Director of School Food Initiatives
Lea Howe is the Director of School Food Initiatives at DC Greens where she works to build a healthier, more just food system in her hometown of Washington, DC. In this role, Lea supports DC Public Schools on their adoption of the Good Food Purchasing Program, a procurement framework that directs institutional buying power towards five core values: local economies, health, valued workforce, animal welfare and environmental sustainability. She also works to co-convene the DCPS School Food Advisory Board made up of parents, students, school staff and community members with the mission of opening channels of communication and building a more reflective and responsive meal program across DCPS' 114 schools. As the Core Partner for the National Farm to School Network for over 4 years, she advises and convenes local stakeholders to put food education on the menu in every classroom, grow DC’s robust school garden network, and provide all students with culturally appropriate, healthy, and regionally-sourced foods. She manages DC Greens’ School Garden Market program in 15 schools and designed, launched and ran Cooking with Kids, a program that taught food system lessons and culinary skills to over 3,000 students in 2 years. Lea currently serves on DCPS' Innovation and Systems Improvement Advisory Board. Her passion for food education and sustainable agriculture took root in Montana while serving with FoodCorps. During her first year, she integrated farm to school programming in the public school system and increased community access to local food. She also completed a FoodCorps Fellowship in Missoula, where she spearheaded a campaign to serve local, grass-fed beef into public schools and institutions. She has a degree in anthropology from Barnard College.