Program Specialist Becky Bodonyi works as a primary liaison between Multnomah County and City of Gresham, the other governmental REACH partner. Becky focuses mostly on the availability and accessibility of food, especially as the City of Gresham undergoes public transit redevelopment.
Although Becky didn’t see herself working in the public health field up until she was actually in it, that’s where her expertise lies now. As she supports the City of Gresham and its constituents, she constantly strives to find ways to make the city more supportive of healthy eating and living for all people.
“I think that everybody deserves to be able to find and purchase, or otherwise acquire, the food that nurtures them; nurtures their physical health, as well as cultural and mental health because food can be related to all of those things,” she says.
Becky grew up in a suburb of Columbus, OH., and graduated from Oberlin College with a Bachelor’s in environmental studies. Initially, Becky thought she was going to be an environmental educator. But that changed when she realized that urban planning, which she later earned a Master’s degree in from Portland State University, was the key to changing humanity’s impact on the earth.
“There’s a lot of beauty out there in our communities, but there’s also a lot of destruction or devastation,” she says. “What drives me is just wanting everybody to be met with services and opportunities that recognize and embrace everyone’s humanness.”
When Becky isn’t analyzing bike maps, transit plans or nutritional initiatives with retailers, she can be found cycling around Portland “geeking out” over urban planning with her husband, Ryan or traveling abroad.