by Char Brooks, JD, Project Healthy Living Coach
Lindsay has been a member of the Elder Law of Michigan team since January 2011. She serves as the Director of Economic Security. Among her many responsibilities, she oversees our programs that help low income older adults access benefits that can help them make ends meet, put healthy food on the table, and improve their quality of life by eating right and being physically active.
In her role, Lindsay oversees our MiCAFE (Michigan’s Coordinated Access to Food for the Elderly) Network and heads a team of staff who are dedicated to making sure that older adults in Michigan communities know about the benefits available to them and feel comfortable asking for help with the application process. MiCAFE is a diverse, collaborative network of over 120 community-based organizations, that helps to reduce poverty and hunger statewide.
Lindsay also oversees Project Healthy Living and the Gardening with Older Adults for Health and Nutrition programs. The goal of Project Healthy Living is to encourage older adults to eat more fruits and vegetables as well as increase their minutes of daily physical activity. Gardening with Older Adults for Health and Nutrition is a part of a larger initiative designed to make systemic changes in communities that promote healthy food choices and increased physical activity.
As you can see, Lindsay’s presence is integral to the success of a multitude of programs that help reduce senior hunger and increase their quality of life. When asked what her favorite part of her job was, Lindsay said: “I like being part of a network that helps put a face to senior hunger and dispels myths about food stamps. You hear a lot of judgmental, negative information about this important safety net program in the media. Food assistance helps American seniors, children and families stay afloat during hard times.”
In her spare time, Lindsay enjoys being with her fiance, Travis, and their dogs. When asked about personal fun facts, she quips, “In another life, I’d spend all day on the ocean researching shark behavior. I recently got engaged so it’s been quite a happy summer. Hanging out with my fiance and our dogs, Robert and Norman, in our backyard is pretty much my favorite thing in the world.”
Professionally, Lindsay brings her kind, caring spirit into everything she does. She said, “I love listening and learning about people and finding ways to connect. Laughing is one of the best ways to connect.” She also enjoys “being part of an amazingly hardworking and dedicated (not to mention hilarious) team at ELM.”
When discussing what she is most passionate about, Lindsay said “I’m most passionate about social equality, mental health awareness, and taking care of our planet. Because of my work at ELM, I’m also pretty passionate about reducing stigma around asking for help or using benefits like food stamps. It’s hard to ask for help. I’ve loved being a part of programs that provide a compassionate and caring space for those who do ask us for help. Like all of us at ELM, I just want to be a part of making the world a better place – even if only for one person or in one moment.”
It is Lindsay’s positive approach to life along with her understanding of the importance of accepting people who are different that have allowed MiCAFE, Project Healthy Living, and our relationships with our community partners flourish.
We are grateful for Lindsay’s professional expertise and celebrate her as a valued part of the ELM team. Thank you Lindsay for making our world a better place by putting a face on senior hunger and for managing so many important programs that truly help seniors.
Char is a Project Healthy Living Coach and Attorney with Elder Law of Michigan. In January 2013, Char became employed at ELM as an attorney focusing her efforts on writing articles for the blog as well as working on internal communications.
Char holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Michigan State University, and graduated with her Juris Doctor from Thomas M. Cooley Law School over 30 years ago. Prior to joining ELM, Char worked for Michigan Health and Hospital Association as an attorney representing 140 hospitals throughout the state of Michigan in unemployment compensation cases. Char has also received her certification as a Life Coach in 2004. Char is now teaching Project Healthy Living Classes in mid-Michigan and continues writing in various capacities for Elder Law of Michigan.
The US Department of Agriculture prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal and, where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or if all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech disabilities and wish to file either an EEO or program complaint please contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339 or (800) 845-6136 (in Spanish). For any other information dealing with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) issues, persons should either contact the USDA SNAP Hotline Number at (800) 221-5689, which is also in Spanish or call the Michigan hotline number at (855) ASK-MICH. This material was funded in whole or in part by the USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by way of the State of Michigan and the Michigan Fitness Foundation. These institutions are equal opportunity providers and employers. People who need help buying nutritious food for a better diet, call the toll free Michigan Food Assistance Program Hotline: (855) ASK-MICH.