Labor and Economic Opportunity
As the Health and Nutrition Supervising Educator at Michigan State University Extension in Grand Traverse County, Sarah Eichberger leads a team of 11 staff who deliver USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Education nutrition programming and public health interventions throughout 13 counties in northwestern and mid-Michigan. Additionally, Sarah serves as an AmeriCorps site supervisor for FoodCorps Michigan, an AmeriCorps program aimed at connecting kids to healthy food in schools. FoodCorps AmeriCorps members serve in high need schools to make sure students learn what healthy food is, fall in love with it, and eat it every day.
Sarah’s guidance and support are essential components in the success of FoodCorps members like Erin Baumann. As an AmeriCorps site supervisor, Sarah provides Erin with the coaching and resources needed to meet their shared objectives. Sarah also helps Erin integrate as a team member at her service sites: Suttons Bay and Traverse Heights Elementary Schools.
“Sarah's passion for our community and field of work is immense, which helped me acclimate to a new community when I started my year of service,” Erin stated. “Throughout the year, she has given me independence, but is always there when I need help or guidance. The amount of trust Sarah has in me allows me to feel confident in the service I am doing and encourages me to push myself to be better.”
Erin has benefited from Sarah’s experience, education, and commitment to promoting healthy lifestyles. Sarah is originally from Northern Michigan and is thrilled to be working and living in her home community. She has a bachelor’s degree in dietetics from Michigan State University and a graduate degree from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, where she studied nutrition with a concentration in health disparities and served as a Maternal and Child Health fellow. Sarah developed a strong interest in public health through several years of work experience as a registered dietitian in diverse urban settings.
Prior to joining MSU Extension, Sarah worked for the University of Minnesota Extension. In this role, she worked in support of community and public health approaches to improve healthy food access and disease prevention through the development of community food systems in the Twin Cities metro region and statewide. Sarah has also served as the Refugee Nutritionist for the Chicago-based non-profit Heartland Alliance and with the Women Infant Children and Maternal/Infant Health Program.
Sarah’s leadership and support were determining factors that motivated Erin to return for a second term of service as a FoodCorps member. The FoodCorps program staff are grateful to Sarah for her dedicated mentorship of AmeriCorps members since 2015, as well as her own valued contributions in the field of food systems equity and accessibility.