Healthy Food Programs: From Arizona to Alaska

Conducting a Community Food Assessment and Creating Innovative Food Programs

Across the U.S., people are struggling with food insecurity and access to healthy foods. Host Adnan Mahmud, CEO of LiveStories, will discuss the community food assessment process with panelists from Maricopa County, the fourth largest county in the United States. Then, due North to learn about innovative healthy food programs implemented in Sikta, Alaska. 

The webinar will cover:

  • ACS data on food access and insecurity

  • The process of conducting a community food assessment

  • Healthy food programs in small and large communities

  • Public-private partnerships addressing hunger

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Meet Our Panelists

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Marina Celaya, MPH

Office of Performance Improvement,
Maricopa County Department of Public Health

Marina is a Program Evaluator at the Maricopa County Department of Public Health, who supports the SNAP-Ed grant and its associated teams and programs within the department. She also provides data support to FACT (the Food Assessment Coordination Team), which is a workgroup within the Maricopa County Food System Coalition. Marina holds her Master’s in Public Health from the University of Arizona. 

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Gina Lacagnina, MS, RDN

Office of Community Health Innovation,
Maricopa County Department of Public Health

Gina Lacagnina is a Registered Dietitian on the Food Systems Team at Maricopa County Department of Public Health. Her work centers on addressing chronic disease prevention, health promotion, and increasing access to healthy foods through farmers markets, gardens, and healthy retail. She is a member of the Maricopa County Food System Coalition, where she is helping coordinate a comprehensive regional food assessment. She received her Master of Science in Human Nutrition from Arizona State University..

Loyd Platson

HOPE Coalition (Healthy Organizations, People, and Environments)

Loyd Platson has a MS in Guidance and Counseling with concentrations in Substance Abuse and Family Systems Counseling and has worked in the prevention field for over 45 years. He serves as the Prevention Director at Sitka Counseling. Loyd is a nationally and internationally Certified Prevention Specialist and was a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)-Center for Substance Abuse Prevention Fellow for three years.
Loyd has provided graduate level coursework in the areas of the development and perpetuation of addictive and compulsive behaviors; leadership development and group facilitation; creating healthy educational environments and other related courses.
Loyd lives in the diverse remote island community of Sitka, AK (population-9,000) where he enjoys kayaking, hiking, biking, fishing and being involved in the life of the community. He became interested and involved in healthy and accessible food choices upon moving to Sitka, Alaska in 2015 and has researched the history and development of the growth of the community garden project in Sitka and its related components, many of which had developed and expanded prior to his involvement.


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