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Trina Ragain Named Regional Food Economies Fellow

Operation Food Search's Director of Advocacy and Research among eight leaders selected.

St. Louis, MO, June 27, 2018 --( The Wallace Center at Winrock International recently named Trina Ragain as an inaugural cohort of Regional Food Economies Fellow. Ragain is the Director of Advocacy and Research at Operation Food Search, a non-profit hunger relief organization.

Ragain is one of eight Fellows who are pursuing diverse and innovative strategies for advancing the case for local and regional food systems as a driver of inclusive economic and community development. The Fellows’ work will offer models for successful engagement between regional food and agriculture systems and development audiences including regional planning, investment and finance, public health, and local government agencies.

Ragain was selected based on her development of a new portfolio of innovative food prescription programs at Operation Food Search. The program, Fresh Rx: Nourishing Healthy Starts, focuses on improving birth outcomes for food insecure pregnant women and their babies. The goal of the program is to build a case for hunger relief services as a reimbursable healthcare expense. As part of her fellowship, Ragain will design an open source toolkit to assist other organizations to replicate this cost-saving model.

“We believe that regional food and agriculture has untapped potential to contribute to community health, economic vitality, and social equity,” said Wallace Center Director John Fisk. “The Fellows are on the forefront of creating the necessary bridges between the development sector and food and agriculture sector which will help to realize this potential. The Fellowship program will advance their work and help others to utilize their innovations, and drive more support and investment into local and regional food systems.”

Fellows receive 12 months of support for projects that engage and educate economic development stakeholders leading to improved articulation and understanding of the positive social, environmental and economic benefits of strong farm and food value chains. The Fellows will develop new resources, best practices, and lessons learned that Wallace Center will share with its broader audience of food systems practitioners so others can apply replicable models in their own communities.

The Wallace Center develops partnerships, pilots new ideas, and advances solutions to strengthen communities through resilient farming and food systems.

Founded in 1981, Operation Food Search (OFS) is a hunger relief organization that provides food and nutrition education. With a strategic focus aimed at ending childhood hunger, OFS empowers families with a range of programs and services proven to reduce food insecurity and increase access to healthy and affordable food. The agency helps feed more than 200,000 individuals on a monthly basis – one-third of which are children – through a network of 330 community partners in 31 Missouri and Illinois counties. Operation Food Search is located at 1644 Lotsie Blvd. For more information, call (314) 726-5355.
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Operation Food Search
Rochelle Brandvein

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