Operation Food Search expands child & family nutrition programs

Non-profit agency hires four dietitians for growing department

ST.LOUIS – Operation Food Search (OFS), a non-profit hunger relief organization, recently added four dietitians to its Child & Family Nutrition Programs department: Carmen Berry, Katie Jackson, Brittney Stone and Hannah Thornburgh.

“We are very fortunate to have expanded our program to include four dieticians on our team. Their expertise and input directly tie into our capital campaign where building nutrition knowledge is at the center of our work,” Sunny Schaefer, Operation Food Search’s Executive Director said.

Berry, a registered and licensed dietitian, was named the Manager of Nutrition Education Programs. She will oversee OFS’ nutrition education department, which builds both skills and knowledge that lead to sustained healthy eating habits. She will collaborate with the entire organization to ensure efforts align with OFS’ strategic goals.

Prior to this position, Berry served as the Health Promotion Manager for a corporate dining and catering company. She earned her Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in Amherst, MA and her Bachelor of Science degree in Human Environmental Sciences with an emphasis in Medical Dietetics from the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO.

Jackson, a registered and licensed dietitian, will serve as Nutrition Educator Instructor. In this position, she will facilitate OFS’ Cooking Matters program which teaches families how to prepare healthy, low-cost meals and receive the most nutrition from a limited budget. Jackson will implement effective cooking-based nutrition education services for children, teens, and adults.

Jackson previously worked at a healthcare company and, prior to that, at a hospital. She earned her Bachelor of Science degrees in Dietetics and Nutrition, as well as Fitness & Health, from Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN.

Stone, a registered and licensed dietitian, was named Fresh Rx Nutrition Coordinator. Her responsibilities include program design and implementation of the agency’s newest Fresh Rx service, which focuses on perinatal and malnourished populations. She will provide clinical nutrition counseling and education both at home and in hospital settings.

Stone has worked in the nutrition and health education industry for more than 10 years at various organizations including a local university and hospital, as well as the Department of Public Health. She earned her graduate certificate in Public Health from the University of Missouri, as well as her Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Dietetics from the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO.

Thornburgh, a registered and licensed dietitian, was appointed Coordinator of Nutrition Education Programs. In this position, she will coordinate and teach OFS’ Cooking Matters classes. In addition to preparing nutrition education class materials, she also will train the program’s volunteers.

Thornburgh earned her Master of Arts degree in Family and Consumer Science Multidisciplinary Health Communications from Fontbonne University in St. Louis, MO and her Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition – Didactic Program in Dietetics from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN.

“They will play a major role in addressing food insecurity by providing key contributions to our nutrition education and training, as well as promoting advocacy efforts for both our community and our state,” Schaefer said.

Schafer added that the mission of OFS is set up children and their families to be successful in terms of cooking healthy meals at home. She said that hiring these four trained experts is key to achieving their goal.

Founded in 1981, Operation Food Search (OFS) is a hunger relief organization that provides food and nutrition education. With a strategic focus aimed at ending childhood hunger, OFS empowers families with a range of programs and services proven to reduce food insecurity and increase access to healthy and affordable food. The agency helps feed more than 200,000 individuals on a monthly basis – one-third of which are children – through a network of 330 community partners in 31 Missouri and Illinois counties.

Operation Food Search is located at 1644 Lotsie Blvd. For more information, call (314) 726-5355 or visit OperationFoodSearch.org.