Co-Founder/Executive Director/Board Member
Michelle leads education, operations, chapter growth and management, website development, funding, and marketing.
Michelle and Angela met during their first year at UCSB and connected on the fact that they both felt compelled to raise awareness on the importance of good nutrition. Their personal experiences with food as a remedy for mental and physical healing led them to contemplate not only food’s relation to the individual but to these larger systems of public health and environmental sustainability. In the following year as second years, they finally took this idea that had been floating in both of their heads and turned it into a tangible nutrition education program.
After many long nights developing the first iteration of the current nutrition curriculum, they piloted the 7-week lesson plan in a 1st-grade classroom in Washington Elementary School in Santa Barbara, Spring 2014. Over the next two years during their remaining time at UCSB, they worked countless hours to establish a solid base in the university and surrounding community so that they could ensure a long-lasting education model. KIN has since grown to teach beyond the classroom and in workshops in universities, local libraries, after-school programs, remote Zoom lessons, and Boys and Girls Clubs.
In Spring 2020, they set out to complete a comprehensive food sustainability curriculum, touching on a range of topics at the intersection of nutrition, health, and the environment. The intent of this curriculum is to bridge the gap between these often disparate fields and that moving forward, nutrition will need to be viewed through a multi-sectoral lens in order to improve our public health and ecological systems. This food sustainability curriculum is currently being taught in Santa Barbara and Davis classrooms via Zoom and instruction will continue improving and expanding through 2021.
Over time, KIN has evolved into a leadership development program, heavily empowering university students from all backgrounds to become advocates for health and the environment in their respective communities. Michelle and Angela found that this model is effective and innovative as university students are mobilizing other university students to teach younger students in their communities. In this, they believe that KIN is a platform to increase the representation of the younger generations to advocate for issues that will hold more weight and have greater impacts on their future.
Kids In Nutrition (KIN) is committed to a society in which all people are treated equally, opportunity is justly distributed, and all voices are heard. We affirm and seek diversity in gender, race, color, ethnicity & national origin, age, sex, class, religion, ability, life experiences, and background as both a positive contribution to our organizational environment and a critical asset for informing and enabling our work. With this in mind, we are committed to maintaining an environment that recognizes, understands, respects, and encourages the unique contributions of each member and we approach every organizational decision with a commitment to diversity.
While there is considerable research on food and planetary health, there currently lies a deficit in nutrition and food sustainability education in the US. It is this gap that KIN seeks to address.