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For new WIC supervisor Christine Ebert, she recalls what she thought about early in her career as she pursued becoming a registered dietitian.
“I knew I wanted to help people, and food is one thing that — regardless of race, religion, culture or color — that connects us all, and I just think there is something really powerful about that. So being able to connect with people through food is the way that I want to help them,” said Christine, who started with the Health Department on July 8.
She has a variety of experience in helping people with nutrition, healthy habits and helping address food insecurity.
For the past four years, she has served as a registered dietitian with the University of Kansas Memorial Unions. She was busy handling several types of projects from planning dining hall menus to teaching cooking classes to offering nutrition education to students one-on-one and helping students who had food allergies. She also contracted with Watkins Health Center and served on several committees at the university.
“It was a lot of different things, all with the common theme of nutrition and wellness and health and wellness. I also worked with the Health Department on some grants,” Christine said.
Before coming to KU, she served in a similar role at the University of Montana, where she had sought an adventure away from northeast Kansas, where she grew up on a sheep farm northeast of Manhattan.
Her role at KU opened her eyes to the prevalence of food insecurity both in Douglas County and among the college-student population.
“I just think it’s something that’s not going away or even getting better,” Christine said. “Finding ways to address that with a new generation and population is important.”
She served in the past on the Douglas County Food Policy Council, and she said the community does have momentum in bringing awareness to food insecurity to the forefront and resources in the county from locally produced foods to farmers markets, community gardens and food pantries, especially Just Food in Lawrence.
Early in her career, Christine worked in the WIC program, and she is excited about helping lead the Health Department’s WIC staff and Douglas County families get access to healthy and nutritious foods.
When she’s not working, Christine enjoys traveling, reading and learning to cook with new types of vegetables through her local CSA shares. This summer she has worked on figuring out dishes with fennel and fava beans.