The Strategic Team meets quarterly to develop short-term and long-term strategy for the network. 

Anyone committed to advancing the mission of MFAN, attending quarterly meetings, and participating in a work group is welcome to join the Strategic Team.  ​

Learn more and considering joining by completing the Strategic Team Information and Interest Form. Meetings are open to everyone. Join us at our next meeting.


2019 Meeting Dates: 1/9, 4/8, 7/8, 10/14 from 9-11 at UROC (2001 Plymouth Ave. N, Mpls) 

Find notes and evaluation results from the MFAN Strategic Team meetings

Meet the Team

Jamie Bain

Jamie Bain is the coordinator of the Metro Food Access Network (MFAN) and works for the University of Minnesota Extension.  She loves networks and affectionately considers herself a “network nerd”.  She believes in the power of connectivity and loves the magic that happens when people engage in critical conversations that lead to collaborative action. She also supports all food networks across the state through her role on the Engagement Team of the Minnesota Food Charter Network. Please reach out to Jamie with any questions about MFAN or your work with food networks in Minnesota and beyond.

Nadja Berneche

A resident of St. Paul, Nadja Berneche has served on the Saint Paul-Ramsey County Food and Nutrition Commission for six years, currently serving as co-chair. She has worked on changing policies to support urban agriculture, healthy eating, and food access at state and local levels.


She is also the Healthy Comprehensive Planning Director with Terra Soma, a strategic services firm with a specialty in food systems. In this role, a big part of her work is to bridge communication gaps. She often finds herself in the role of interpreter—explaining policy jargon to city and county planners, health advocates, and community members working to increase healthy food access. To create those long-range visions, she uses local community planning as tool to strategically identify and implement initiatives to increase access to healthy food and physical activity and to promote health equity.


Prior to this, Nadja served as the Program Director for Gardening Matters, focusing on community-based food systems and urban agriculture policy. Nadja earned her Masters of Social Work and Masters of Public Policy from the University of Minnesota. She enjoys chasing her 3-year old son, two elder dogs, and chickens around the garden, rooting for University of Michigan football, and making carrot pickles.

Jenny Breen

Jenny Breen has been a professional chef and advocate for local and sustainably raised foods working directly with farmers and producers in the Twin Cities area since the mid 1980’s.  She was  co-owner of Good Life Cafe and Catering, a sustainable and whole foods business from 1996-2013.  She is a 2009 Archibald Bush Foundation Leadership Fellow and completed her MPH in Nutrition at the University of Minnesota in 2011 while working to build strong networks within health and food systems for greater access to food, support for sustainable farming, and understanding of cooking as a health strategy. Her first cookbook "Cooking up the Good Life" emphasizes local, seasonal whole foods cooking for families, and was released in April of 2011 from the University of Minnesota Press. She currently teaches 3 courses at the University of Minnesota: an undergraduate cooking class called “Healthy Foods Healthy Lives, cooking on a Student’s Budget”, an undergraduate on line course called “food choices, healing the earth, healing ourselves”, and a graduate cooking course called “Food Matters, cook as if your life depends on it” for health professional students (with Dr Shafto), both through the Center for Spirituality and Healing.  She contracts as a food and nutrition Public Health educator with local health departments, school districts and non profit food and farming organizations.

Ruti Doto

Ruti Doto is a proud child of Ethiopian immigrants and a proud Minnesotan. Ruti is passionate about eliminating the barriers many people face as they strive to gain equal opportunity, access and resources to lead successful lives. She is committed to seek justice and equity for underrepresented and disadvantaged populations.

Melanie Heckt

Melanie is the Engagement Coordinator for the Northside Fresh Coalition at Appetite for Change doing a year of service as an AmeriCorps VISTA. She is also completing her degree in Food Systems and Nutrition at the University of Minnesota this fall. Melanie has experience working in urban agriculture and food policy at the city and state level. Melanie is passionate about working towards community owned food systems that nourish all people and the land.  

Melanie grew up in Andover, MN and has lived in Minneapolis the last four years. She is very close with her family, especially her two younger brothers. Melanie loves swing dancing, crocheting, and cooking with friends.

Sue Letourneau

Sue Letourneau is a Program Manager at the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. She is passionate about increasing access to healthy foods and advancing health equity. Sue enjoys gardening, hiking and spending time with family.

Chloe Richter

Chloe Richter is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian with a Bachelor's of Science in Community-Medical Dietetics from Viterbo University. Chloe is a Community Health Specialist for Washington County Department of Public Health and Environment where she works with community groups to improve opportunities for nutrition and physical activity. She is passionate about encouraging health for people across the lifespan and enjoying food as a powerful tool for connection and health.

Lisa Wong

Lisa Wong is a SNAP-Ed Educator with University of Minnesota Extension working in healthy food access in the North Metro. Prior to her work in Minnesota, she was a U.S. Peace Corps Community Health Specialist in Ethiopia. Her work focused primarily on food security, family planning, and gender equality. Lisa holds a B.S. in Nutrition from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, CA where she also focused her efforts on fair and direct trade as a means to enhance farmer's livelihoods. Aside from her professional experiences, her upbringing consisted of time spent in her family's Chinese restaurant and working long hot summers for almond and stone fruit farmers in California's Central Valley and more recently experimenting with fermentation and curing meats. Crossing paths with a wide range of people, she has always found food to be a unifying human ritual worth fighting for.

Lyncy Yang

Lyncy Yang was born and raised in St. Paul, MN under the care of her mother and 5 siblings. Lyncy joined The Food Group in September 2018 as its newest Program Manager. At The Food Group, Lyncy is responsible for managing food shelf relationships, the Cultural Equity Program, and Nutrition Education and Outreach Programs. Prior to her work at The Food Group, she was a secondary language arts and AVID educator, as well as a professional development specialist who specialized in inclusion, diversity, equity and access and systems change. She brings personally lived experience and knowledge around cultural humility and social justice and continuously strives to develop strategic and meaningful relationships to disrupt social injustices in Minnesota and beyond.


Lyncy studied teaching at Hamline University and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Minnesota.

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