Welcome Michelle and Jackie!

Published on Sep 5, 2023

Please join us in giving a warm welcome to Michelle Lee (she/her) and Jackie Mendelson (she/her/they/them) as our newest Policy Advocates. We are excited to have two former graduate students interns rejoin our team as full-time staff members.

Jackie first joined Nourish California in 2022 as a graduate student intern supporting the Food4All campaign. Jackie will continue to support this campaign by building coalition capacity and engaging in the CFAP expansion implementation work. They will also lead the organization’s advocacy efforts in alleviating food insecurity among LGBTQ+ communities across the state. 

Jackie brings years of direct experience with state-level food assistance programs. Most recently, she served in the California Food Assistance Program (CFAP) bureau preparing CFAP to begin its historic implementation work by championing equity initiatives that center the lived experiences of California immigrants. 

Jackie is passionate about policy advocacy in support of a more equitable food system in which all people have access to the food they want and need. They are very excited about bringing their professional experiences and skills to leverage policy in support of reducing barriers to accessing CalFresh.

Michelle first joined Nourish California in 2021 as the Sarah Samuels Public Health Policy Fellow. As an intern she worked to address barriers for families with newly born infants in accessing CalFresh benefits. She will support our advocacy efforts on early childhood nutrition, CalFresh benefit adequacy, and ensuring state and federal programs meet the needs of the Californians they serve.

Prior to joining Nourish California, Michelle worked directly with community members and partners to increase participation in CalFresh in Santa Cruz County. During the CalFresh to Supplemental Security Income expansion, she led her county’s efforts to facilitate the enrollment of historically excluded individuals into CalFresh. 

As a registered dietitian, she hopes to further ensure that programs and policies are inclusive and take into consideration people’s lived experiences, shared values, and cultural implications when making recommendations about food, nutrition, and well-being. 


Learn more about Michelle and Jackie here.


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