School Nutrition Foundation Announces 2022 Josephine Martin National Policy Fellows


Tara Gonzales, a registered dietitian from Douglas County School District Nutrition Services in Colorado, and Christopher Byrd, executive chef from Jefferson County School District in Kentucky, have been named as the two Josephine Martin National Policy Fellows for 2022.  

Founded in honor of Dr. Josephine Martin, a pioneer in the field of school nutrition, the fellowship provides up to $3,000 to each fellow to cover expenses for travel to SNA’s annual Legislative Action Conference in Washington, D.C. This year, two Josephine Martin Fellowships were awarded since last year’s conference was held virtually. Both fellows will attend the 3-day conference held at the JW Marriott, March 6-8, 2022.  

Gonzales believes that getting involved with the policymakers at the state and federal levels can help shape the world of school nutrition in the future. “Attending the Legislative Action Conference will help me to gain a better understanding of how legislation and policy-making affect school nutrition. It will be an invaluable experience to meet policymakers and learn about their stance on school nutrition programs. I feel that when policymakers hear from those of us who are in the schools and are feeding the students, they are better informed about making decisions that affect the students.”

Chef Byrd is also passionate about the importance of civic participation. “Being part of a professional body [like SNA] brings the strength of our collective voices to make our thoughts heard through the din. I look forward to any opportunity where I can share my passion of food while also advocating for the future of our Nation. If I could only choose one thing to discuss with my Member of Congress, it would be the importance of school lunch in the educational day, and why that means it should be universal.”

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