April 19, 2016 Contact: Claire Benjamin DiMattina firstname.lastname@example.org (202) 631-6362 Seasoned Communications Strategist Joins Growing Food Policy Action Team Betsy Barrett Joins FPA as Chief Lobbyist and Communications Director Leading national food policy organization Food Policy Action (FPA) today announced that Betsy Barrett has joined its team as political and communications director. Barrett will provide…
April 19, 2016
Claire Benjamin DiMattina
Leading national food policy organization Food Policy Action (FPA) today announced that Betsy Barrett has joined its team as political and communications director. Barrett will provide strategic political and communications counsel and serve as the organization’s chief lobbyist to raise the profile of food issues in the U.S.
Barrett joins FPA with over 10 years of political, communications, and policy experience, most recently serving as a vice president in the strategic communications practice at The Glover Park Group. Barrett will lead FPA’s advocacy efforts and communications strategy to broaden the impact of the organization’s political and policy programs.
“Over the last decade, Betsy has built a strong national network in politics and media engagement, and she brings a respected reputation for working across both sides of the aisle. Her tenacity, charisma and passion for food policy are invaluable to our work. Her political and communications expertise is exactly what we need to significantly raise the political profile of food issues,” said Claire Benjamin DiMattina, Executive Director of Food Policy Action. “We are thrilled to have Betsy on board and excited about the impact she’ll have.”
Prior to joining The Glover Park Group, Barrett helped launch the Internet Association – a national trade association representing the top U.S. internet companies – and led their communications, marketing and event planning. Before that, Barrett served as a senior advisor and communications director for Dean of the House, U.S. Representative John D. Dingell (D-MI).
Barrett, a native Arkansan and graduate of the University of Arkansas, began her political, food policy and communications career working for U.S. Representative Vic Snyder (D-AR). She worked as a senior advisor on his political campaigns, acted as his agriculture legislative aide during the development and passage of the 2008 Farm Bill and served as a senior policy advisor and communications director until his retirement.
Food Policy Action was established in 2012 through a collaboration of national food policy leaders in order to hold legislators accountable on votes that have an effect on food and farming. The organization works to highlight the importance of policies that support healthy diets, reduce hunger, decrease food waste, improve food access and affordability, uphold the rights and dignity of food and farm workers, increase transparency, protect public health and the environment, reduce food-borne illness, support local and regional food systems and treat farm animals humanely. FPA promotes these policies through public education, outreach and engagement including its annual National Food Policy Scorecard.
Ohio State University Team Wins $5,000 Grand Prize & Campus Visit from Tom Colicchio Washington, DC – Plate of the Union – a grassroots campaign calling for bold action to reform the nation’s food system – today announced the winners of its student-driven organizing effort, the Campus Challenge. A team from the Ohio State University (Columbus,…
Ohio State University Team Wins $5,000 Grand Prize & Campus Visit from Tom Colicchio
Washington, DC – Plate of the Union – a grassroots campaign calling for bold action to reform the nation’s food system – today announced the winners of its student-driven organizing effort, the Campus Challenge. A team from the Ohio State University (Columbus, OH) was awarded with the grand prize of $5,000 to execute its campus outreach plan to drive engagement around food issues in the 2016 election, as well as winning a visit to their campus from Tom Colicchio and other prominent food leaders.
Three runner-up prizes of $2,500 were awarded to teams from Iowa State University (Ames, IA), Warren Wilson College (Asheville, NC), and Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH).
“The vision, drive and intellect of our nation’s young people was on full display in the Campus Challenge submissions,” said Navina Khanna, director of the HEAL Food Alliance. “While each campus presented unique and creative organizing concepts, the OSU team truly captured the essence of the Plate of the Union campaign. Congratulations to all the teams for their hard work and dedication to this cause. We look forward to working together to advocate for food system reform.”
The Plate of the Union is a collaborative campaign created to amplify the voice of millions of Americans who care about food and farm issues during this election season. The group is working to call on presidential candidates to reform the U.S. food system so that every American has equal access to healthy, affordable food that is fair to workers, good for the environment and keeps farmers on the land. The Campus Challenge winning teams will be assisting Plate of the Union in this effort.
The winning team devised an organizing plan that reaches beyond the borders of the OSU campus. The OSU team will organize and lead a national day of student-led action called The Presidential PICNIC – Potential Impact on Cultivating, Nourishing, and Inspiring Communities – for Food Systems Change (‘PICNIC’) to bring the conversation of food systems reform to the table for the 2016 presidential election cycle.
Alex Lines, team member from Warren Wilson College said: “The reality of our broken food system is that those making the decisions surrounding food policy are merely factoring in short term gains without acknowledgement or concern for future consequences. We must take action to reshape the future that will inevitably be handed over to us. It makes no difference whether you consider yourself a foodie, farmer, or activist, or whether food is merely something you put into your mouth a few times a day without much thought. If you are a young person in America today, your future rests on the fate of our food system. The future of food is OUR future.”
Oliver Edelson of Growing Change at Dartmouth College said: “Growing Change is honored and humbled to have been named runners-up in the Plate of the Union Campus Challenge contest. As committed farm-to-school educators, we are frustrated with the incongruence between what we teach our students about healthy eating and the current dominant agricultural system and policies that make it nearly impossible for our nation’s children to balance their food plates. With funding from the Plate of the Union, we are eager to do our part to correct this disconnect by making food policy reform a major political consideration and topic of discussion on college campuses throughout the nation.”
Adam Wright, team member from Iowa State said: “As an agricultural leader and the first state to host a presidential caucus, Iowa is the perfect place to enact a Plate of the Union Campus Challenge project. We are thrilled to receive this honor and look forward to enacting change at Iowa State University in the months ahead.”
The Campus Challenge was focused in the key battleground states of North Carolina, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Iowa and Colorado. The judging panel included Tom Colicchio, chef, restaurateur, Food Policy Action co-founder, and “Top Chef” head judge; Sam Kass, chef and former White House Senior Policy Advisor for Nutrition; Anna Lappé, sustainable food advocate, author and educator; Karen Washington, urban farmer and community activist; Sam Talbot, chef and restaurateur; Anim Steel, co-founder of Real Food Generation; Raj Patel, award-winning writer, activist and academic; Joann Lo, Co-Director of the Food Chain Workers Alliance; and Rep. Chellie Pingree, U.S. House of Representatives.
Plate of the Union is a collaborative campaign organized by Food Policy Action Education Fund, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and the HEAL Food Alliance to raise the voice of Americans who care about food and farm issues during this election season. More can be found at www.plateoftheunion.com.