Making Change In Jackson: Meet FoodCorps’ Winnie Rubin | Health
Jackson, Mississippi is a long way from New York City. But for Upper West Sider Winnie Rubin, that distance spells opportunity.
Rubin knew early on she wanted to teach. Her elementary and high school education at the private Rudolf Steiner School narrowed the scope. “It was part of our curriculum in grades 3-12 to go to Hawthorne Valley Farm, a biodynamic and organic dairy and vegetable farm,” the 22 year old tells us. That lead her to a psychology and public health major at Bennington College in Vermont. “From studying and knowing I wanted to be an educator, I needed to combine food, health policy, gardening and physical education in one.” But how – and where could she put those skills and that education into practice?
Enter FoodCorps, a nationwide team of leaders that connects kids to real food by placing those leaders in limited-resource communities for a year of public service (1,700 hours). Rubin believed this to be her chance. “They accept 80 out of 1,000,” she says. “I’m honored I made the cut.”
Coming from New York City to the South was a choice for her. “I picked Jackson,” she says. But why? “It’s kind of selfish in a weird way, I guess. Being from such an urban, highly populated, really convenient city, I wanted to go somewhere I knew would be a struggle for me.” Rubin reasons it out: “If I’m going to do something so crazy, like change school food and school policy via a garden, this is the spot.” Learning of Mississippi’s “fattest state” status clarified why she’s here. “I’m in a place to make a change.”
Read more about Winnie at finditinFondren.com.