being active and healthy becomes a norm for everyday life, it not only turns into an easy routine but is enriched by becoming a social event.
Despite growing up in a state known for its agricultural richness, access to healthy food was limited in my small town. We lacked farmers’ markets and other healthy food vendors that make neighborhoods livable and help local economies thrive. These barriers often made choosing healthy food difficult. Today, however, my home town looks different. Buses connect community members to their local grocery stores. Farmers markets are slowly starting to spring up. A cultural shift is occuring, the same one that is slowly moving across the United States, one that embraces access to physical activity and healthy, affordable, and locally grown food as the norm. As a professional in community nutrition and a food advocate I desire to contribute to this cultural shirt and help create a place where healthy food is accessible to all, safe places to play abound, and the healthy choice is always the easy choice.