Leah Kabran EdenCo-founder | Grassroots Advocacy Director,
Leah Kabran Eden is an anthropologist and policy analyst with experience working on nutrition, public health, and benefits access within the nonprofit, government, philanthropic, and business sectors. As Equity Advocates’ co-founder and Grassroots Advocacy Director, she is responsible for developing the coalition’s grassroots campaigns, partner organization recruitment and coalition growth, crafting the communication strategy, overseeing data collection & evaluation efforts, and providing on-the-ground support for legislative efforts.
For more than six years, Leah has worked with New York based nonprofit organizations and government officials to advance changes in the food system as a key mechanism to address the underlying, structural causes of poverty and inequality. Most recently, she worked with the United Way of New York City to develop an advocacy strategy and build organizational capacity for carrying out a public policy agenda to increase food security, asset building, and access to high-quality education in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty.
As the Director of Food Policy for New York City Council Member Ben Kallos, Leah developed and advanced a progressive food policy agenda including increased access to healthy food, school meals, and obesity prevention policies. Under her management, they successfully fought for free universal school lunch for all public school students, launched a new GrowNYC Fresh Food Box in district, as well introduced legislation setting nutritional standards for children’s restaurant meals and requiring the Department of Education to provide data on school meal participation rates. Leah was also responsible for cultivating relationships with local and national food advocates.
Leah also produced original food policy radio programming, and fostered relationships with food system thought leaders, members and sponsors as Heritage Radio Network’s Director of Research and Communication. She was the newly established nonprofit’s first intern and then first employee. While completing her master’s, Leah worked as a policy intern at Wholesome Wave, a national food access nonprofit, where she educated and mobilized 60+ partners on food policy issues and helped to secure a $3.77 million Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive grant from the USDA. She also designed and implemented a quantitative research study among farmers market organizations on barriers and opportunities for SNAP Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) at farmers markets and wrote a memo for the USDA including policy recommendations.
Early in her career, Leah spent eight years conducting qualitative market research for Fortune 500 companies to uncover how consumers think about health, wellness and food.
In 2016, Leah was recognized as one of NYC Food Policy Center at Hunter College’s 40 Under 40: The Rising Stars in New York City Food Policy. She holds a MA in Food Systems with an emphasis on food and agriculture policy from New York University and BA in Cultural Anthropology from Boston University.