National Staff

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James Haga
Executive Director
james@mealexchange.com

Merryn became engaged with food insecurity while volunteering at food banks in the North end of Hamilton and was inspired by the 'Code Red' studies conducted at McMaster University. She graduated from the University of Waterloo in 2016 with an MSc in Public Health and Health Systems, where she conducted a qualitative study on the experience of student food insecurity. Merryn volunteers her time with Food Secure Canada's Youth Caucus and the Toronto Youth Food Policy Council. She is excited to support the voices of students in changing good food access and availability on Canadian campuses.

Merryn became engaged with food insecurity while volunteering at food banks in the North end of Hamilton and was inspired by the 'Code Red' studies conducted at McMaster University. She graduated from the University of Waterloo in 2016 with an MSc in Public Health and Health Systems, where she conducted a qualitative study on the experience of student food insecurity. Merryn volunteers her time with Food Secure Canada's Youth Caucus and the Toronto Youth Food Policy Council. She is excited to support the voices of students in changing good food access and availability on Canadian campuses.

Merryn Maynard
Knowledge Mobilization Manager
merryn@mealexchange.com
416 657 4489 ext. 2

Susanne comes from a background of student organizing where she spent the last 5 years on Ryerson campus advocating for the needs of marginalized students. She sees food justice as an intersecting issue with classism, racism, sexism, ableism etc. Susanne holds a Bachelor in Social Work and is excited to connect with students and community partners across Canada to discuss, nuance and address systemic causes of food insecurity on campuses.

Susanne comes from a background of student organizing where she spent the last 5 years on Ryerson campus advocating for the needs of marginalized students. She sees food justice as an intersecting issue with classism, racism, sexism, ableism etc. Susanne holds a Bachelor in Social Work and is excited to connect with students and community partners across Canada to discuss, nuance and address systemic causes of food insecurity on campuses.

Susanne Nyaga
Campaigns, Chapters & Communications Coordinator
susanne@mealexchange.com 416 657 4489 ext. 2

 
Brittany has an environmental background, with a BSc in Environmental Science and International Development Studies from Dalhousie University and a Masters in Environmental Studies from York University. She has spent the last two years working for the Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network (ACORN), where she learned an immense amount from local producers. Prior to her Masters, she worked for the Office of Sustainability at Dalhousie University on sustainable procurement, with a particular focus on sustainable seafood and fair-trade products. She feels inspired by the food movement and is grateful to be able to bring all that she has learned about food systems to this new position. She looks forward to working together on changing campus food systems to be more just and sustainable!

Brittany has an environmental background, with a BSc in Environmental Science and International Development Studies from Dalhousie University and a Masters in Environmental Studies from York University. She has spent the last two years working for the Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network (ACORN), where she learned an immense amount from local producers. Prior to her Masters, she worked for the Office of Sustainability at Dalhousie University on sustainable procurement, with a particular focus on sustainable seafood and fair-trade products. She feels inspired by the food movement and is grateful to be able to bring all that she has learned about food systems to this new position. She looks forward to working together on changing campus food systems to be more just and sustainable!

Brittany Maguire
National Good Food Campus Lead
brittany@mealexchange.com      

Jaimie has an academic background in food, nutrition and food security and is fascinated by understanding people's’ relationships to food and exploring how these relationships are shaped by broader and intersecting systemic forces. Jaimie finds inspiration and hope for social change through working with students and believes strongly in the power of young people to transform our food system towards an equitable, healthy and thriving future. She is driven by a passion to connect with people through food and is fortunate to do so at work, with friends and through volunteering.

Jaimie has an academic background in food, nutrition and food security and is fascinated by understanding people's’ relationships to food and exploring how these relationships are shaped by broader and intersecting systemic forces. Jaimie finds inspiration and hope for social change through working with students and believes strongly in the power of young people to transform our food system towards an equitable, healthy and thriving future. She is driven by a passion to connect with people through food and is fortunate to do so at work, with friends and through volunteering.

Jaimie White
Student Engagement and Events Coordinator 
jaimie@mealexchange.com      

 
 

Part-time Coordinators

 
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Jess Schellenberg
Good Food Challenge Fellow - British Columbia

Celia first became passionate about food when she learned to garden with her mother as a child. Now, an avid gardener, fisher, hunter and preserver, she engages with the food system in as many ways as possible. Celia began volunteering with Meal Exchange in 2011, and transitioned from her volunteer position into a full-time job with Vancouver Island University after finishing her undergraduate degree. She has learned from farmers and seed savers around the world, and she is passionate about continuing to learn how to transform our world through the food we grow, eat and share.

Celia first became passionate about food when she learned to garden with her mother as a child. Now, an avid gardener, fisher, hunter and preserver, she engages with the food system in as many ways as possible. Celia began volunteering with Meal Exchange in 2011, and transitioned from her volunteer position into a full-time job with Vancouver Island University after finishing her undergraduate degree. She has learned from farmers and seed savers around the world, and she is passionate about continuing to learn how to transform our world through the food we grow, eat and share.

Celia White
Decolonizing the Food System Bookclub Coordinator
celia@mealexchange.com
 

 
 

Summer Students

Hannah Philip is the National Students Feeding Change Events Coordinator working to make this National Food Summit the best it can be. Hannah recently graduated from McMaster where she worked as the Food Collective Centre Coordinator, managing the campus food bank. When Hannah isn't talking about Food Security, you can find her enjoying patio season or hiking with her pup.

Hannah Philip is the National Students Feeding Change Events Coordinator working to make this National Food Summit the best it can be. Hannah recently graduated from McMaster where she worked as the Food Collective Centre Coordinator, managing the campus food bank. When Hannah isn't talking about Food Security, you can find her enjoying patio season or hiking with her pup.

Hannah Philip
National Students Feeding Change Events Coordinator
summit@mealexchange.com

Stephanie Ross is a student at UC Berkeley studying economics with a minor in food systems. She’s passionate about exploring the intersection of sustainability and economic models within food systems and is really excited to be a part of the Meal Exchange team!

Stephanie Ross is a student at UC Berkeley studying economics with a minor in food systems. She’s passionate about exploring the intersection of sustainability and economic models within food systems and is really excited to be a part of the Meal Exchange team!

Stephanie Ross
Humber College Good Food Challenge Coordinator
stephanie@mealexchange.com

Robin is working on the Good Food Challenge at Humber College. She helped lead the movement to get Humber Fair Trade designated starting in 2014 and finally succeeding in 2018. The success of Humber allowed her to receive the Ontario Council of International Cooperations Global Youth Changemaker award. She has worked with Fair Trade Toronto and Fair Trade Canada in the meantime. Robin has experience working in monitoring and evaluating on economic projects in Sri Lanka and Indonesia, one which specifically focused on the tea sector. Purchasing power personally gave her a lot of confidence. Knowing what she is eating and the impact it has is something she holds deeply. She is excited to get back to Humber and push them a little harder in being transparent and accountable, while encouraging students to be in control of their purchasing power.

Robin is working on the Good Food Challenge at Humber College. She helped lead the movement to get Humber Fair Trade designated starting in 2014 and finally succeeding in 2018. The success of Humber allowed her to receive the Ontario Council of International Cooperations Global Youth Changemaker award. She has worked with Fair Trade Toronto and Fair Trade Canada in the meantime. Robin has experience working in monitoring and evaluating on economic projects in Sri Lanka and Indonesia, one which specifically focused on the tea sector. Purchasing power personally gave her a lot of confidence. Knowing what she is eating and the impact it has is something she holds deeply. She is excited to get back to Humber and push them a little harder in being transparent and accountable, while encouraging students to be in control of their purchasing power.

Robin Sagi
Humber College Good Food Challenge Coordinator

Sanjana is an international student, she grew up and did her schooling in New Delhi, India. She is currently in the first year of her undergraduate studies in Computer Science at Lakehead University, and she loves every bit of it. She also loves Thunder Bay, which is why she decided to work with Meal Exchange to deal with student food insecurity there. She wants to give back to the community. Sanjana wants to make sure that every student eats well and sleeps peacefully at night. Apart from that, she also likes writing, performing spoken-word poetry, socializing, motivating people, and drinking coffee!    Currently, Sanjana is also the Staff Writer of The Argus, Lakehead University’s newspaper, and she looks forward to more opportunities to learn about and connect with the community in the city and beyond!

Sanjana is an international student, she grew up and did her schooling in New Delhi, India. She is currently in the first year of her undergraduate studies in Computer Science at Lakehead University, and she loves every bit of it. She also loves Thunder Bay, which is why she decided to work with Meal Exchange to deal with student food insecurity there. She wants to give back to the community. Sanjana wants to make sure that every student eats well and sleeps peacefully at night. Apart from that, she also likes writing, performing spoken-word poetry, socializing, motivating people, and drinking coffee!

Currently, Sanjana is also the Staff Writer of The Argus, Lakehead University’s newspaper, and she looks forward to more opportunities to learn about and connect with the community in the city and beyond!

Sanjana Sharma
Students Feeding Change Coordinator - Lakehead
sanjana@mealexchange.com

Donna is a Hamilton based graphic artist. Although she has no formal training or education about sustainability and the food system, she is passionate about learning and living a lifestyle that supports ethical and sustainable practices.

Donna is a Hamilton based graphic artist. Although she has no formal training or education about sustainability and the food system, she is passionate about learning and living a lifestyle that supports ethical and sustainable practices.

Donna Velasco
National Office Graphic Designer
design@mealexchange.com

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Neal Cameron
UBC Good Food Challenge Campus Coordinator
neal@mealexchange.com

John is a summer student completing an internship as part of his Masters of Science in Global Health. He will be assisting with the Hungry for Knowledge and Good Food Challenge projects throughout the summer. His previous interests in food insecurity involve working with an organization called NoLunchMoney, a student-led initiative aimed at combatting campus food insecurity at McMaster University.

John is a summer student completing an internship as part of his Masters of Science in Global Health. He will be assisting with the Hungry for Knowledge and Good Food Challenge projects throughout the summer. His previous interests in food insecurity involve working with an organization called NoLunchMoney, a student-led initiative aimed at combatting campus food insecurity at McMaster University.

John Vu
Knowledge Translator/Good Food Challenge Coordinator
john@mealexchange.com

Kaitlin is a fourth year Law Major with a Politics minor studying at Ryerson University. She has a particular interest in Social Justice and Food Security. Through her work at an Indigenous criminal law firm, Kaitlin witnessed the inequalities at systematic levels, and noticed that food insecurity was a major factor within the criminal justice system. Kaitlin currently does work for Maggie’s Toronto Sex Workers Action Project as a Board Member, as well as for Meal Exchange as the Student Feeding Change Coordinator. While her passion work focuses on creating policies that promote centralized food systems, she also runs campaigns that focus on the decriminalization of Sex Work, Students' Rights, Reproductive Justice, Body Autonomy and Food Justice.


Kaitlin is a fourth year Law Major with a Politics minor studying at Ryerson University. She has a particular interest in Social Justice and Food Security. Through her work at an Indigenous criminal law firm, Kaitlin witnessed the inequalities at systematic levels, and noticed that food insecurity was a major factor within the criminal justice system. Kaitlin currently does work for Maggie’s Toronto Sex Workers Action Project as a Board Member, as well as for Meal Exchange as the Student Feeding Change Coordinator. While her passion work focuses on creating policies that promote centralized food systems, she also runs campaigns that focus on the decriminalization of Sex Work, Students' Rights, Reproductive Justice, Body Autonomy and Food Justice.

Kaitlin Rizarri
Student's Feeding Change Coordinator-Ryerson
kaitlin@mealexchange.com

 

Board of Directors