KC Healthy Kids Celebrates 10 Years and 10-Year-Olds

February 4, 2016 § Leave a comment

With the celebration of KC Healthy Kids’ 10 year anniversary, I’ve been thinking about kids who are the same age. These pieces celebrate the work we’re doing and why it matters.

10 Year Anniversary Book


Anniversary Book Single Page View 3

Maya & Ella
I wrote this first installment and will provide direction to a contract writer who will take them on adventures each month to demonstrate how health disparities vary from neighborhood to neighborhood, even if they’re only a few miles apart!

Chapter 1: In which the park is so close and yet so very far away.

Maya Ella 500px

Video for Powerful Storytelling

February 4, 2016 § Leave a comment

Wow, video sure has come front and center in the last few years. It’s fun to produce despite the challenges (so many people, places and props involved!), but the final product, when beautifully shot and carefully edited, is oh so rewarding.

A Visit to Stony Crest Urban Farm for the Farm to School Academy

Stony Crest Farm Still


Speak Out for Healthy Kids for the I Am Here Awards

Speak Out for Healthy Kids Still


Kids Draw a Brighter Future for the 2015 I Am Here Awards

Reshaping our Schools Still

Seed to Plate: A series on food for KC Olive Branch

December 15, 2015 § Leave a comment

KC Olive Branch covers faith, peace and justice topics. This “Seed to Plate” series was intended to introduce the concept of a food system to Olive Branch readers and to encourage them to be more engaged in Kansas City’s local food movement.

Seed to Plate: Care where your food comes from
March 12, 2009

“You can’t grow a pizza!” said my three-year-old daughter at dinner one night. She thought that in the movie WALL-E, the captain of the Axiom had made a mistake when, excited by the prospect of returning to a blighted Earth, he said, “You kids are gonna grow all kinds of plants!”

Seed to Plate: Urban farms provide more than produce
April 9, 2009

Last week I visited the Kansas City Center for Urban Agriculture (KCCUA) for the first time. Just five minutes away from the Metcalf/I-35/I-635 interchange, I transplanted lettuce, folded row covers, and tried to resist climbing on the straw bales. A few days later, I sat down with Katherine Kelly, KCCUA’s executive director and farmer, to talk about how she created a land-based lifestyle within an opportunity-based metropolis.

Seed to Plate: A real food antidote for a childhood crisis
May 14, 2009

It’s proven that healthy kids learn better, and this generation of children will need to be well-educated, competent problem-solvers in order to continue to respond to the economic and environmental crises currently facing our nation and our world. We have not gotten them off to a good start. Obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and behavior disorders are standing in their way.

Seed to Plate: Refugee women harvest new beginnings
June 11, 2009

They came from cultures that have farmed for centuries, from Somalia, Burundi and Liberia, to the same spot of earth in Kansas City, Kansas. They came because their home countries were intolerant, even hostile, toward people of their race, religion or tribe. They risked their lives to leave; they might have died if they had stayed.

Seed to Plate: Food deserts in the Heartland
July 8, 2009

In a report released last week, the United States Department of Agriculture said that “access to a supermarket or large grocery store is a problem for a small percentage of households.” According to the study, about 11.5 million low-income people in the United States live more than one mile from a supermarket or large grocery store.

But for that “small” population, the social, financial, and health impacts are a big problem.

Seed to Plate: Remaking our food system for a happy ending
September 3, 2009

In this series, I’ve written about some of the people working to move Kansas City toward community food security. These urban farmers, advocates, educators and community organizers are leading the fight to keep our food system from becoming more of what film reviewer Mark Dujsik called The Final Destination: A quick, cheap cash-in.

Food Stories for Enhance Magazine

November 24, 2015 § Leave a comment

Kansas City Enhance was a beautiful magazine that is sadly now defunct. Thank goodness their content is still available online. I wrote feature articles and acted as food editor, hiring and providing direction to writers, and working with local chefs who provided recipes.

Inaugural Food Section, 2010

How My Family Started Eating Better,  2010

Splurge: Bacon from Schenker Farms, 2010

Apples, Broccoli, Carrots: The ABCs Come from the Farm, 2009

Local Flavors: Kansas City’s Sustainable Food Movement Is Good for Your Body and Soul, 2009

Cards for a Cause

November 23, 2015 § Leave a comment

As editorial director for UNICEF branded products, I helped create greeting cards that raised more than two million dollars for UNICEF’s programs. The cards are meant to appeal to a more sophisticated consumer who wants to convey a message in as few words as possible. That consumer is also very savvy about charitable products and wants to know exactly what UNICEF gets from the sale of each card. To keep this demographic happy, we printed information on the back of each card that explains what UNICEF could provide with the proceeds from the purchase of each card.

Making Music at Hallmark

November 23, 2015 § Leave a comment

Hallmark Music was a complex yet very satisfying product line to work on. (And it was totally fun because it involved listening to music most of the day and deciding which songs to include for each concept.)  Marketing research told us our consumers wanted songs they knew, with lyrics by original artists. They also liked sharing with their friends any great new music they discovered, so we included on each CD a few songs that weren’t so well-known.

Added value editorial elements like recipes, tips and wedding shower games helped strengthen the creative concept and give the consumer a bit of a surprise.

I was an editor when I worked on this product, but acted as editorial director for a certain number of packages. In that role I was responsible for selecting music tracks with our producer in Los Angeles and managing the legalese required for the jacket, procuring original writing, seeing the product through proofreading, and making sure the artwork and editorial content worked together seamlessly.

A Timely Resource for Helping Kids Bounce Back

September 6, 2015 § Leave a comment

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City hired me to help Turning Point: Center for Hope and Healing turn their workshops for kids into a printed resource families can use at home. Through stories and activities, it explains how parents and caregivers can help children learn 10 teachable resilience skills.