Maureen McNamara Best
LEAP Director, Strategic Planning
Virginia Fresh Match Co-Lead
Maureen McNamara Best is the Director of Strategic Planning with Local Environmental Agriculture Project (LEAP), a 501c3 non-profit based in Roanoke, VA. LEAP’s mission is to nurture healthy communities and resilient food systems. To tackle the complicated problems in our food system, LEAP works closely with community members, organizational and government partners, and farmers. LEAP programs include LEAP FArmers Markets (West End and Grandin Village), LEAP Mobile Market, LEAP Farm Share, healthy Food Incentives (SNAP, Medicaid, WIC, Senior), The LEAP Kitchen, and regional food system development. Maureen is also a co-lead of Virginia’s statewide Nutrition Incentive Network, Virginia Fresh Match, and oversees the USDA Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) grant on behalf of regional organizations, farmers markets, and grocery retails across the Commonwealth.
Maureen has over fifteen years of experience working with food, agriculture, and community. Her work and professional experience is wide-ranging and includes teaching high school agriculture in Raleigh, NC, working with migrant farmworkers in eastern NC and in the Colorado plains, doing food safety inspections in Boulder, CO, and studying the economic viability of the local food system in Northern Colorado. Maureen has a MA in Anthropology from Colorado State University and undergraduate degrees in Agriculture Education, Spanish, and anthropology from North Carolina State University.
You can contact Maureen at maureen_at_leapforlocalfood.org.