Carla Kohler has learned firsthand about the importance of hunger relief, food security, and the consumption of healthy food in communities experiencing health inequities. And she is committed to implementing and integrating health equity initiatives in both the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota, making her passion an ideal match for FFEN’s mission.
Most recently as the Director of Community Health Initiatives, and for eight years prior to her current position in a number of other roles at Comunidades Latinas Unidas En Service (CLUES) in Minneapolis, MN, Carla has managed nearly every aspect of community health initiatives including project management, grant and contract management, budget analysis formations and resource allocation to name a few. She has worked to address access to wellness; health prevention through education; food security and basic needs initiatives; and advocacy, and has a special commitment to addressing disparities and inequities that disproportionately impact people of color, underrepresented groups, rural and low income communities.
Over the past four years, Carla’s work has centered around hunger relief and food security, implementing the first community garden Jardin de Harmonia En Accion (Harmony Garden In Action) and the Canasta Familiar food shelf in 2019. Both were designed with participants’ experience in mind, which Kohler describes as “welcoming, dignified, healthy, nutritious and culturally responsive.”
“As I Board Member, I was quickly impressed by FFEN’s level of commitment to advancing healthy food access and food security by adapting their approach to meet community partners where they are at – it is not a cookie-cutter approach. I know well the essential role FFEN played in the development of the brick-and-mortar food shelf in my previous role. Support like this to partners is essential and crucial for many organizations to have the opportunity to support and reshape the Hunger relief sector in Minnesota,” shared Carla.
Carla is currently employed at Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Center for Prevention, where she and her team tackle the leading causes of preventable disease—commercial tobacco use, physical activity, and unhealthy eating. She believes that increasing health equity and transforming communities will lead to a healthier state. Carla has a B.A. in Legal Studies and Political Science from Hamline University.