For nearly twenty years, Hannah has worked to create healthy, sustainable communities. Through Hannah Laurison Consulting, she advises local governments and nonprofits on food policy strategies. She offers research, writing, strategy development, and training services on innovation solutions to food poverty, sustainability, and diet-related disease.
Hannah lives in Philadelphia. Previously, she was based in London, where she led a campaign to end food poverty in the UK and coordinated the Sustainable Food Cities network. Before moving to the UK, Hannah was a program director with ChangeLab Solutions, where she managed a multi-year, $2.5 million Centers for Disease Control contract to provide legal and policy solutions to local governments with the aim of preventing chronic illnesses like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
During her time with The Food Trust, Hannah ran the pioneering Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative, a $120 million public/private initiative to develop new grocery stores in under-served communities. The Pennsylvania program inspired President Obama’s National Healthy Food Financing Initiative, which leverages more than $477 million in funding to create jobs and improve access to healthy food. The initiative has also spurred more than a dozen similar statewide supermarket financing programs.
In 2004, she convened the Healthy Corner Store Network, a national consortium of more than 600 community-based organizations and store owners working together to develop sustainable business models for healthy corner stores.
Hannah has chaired a food policy council, coordinated a hunger relief program, and organized community gardens in low-income neighborhoods. She has published widely on policy strategies to increase access to healthy foods in low-income areas. Her presentations at numerous conferences—including New Partners for Smart Growth, American Planning Association, and Opportunity Finance Network—have earned her a reputation as an engaging, skilled public speaker. Hannah is the recipient of a Roots of Change Fellowship for sustainable food system innovators. She graduated magna cum laude from Brown University and holds a master’s degree in planning and policy from Tufts University.