2022 Food Waste Solutions Summit

May 10-12, 2022 | Minneapolis, MN





Sophia Lenarz-Coy

Executive Director

The Food Group Minnesota


Sophia Lenarz-Coy is the Executive Director of The Food Group.  She loves her job as it gives her the ability to think creatively, collaborate with amazing community partners, and bring good, culturally connected food where it’s needed most.  The food system is complex and interconnected but making it more equitable is possible.  That possibility is what brings Sophia to work each day. She has worked in hunger relief her entire career, having re-joined The Food Group as director of programs and operations in 2018. In that role, she embedded equity and systems change, created new strategies for community engagement, and clarified long-term organizational outcomes.  Prior to that, she served as associate director at Hunger Solutions Minnesota, where she worked on federal and state public policy and expanded cross-sector partnerships with healthcare, policy makers, and farmers markets. She also served as a leader for The Food Group’s programs team from 2008 to 2015. Her passion is to work collaboratively to create a more just, equitable food system for all.  Sophia is a graduate of Smith College and lives in Minneapolis with her husband, twin boys and evil black cat.  Her favorite food is pizza, although let’s be honest, it’s hard to pick just one thing!



Wednesday, May 11th

12:00pm - 1:30pm

Lunch & Special Programming

Buffet in Memorial Hall | Special Programming in Ski-U-Mah Room

Grab your lunch and join us for this session:
More Than a Solution for Surplus Food: An Interactive Deep-Dive on Designing for Equity, Justice, and Access in Food Systems (Special Presentation by ReFED) (Ski-U-Mah Room)

Our food systems are rooted in historical inequities that are still rampant today. We have an opportunity to rebuild them differently, but how can we design with those who are impacted, not for? While the primary conversation around food waste and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice (DEIJ) has been addressing food insecurity with surplus food, there are many other intersections that go beyond using some of our most disempowered members of society as a home for surplus food — food that is great for everyone no matter their socio-demographic. Participate in this interactive discussion, led by ReFED team members, as they share insights from their research on the intersections of DEIJ and the food waste ecosystem. Ultimately, we aim to together cultivate sustainable resilient systems that nourish, rather than deprive.

Thursday, May 12th

9:00am - 10:00am

Welcome Day 2 & Mainstage Session 3 - "Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice: Building a Food System That Works for Everyone"

McNamara Alumni Center, Memorial Hall

Welcome to Day 2! Join us for a special opening discussion.

In a country synonymous with abundance, millions of Americans have disproportionate access to the opportunities, resources, and distribution of benefits offered by our food system. Acknowledging and addressing the systemic inequities that cause this is the first step to creating an equitable, just, and inclusive food system for all. This session will explore indigenous food systems and waste-free sustainable practices that exist among indigenous communities, as well as how food waste and diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice values intersect and impact each other.

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