Highlights from the Network: NHFA Backbone Team – Erin Allgood

Melissa Groves

As the Project Coordinator for the NH Food Alliance, Erin brings her extensive knowledge of local food, leadership skills, and enthusiasm to the team. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from Wheaton College and a Master’s degree in Nutritional Sciences from the University of New Hampshire. Erin fell in love with local food when she started volunteering with Seacoast Eat Local in 2010 and has since pursued additional coursework in order to better understand topics in sustainability and food systems. She holds certificates in Leadership in Sustainable Food Systems and Sustainable Business, both from the University of Vermont. To delve even further into sustainable food systems, Erin started a local foods consulting business called Allgood Eats Local in 2014. Her most recent project included an assessment of how to leverage federal nutrition assistance to bring more local food to low-income residents in New Hampshire. She currently serves as a SNAP Committee member for Seacoast Eat Local and started the Food Education Network with a goal of increasing access to healthy, local and organic foods to low income communities. Erin has a keen interest in making good food accessible to everyone. 

Erin believes that the release of the Viability Initiative and the kick-off of the Viability Working Group represent tremendous accomplishments for the NH Food Alliance. She says "I am excited that we were able to rally the network around the concept of farm, fish, and food enterprise viability for our first initiative, and I can't wait to see what the rest of 2016 will bring."

In her network weaving and engagement work at the NH Food Alliance, Erin finds that the volume and diversity of the network can be challenging to manage. "There are so many organizations and businesses in New Hampshire that either exist or are popping that are doing great work in our food system. My biggest challenge is to connect with all of these entities, bring them into the network, and share resources that will help support their mission." However, Erin sees this challenge as more of an opportunity for the NH food system: "I think the NH Food Alliance is making great strides with the formation of the Viability Working Group, and that we'll be seeing great recommendations coming from that group over the next few months." She continues toward educating people about the NH food system and weaving the network for maximum effectiveness.

Erin spends her free time taste-testing sourdough breads and pizzas that her husband creates for his business, Embers Bakery.