Rachel Merker Director

Rachel received her Bachelor's degree in Public Policy from Duke university in 2012.  After spending two years working with Agape Sverige in Sweden, she earned her Master's in Public Policy at Georgetown University, focusing her coursework on domestic child poverty and food insecurity.  During her time at graduate school she worked as a micro-economics teach assistant and interned with Share Our Strength No Kid Hungry and Prosperity Now. She also worked with a team of students to perform a year-long program evaluation for a local after-school program, DC SCORES. She is passionate about using evidence driven policy to improve the lives of vulnerable children and will be working on the Children’s Budget Coalition, and family tax policy, and nutrition at First Focus.

Resources by Rachel Merker


Food Insecurity Data Underscores Importance of Farm Bill for Children

| September 5, 2018 |

New data from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) shows that the nation’s children continue to experience food insecurity at higher rates than the


Migrant children in government custody deserve healthy meals and adequate nutrition

| July 9, 2018 |

In the wake of the administration’s catastrophic and cruel zero tolerance policy at the southern border, advocates, policymakers and the public are demanding renewed


Bipartisan Senate Farm Bill Rejects the Harm of the House Version

| June 21, 2018 |

Last week, the Senate Agriculture Committee advanced the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, also known as the Farm Bill. Unlike their counterparts in the


The House Farm Bill Draft Would Make It Harder for Families to Put Food on the Table

| April 13, 2018 |

Yesterday, the House Agriculture committee introduced its draft of the 2018 Farm Bill. This major legislation authorizes the nation’s largest federal food assistance program—the Supplemental


The President’s Budget Speaks Louder Than His Words on School Safety

| February 22, 2018 |

Last week’s devastating mass shooting at a Florida high school has led to renewed calls on Congress to act to end the scourge of


Fact Sheet: Impact of the President’s 2019 Budget Proposal on Child Nutrition Assistance

| February 20, 2018 |

The President’s Fiscal Year 2019 (FY 19) budget includes several harmful proposals that would drastically cut and restructure domestic food assistance programs that serve


Continuing Resolutions Leave Kids Hanging in the Balance

| January 16, 2018 |

Welcome to a new year with the same broken budget process. This week, Congress faces yet another deadline to fund the government for Fiscal


Kids Will Pay the Price for USDA’s Push for “Flexibility” in Food Assistance Programs

| December 7, 2017 |

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has recently amped up its push for “flexibility” in two food assistance


First Focus Statement on the Child Tax Credit

| October 6, 2017 |

Last week, officials from the White House, Senate and House of Representatives (known as the “Big Six”) released a framework for overhauling the tax


Strengthening and Protecting SNAP

| September 30, 2017 |

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Education Program (SNAP- Ed) are two critical programs to combatting food insecurity for