NDA Director Ott appointed as Chair of Council on Food Security


Rebecca Allured
public information officer
(SPARKS, Nev.) - June 30, 2020

Governor Steve Sisolak has named Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) Director Jennifer Ott as the new chair of the Nevada Council on Food Security.

A recent Feeding America report, The Impact of the Coronavirus on Local Food Insecurity, indicated Nevada as one of the states with the highest rates of projected food insecurity for 2020 as compared to 2018, and is ranked number three for states with the highest projected percent change in food insecurity rates between 2018 and 2020.

“Our Food and Nutrition Division at NDA is committed to addressing food insecurity in Nevada, as our state continues to face new challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Director Ott said.

Former Governor Brian Sandoval created the Governor’s Council on Food Security under executive order in 2014 as a part of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to improve the quality of life and health of Nevadans by increasing food security throughout the state. As of the 2019 session of the Nevada Legislature, the council and its membership are detailed in state law.

In addition to Director Ott, the Council on Food Security has several newly appointed and re-appointed members working to address food insecurity in Nevada:

  • Beth Handler, DHHS
  • Robert Thompson, Nevada Division of Welfare and Supportive Services
  • Candice McDaniel, Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health (DPBH)
  • Jhone Ebert, Nevada Department of Education
  • Rique Rob, Nevada Aging and Disability Services
  • Jesus Mendoza, Jr., USDA
  • Michael Brown, Governor’s Office of Economic Development
  • Marcia Blake, Helping Hands of Vegas Valley
  • Aurora Buffington, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
  • Kenneth Osgood, Southern Nevada Health District Board of Health
  • Homa Anooshehpoor, NDA
  • Jodi Tyson, Three Square Las Vegas
  • Marie Baxter, Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada
  • Deacon Tom Roberts, Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada
  • Kelli Kelly, Fallon Food Hub
  • Brittany Price, MGM Resorts International

The Council meets quarterly and the next scheduled meeting is July 7. Council meeting information can be found on the Nevada DPBH Council on Food Security website. For questions regarding the Council or to be added to the Council on Food Security email list, contact Laura Urban with the Nevada Office of Food Security at lurban@health.nv.gov.

About the Nevada Department of Agriculture

The Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) mission is to preserve, protect and promote Nevada’s agriculture. The department has 150 dedicated employees providing services in its five divisions, Administration, Animal Industry, Consumer Equitability, Food and Nutrition, and Plant Industry. The department’s $232 million budget facilitates regulatory and administrative work in agriculture and food manufacturing industries, protecting public and environmental health and worker safety, and providing food distribution and oversight for the United States Department of Agriculture’s school and community nutrition programs.