About the Podcast: 

Rayna Andrews is founder of Healthy Food Movement and children’s book author. Her passion is developing a sustainable food system that feeds the line and shortens the line at food pantries across the U.S. and other food charities.

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Name:

Rayna Andrews

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Website:

  • Personal website
  • Promotional website for Rayna’s book, “Alex McGreen and the Tale of the Mysterious Kale”
  • Feeding America Easter Wisconsin’s website
  • Rayna Andrew’s TEDx Talk, “Food Insecurity is a Public Health Concern”

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Her #1 tip to improve access to healthy food:

We need to make hunger relevant and measurable to all sectors. We must get all people around the table to discuss food insecurity, from policy makers to those receiving food. Food intersects everyone’s work. Once everyone sees that, they know why they should be invested in this conversation.

About Rayna Andrews: 

Rayna Andrews is a passionate, entrepreneurial, servant leader with more than 15 years of civil service. Rayna is the founder of the Healthy Food Movement, a food literacy initiative focused on solving preventative health disparities for our next generation. Ms. Andrews focuses her work on improving people’s lives, advancing health equity and driving change in the food system. She previously served as the Senior Director of Community Engagement and Partnerships for Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin. As the Senior Director, Rayna developed strategies to feed the hungry and initiatives to address the root causes of poverty in diverse counties across eastern Wisconsin. She was the regional lead on the state of Wisconsin’s emergency feeding taskforce; she has convened healthcare networks to pilot healthy food prescription programs; and has organized citizen science groups to galvanize systems change at the neighborhood level. She is currently working on a regional technology integration solution to further support data driven decision making throughout the food system.

In her spare time, Rayna enjoys sharing her latest book “Alex McGreen and the Tale of the Mysterious Kale” in virtual classrooms and libraries across the United States and Caribbean. Her book can be found at healthyfoodmovement.com and Amazon.

Ms. Andrews holds a Master of Urban Planning from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh.

Discussion Takeaways:

  • Rayna’s work with Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin that covers 36 counties across the state. Her goal is to figure out strategies to strengthen our food system that work to feed the food insecure and shorten the line at food banks and food pantries.
  • From March-October 2020, the Food Bank that supports Rayna’s work had more than an 89% increase in participants needing food. They distributed a record-breaking 32 million pounds of food or 27 million meals.
  • Hunger happens at an individual level and is a symptom of a larger problem. Food insecurity happens at a household level which means it’s measurable and society can move to resolve it.
  • We need to change the negative narrative around public food assistance, so everyone can have access to food with a level of dignity.
  • The Golden Rule is to treat people how you want to be treated. The platinum rule is to treat people how they want to be treated. We need to understand others needs so we can serve them better.
  • Food insecurity is complex, so we need to use and leverage all possible resources to tackle this together.
  • Food banks and food pantries need food, funds, and friends. Food drives are helpful. But ideally, funds provide these agencies resources to purchase exactly what they’re clients need. Advocates are also needed to make food insecurity relevant to all. Volunteers are incredibly helpful too.
  • Food literacy is a part of the food movement that we don’t talk about. It’s one thing to provide people access. It’s another to provide ways to use unfamiliar foods.

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