As sorry as we are to see her go, we’re thrilled for this big step Mamiko is taking to work on food equity at a national level. Beth Low-Smith, our VP of policy, asked Mamiko to share a bit about her experience as policy assistant.
KC Healthy Kids has been an amazing place for me to work and grow. Through our efforts helping communities to advocate for policies that ensure healthy, equitable and safe places for everyone to live and thrive, my dedication for social change and food justice has deepened every day since I joined the organization as Policy Assistant in 2017. While I am sad to leave, I am excited about an amazing opportunity to join FoodCorps, a national leader in connecting kids to healthy food in schools.
I’ve enjoyed building my own policy advocacy skills as well as finding ways to make it easy for people to speak up for issues they care about.
- As coordinator for the Greater KC Food Policy Coalition, I helped the director rally communities to advocate for a strong Farm Bill that protects SNAP and vital conservation and local food system programs. I worked with members of US Congress and staffers for the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee to share nearly 100 personal stories and 400 signatures we collected and to ensure their voices are heard.
- Being a part of a successful advocacy campaign for the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program legislation, which Missouri state legislators passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in 2018, was also a really cool experience.
- I launched and led an initiative to help make grocery shopping by bus easier
- I testified in front of KCMO planning commission and joint committee to support the Bike KC Master Plan that would make KC a safer and more accessible place.
If this type of work sounds exciting to you, I urge you to apply for policy assistant at KC Healthy Kids! I am truly proud of all the accomplishments KC Healthy Kids has made during my tenure, and am so grateful for my time spent working with advocates and community partners to reshape our region for better health.
FoodCorps is a nationwide team of AmeriCorps leaders who connect kids to real food and help them grow up healthy. FoodCorps places these leaders in limited-resources communities for a year of public service where they conduct hands-on food education, build and tend school gardens, and facilitate getting high-quality local food into public school cafeterias. Serving alongside educators and community leaders, FoodCorps members partner with schools to create a nourishing environment for all students.