A Note from Erika Meschkat of FPC

Dear Coalition Members, 

I recently finished my last day working for Ohio State University Extension, Cuyahoga County and I am now preparing a move for graduate school to pursue a MBA. Moving from one great experience to the next exciting opportunity always results in a bittersweet transition.

For the past 3 years I have contributed to the work of Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Food Policy Coalition through coordination of Produce Perks, partnering for the development of Produce Prescription, strategic planning and engaging with all the working groups and members on events, summits, conferences and tours, among many other things! All of this work has allowed me to gain so much knowledge and insight into the work around community food systems and fresh food access in Cuyahoga County - and has also humbled me by clearly illuminating all that stands to be done and further understood.

I have often heard accolades and praise for the work being done in Cuyahoga County (and Northeast Ohio) to address health disparities through food systems work and will be the first to note that it is only through partnerships and the collaborative spirit of the region that has given our communities such a distinction. I am so proud of the connections being made to address health issues around us and look forward to being able to continually learn from you as I keep up to speed on the efforts in Cuyahoga County.

I also want to extend a great thanks to my friend and colleague, Morgan Taggart, who has taught me so much about being a humble leader and considerate collaborator. I know I am one of many who has learned so much from her and have felt inspired by her attitude, knowledge and experience. Thank you, Morgan!

For everyone else that I have worked with along the way - from the residents and members of the Central HEAL(Healthy Eating/Active Living) team to my colleagues at OSU Extension Cuyahoga County - though you are not listed here specifically, please do know your emails, phone calls, feedback, advice and general follow through have made my role with the FPC so rewarding. Any success going forward both personally and professionally will be the direct result of having been able to come into contact with you. I've learned from everyone and genuinely hope to stay connected no matter what life brings on either end.

Thank you for reading and for being interested. What can the Coalition do next? I'm so eager to see.

All the best,
Erika Meschkat