APRIL 2017 MEMBER SPOTLIGHT- CLANCY CASH HARRISON MS, RDN, FAND
By Stacie Smith, PAND Media Team
An author, TEDx speaker, and food justice advocate, Clancy Cash Harrison MS, RDN, FAND divulges, “my mission is to challenge the conventional assumptions about hunger in the United States to eradicate the stigma associated with food assistance programs”. Clancy is the owner of Healthy Living Lifestyle, LLC, a consulting practice for non-profits working with underserved populations, the founder of the Children Feeding Children project, and the Nutrition Outreach Coordinator of the Al Beech Food Pantry. She is also an Advisory Board Member for the United Way’s Safety New Counsel in Luzerne County, PA, an Advisory Board Member for the Women with Children’s Program at Misericordia University, and the PAND Eat Right Blogging Coordinator. Last year, Clancy was awarded the distinction of Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and Preceptor of the Year from Marywood University. Clancy is also an accomplished writer with her book Feeding Baby winning a NAACP Literacy Award, a Mom’s Choice Award, and an acceptance into the Virginia Festival of the Book.
Clancy’s interest in nutrition began with a love of biology and chemistry in high school. This led to her majoring in Nutritional Science at The Pennsylvania State University and later receiving an MS in Nutrition from The College of Saint Elizabeth. Clancy reveals that her career choice has always been to fight childhood hunger; aiming to be the voice that many children need. She has accomplished this through her work with ARAMARK as a School Food Service Director and her consulting practice as well as her many community service projects.
As the Nutrition Outreach Coordinator of the Al Beech West Side Food Pantry and the past President, Clancy has helped the pantry serve over 700 families throughout the year, providing 70 families a week with a 4-day supply of food. Through her work, she has helped the pantry secure grants and funding, including the funding for a walk-in cooler. Within the first year of having the cooler, Al Beech Food Pantry was able to provide over $50,000 worth of fresh produce to its clients. Beyond providing fresh produce for the community at the pantry, Clancy has also worked to grow produce through her project Children Feeding Children. Children Feeding Children is a greenhouse project at the Wyoming Valley Montessori School where the students cultivate transplants from seeds, which are then donated to youth-based organizations that grow the produce using edible landscaping techniques. Produce that is harvested is then donated back to the food pantry. This has established 4 community gardens and fresh produce for the Al Beech Food Pantry. To learn more about the project visit, http://www.clancyharrison.com/clancy-in-the-media.
In addition to engaging with the community, Clancy has also worked to increase knowledge and awareness of food insecurity through writing and public speaking. Clancy has written articles for Feeding America, Egg Nutrition Center, and Food & Nutrition Magazine Stone Soup. Her public speaking engagements include: TEDxWilmington Women’s Conference, Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo, Pennsylvania Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Annual Meeting, Pennsylvania Department of Aging Annual Meeting, and Northeastern Pennsylvania Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Fall Seminar. Clancy also collects stories from people who are directly impacted by safety net programs such as National School Lunch Program, WIC, and SNAP for The Center of American Progress. The goal of these stories is to help lawmakers understand the impact proposed cuts to these programs can have on U.S. residents. Clancy specifically finds stories on the impact of Medicaid coverage loss, the impact of reduced funding to Safety Net Programs, and the hardships and struggles of making ends meet while working low and minimum wage jobs.
Clancy has been an active member of PAND and NEPAND, serving in the past as NEPAND’s President and Professional Chair. She is also a member of multiple DPGs: Public Health/Community Nutrition, Hunger and Environmental Nutrition, Pediatric Nutrition, and Nutrition Educators of Health Professionals. Regarding changes to the profession, Clancy had a powerful suggestion, “with nearly 50 million people impacted by Food Insecurity in the United States, hunger lurks everywhere. Regardless of practice specialty, all registered dietitians work with food insecure clients. If I could change one thing, I would incorporate continuing education to teach dietitians how to approach food insecurity whether they are media experts, MNT therapists, or educators. Food insecurity is everyone’s job.”
Originally from Lincolnton, North Carolina, Clancy resides in Dallas, PA. In her free time, Clancy is a competitive open water swimmer and she enjoys spending time with friends and family. Clancy’s family taught her that food was a normal aspect of life with diets, food trends, or food shaming never entering their household, a sentiment she continues now as an adult. To find out more about food insecurity in America, view the links below to some of Clancy’s articles and her recent TEDx talk.
Written by Stacie Smith
PAND Media Team Volunteer