Session 1 – Who in Our Community is Facing Food Insecurity?

December 8, 2020 | 10:00-11:30 am EST

This first session seeks to refresh the lens at which we look at food insecurity and hunger. Watch this session to hear panelists and neighbors share their experiences of food security.

View the Pre-session Reading Materials to have a better understanding of food insecurity.

Session One Recording

Session One Presentation Materials

Session One Panelists


Mary Clulo
Director of Treasury and Tax
Munson Healthcare

Mary works in Munson Healthcare in the Treasury department.  She ran the food pantry for St. Patrick’s Catholic Church for 18 years as a volunteer leader.   She has served as the chair of the Operating Committee of the Northwest Food Coalition since March of 2018.  Mary also participated on the systems team that created the Food Security System Map.  She has a B. A. in business administration from University of Notre Dame and a Masters of Public Health Administration from the University of Chicago.


Val Stone
Food Coalition Coordinator, Food Rescue Coordinator
Goodwill Industries of Northwest Michigan

Bachelor of Social Work, Central Michigan University

Val works for Goodwill in the Food Rescue program.  She coordinates the Northwest Food Coalition monthly member meetings and the gathering of pantry and meal site statistics on people served.  She organizes collaborative activities for members such as food drives.  She has experience with many food programs serving Northwest Michigan such as Commodity Foods.   Val served as a Community Service Coordinator for 27 years at the Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency (NMCAA).  During her time at NMCAA, Val helped found the Northwest Food Coalition in 1994.  While coordinating the Food Coalition, Val also helped start Food Rescue in 2009.

She is a Traverse City native and lives there with her husband and partner in crime.  She loves art and floral design.


Megan Olds
Parallel Solutions

Megan has spent her career dedicated to community growth and development, land and water conservation and restoration, food and farming systems, housing, transportation, and access to nature and outdoor recreation. Pairing her professional experience in community and organizational development with a personal zeal for building trust and openness in decision-making, Megan founded Parallel Solutions in 2014.

She is a 1999 graduate of Miami University (Ohio) with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography and a Bachelor of Philosophy degree from the School of Interdisciplinary Studies/Western College Program. She earned a Master of Arts in Organizational Management from Spring Arbor University, and pursued additional training in mediation, mindfulness, and workplace diversity.

Session Introduction

Seth Johnson
United Way Northwest Michigan

President of United Way in Northernwest Michigan. Johnson joined UWNWMI from United Way of Central Iowa in Des Moines where he served as Director of their OpportUNITY Program, a collective impact initiative focused on reducing poverty and achieving increased financial stability for all community members. A graduate of North Park University, Chicago, Johnson is an avid cyclist and he and his family are outdoor enthusiasts with ties to Michigan.


Sarah Eichberger
Michigan State University Extension

Sarah Eichberger, MPH, RDN, is a public health nutritionist at MSU Extension where she provides statewide leadership in the area of developing and supporting implementation of policy, systems, and environmental change interventions within the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) program. Within her role, Ms. Eichberger is serving in her 6th year as a local site supervisor for FoodCorps.

Sarah has a Bachelor’s degree in dietetics from Michigan State University and is a 2012 graduate of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.

Sarah is a 1998 graduate of Benzie Central High School.


Lisa Robitshek
Manager, Meals on Wheels
Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency (NMCAA)

B.S. Finance and Management, University of Florida
Master of Health Administration, George Washington University

Since 2011, Lisa has managed Meals on Wheels of NMCAA, where she is passionate about serving vulnerable seniors in Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Manistee, Missaukee, and Wexford counties with delicious, nutritious meals and “so much more than a meal”, as well as collaborating with others in addressing food insecurity. Before Meals on Wheels, she worked with Building Bridges with Music, United Way, and taught volunteer management and management classes at NMC Extended Education. She is a member of the Board of Advisors of the Area Agency on Aging of Northwest Michigan.

Prior to moving to Traverse City in 2003, Lisa worked in Hospital Administration for 10 years in Washington DC and Chicago before transitioning to the non-profit field in San Francisco.

Lisa lives in Traverse City and loves exploring the beautiful trails and beaches with her two teenage kids and her 3rd child/goldendoodle.


Cathy O’Connor
Step Up Northern Michigan

Cathy O’Connor is a former educator, school administrator, School Board member and current President of Step Up Northern Michigan , a non-profit that serves the At-risk youth population in our area.


Jane Lippert
Community Outreach Coordinator

Jane Lippert is an ordained United Methodist Pastor and the Community Outreach Coordinator at Central Church, Traverse City Michigan. Her primary role is feeding and resourcing people experiencing homelessness and financial insecurity. In addition she serves on the NW Food Coalition Purchasing Committee. She has a passion for treating each and every person with respect in her ministry with Central Church.


Jodi Jocks
Traverse City Public Schools Food Service

Jodi E. Jocks, MS, RD, CDE, CNSC, has worked with the TCAPS Food & Nutrition department since 2005, primarily assisting with student menus, including Farm to School initiatives.  Jodi also works with students with special nutrition needs, including both medical and education in need.

Jodi is also a clinical dietitian as Munson Medical Center where her work is primarily based in the acute medical setting.  Jodi has advanced training in nutrition support, neonatal intensive care nutrition, and diabetes education.

Jodi earned a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics and a Master of Science in Human Nutrition at Michigan State University.  She completed her dietetic internship at Regions Hospital and the University of Minnesota in Saint Paul/Minneapolis, MN.

Facilitator/ Technical Support

Jennifer Berkey
District Director – District 3
Michigan State University Extension

Jennifer serves as the District Three Director and provides administrative oversight for the six county MSU Extension offices in Northwest Lower Michigan including; Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Kalkaska and Manistee Counties. She has worked for MSU Extension for 22 years and prior to this assignment she worked as an extension educator providing supervision for SNAP-Ed nutrition instructors as well as taught food safety education for the community. She has been active in multiple leadership positions within her community; PTO president at two schools as well as served as President of MEAFCS (Michigan Extension Association of Family and Consumer Science Educators). Jennifer has been an active member of the Northwest Food Coalition by linking the nutrition and food safety resources to the pantry members. 

She lives in Traverse City with her two daughters and her golden doodle. Jennifer enjoys participating in her daughter’s school and sporting events as well as hiking on our beautiful northern Michigan trails or boating on the bay. 

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