10 cents a meal policy associate
"I grew up in my grandparents' Chinese restaurant surrounded by the sounds of a bustling dining room and busy kitchen. I'd often walk around and talk to customers as they ate their dinner. Ever since I have known the power food has to connect people," Melanie says.
The realization of food’s connection power stayed with Melanie, forming a deep interest in food and leading her to pursue an education in nutrition and a career as a dietitian. “I wanted kids to know that good, healthy food doesn’t have to taste bad,” she says.
At Groundwork, Melanie’s role on the 10 Cents a Meal team definitely supports that mission.
She spreads word of the benefits of serving locally grown foods to children in her duties as manager of social media and communications. She also connects with schools and early childhood education centers to help generate interest in signing on to the program.
Looking ahead, Melanie is excited and optimistic that 10 Cents a Meal will continue to expand, especially in early childhood education settings, where she has focused her career thus far. “I know how important early experiences with healthy foods are as children form relationships with food,” she says.
For evidence that Melanie held onto the food lessons from her childhood, just look in her fridge. What’s always there? “Hot sauce, endless condiments, eggs, fruit, leafy green vegetables, home-brewed kombucha, and my sourdough starter—Herman,” she says.