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Ruby Ferguson Appointed Chicago's First Food Equity Policy Lead

February 2022

Ruby Ferguson Named Chicago's New Food Equity Policy LeadRuby Ferguson, MEd, MS, RD, C'2012, was recently appointed by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot to serve as the city's first food equity policy lead. In her new role, Ferguson will work with the newly established 24-member Food Equity Council to create a plan for food equity in Chicago. She will be employed by the Greater Chicago Food Depository and also report to Lightfoot’s policy office.

The Council, made up from a range of individuals from city workers to community members, plans to tackle five priorities:  eliminating barriers to food pantry expansion; maximizing nutrition programs and benefits; eliminating barriers to urban farming; supporting BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) food businesses; and leveraging city procurement to support local BIPOC food growers along with businesses and producers.

A registered dietitian nutritionist, Ferguson previously worked at the Near North Health Service Corporation, where she was involved in the expansion of the WIC program, clinical dietetic and cooking programs. Her role as the food equity policy lead comes at a critical time as many Chicagoans are struggling to access healthy and affordable foods particularly now in the wake of the pandemic. 

Ferguson, who majored in both psychology and chemistry at Spelman, discusses the importance of her role in an interview with WTTW News.

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