The Tisch Food Center is thrilled to welcome Lesley Kroupa, JD, MS, RD as Interim Policy Director. Lesley provides strategic policy recommendations for ongoing research projects and participates in local, state, and federal campaigns related to child nutrition and nutrition education. Learn more about Lesley’s professional interests and what she is looking forward to working on at the center in this introductory interview. 


This interview has been edited for length and clarity.


What are some of your policy interests?

Lesley: I am interested in the upstream approaches to supporting access to healthy food for kids and the promotion of nutrition education throughout our educational system. I'm also interested in ways to regulate the food industry more to protect children. The disproportionate advertising of junk food to black and hispanic children needs to be addressed, and I want to explore how we can use legal means, whether through laws, policies, regulations, or even lawsuits to combat that. 


What are some of the biggest issues in food and nutrition policy right now?

Lesley: The need for resources and the need to invest in this country’s food system and nutrition education is more critical now than ever. Given the epidemic of diet-related chronic diseases and given the supply chain interruptions we saw with COVID, we have to invest in this just as we would in any other infrastructure, and that takes, at the end of the day, money. It's an important investment that we have to make for the future health of all of us.


What are you most excited about working at the Tisch center?

Lesley: Not only working with a great team of experts in this field, which I'm super excited about, but also with the new administration at the federal level, our climate is ripe for really exciting changes in support of our food system and new food policies to support children's health. I think it’s a really dynamic time and I'm excited to be with the Tisch Food Center and have Tisch be an important player in these conversations. 


To learn more about Lesley and her work, check out her bio on our About page