Hi everyone! My name is Merryn, and I’m so excited to join the MX national team as the new program coordinator! I first became passionate about food systems when I volunteered in Thanksgiving food drives with my parents. During my undergraduate degree, I became engaged in bringing local, healthy food to the McMaster University campus through the Farmstand. While working at the nutrition department of the Hamilton Family Health Team, I was able to see first-hand how those living on a low-income faced challenges when trying to maintain a healthy diet, which ultimately impacted their ability to be fully engaged in work and at school.
During my Masters in Public Health, I volunteered at the campus food bank at the University of Waterloo. I realized that students were dealing with some of the same food security issues I had seen in my neighbourhood, and conducted my thesis research on the experience of undergraduate student food insecurity. Through these experiences, I’ve discovered that food can be a rallying point for people to gather around community and neighbourhood issues. I’m really interested in researching the connection between food insecurity and health in Canada, particularly among students!
Meal Exchange is an amazing organization to be a part of, because I get to interact with you passionate people, and work on campus food issues. My colleagues and our student volunteers inspire me, and make me excited to come to work each day! I can’t wait to work together to build a more just and sustainable food system.