When I graduated from GU in 2007 with a BA in psychology I set off on a meandering and unscripted backpacking trip which would ultimately cover some 30,000 miles of zig-zagged North America. The trip was filled with the strange and surprisingly familiar, with missed bus connections and unexpected opportunities, the next breathtaking view, act of hospitality, or hidden-in-plain-sight history lesson.
"I remain thrilled to have found my way back to Spokane, and to have a career that so meaningfully allows me to be active in this community."
Some 8 years ago, while staying in the county seat of an agricultural region in central Guatemala, I decided I wanted to return to Spokane and find work that dealt with the food and farming issues that had become an expanding interest since my junior year at GU. So, here I am, writing from a cafe with a view of the Monroe Street Bridge, autumn reds and golds coloring the street trees of the Lilac City.
I manage Food For All, a program of Catholic Charities Spokane. In this work I'm getting what I think I wanted when I enrolled in Psychology 101 in the spring of 2004 - the opportunity to better understand and address how a fundamental human resource like food impacts the well-being of individuals and the communities we live in. Food For All addresses policy issues pertinent to agricultural enterprise and food security, works in cross-sector partnerships to build capacity into an evolving regional food economy, and engages community members whose well-being is too often an afterthought of decisions driving how food happens. We are working to see that the practical, cultural, and structural realities of our food system nourish the health and well-being of our region and the people who live here. Nearly eight years into this work, I remain thrilled to have found my way back to Spokane, and to have a career that so meaningfully allows me to be active in this community.