WASHINGTON, November 30, 2022 — The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) today announced Gina Plata-Nino will serve as the organization’s deputy director for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
In this role, Plata-Nino will help strengthen SNAP access and benefit adequacy across the U.S. She brings 12 years of experience in entitlement and public benefit programs, humanitarian-based immigration law, employment public accommodation rights, and housing law.
“We are thrilled to welcome Gina as our new SNAP deputy director,” said Luis Guardia, president of FRAC. “Her breadth of experience, together with her commitment to ensure fair and equitable access to safety net programs, will help us advance our efforts to protect and strengthen SNAP, our nation’s first line of defense against hunger.”
Prior to joining FRAC, Plata-Nino worked with the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute (MLRI) where she served as a lead advocate on the Hunger Free Campus legislative campaign to help address food security issues among college students.
“Gina has been an important FRAC partner on SNAP legislative and regulatory campaigns. We are delighted that she has joined the FRAC SNAP team,” said Ellen Vollinger, SNAP director for FRAC.
Before MLRI, she served as a staff attorney at the Central West Justice Center of Community Legal Aid in Worcester, Massachusetts, where she oversaw the Food Security Project, which sought to address the underlying causes of food insecurity and identify ways to give residents access to affordable, nutritious foods. She also worked at the state and federal levels on a variety of legislative, administrative, and policy issues that impacted families with low incomes, seniors, and other vulnerable populations. Additionally, she chaired the Central Massachusetts SNAP Coalition and worked with state and federal organizations to push legislation that remove obstacles to receiving public benefits.
“Since day one, FRAC has been fighting to end hunger in America by supporting policies that support tried-and-true programs like SNAP. I am eager to expand on this goal and work with FRAC to increase program accessibility and support households with low incomes as well as individuals and families moving up the economic ladder,” said Plata-Nino.
Plata-Nino holds a J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law and a bachelor’s degree in history from Montclair State University with minors in Paralegal Studies and Pre-Law. In 2019, the Massachusetts Bar Association named her an Access to Justice Award Rising Star. In 2022 she received the Liberty Award from the Worcester County Bar Association and the Top Women of Law award from the Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.
She is actively involved in her local community and serves on various boards and coalitions including as co-chair of the community engagement and government relations committees for the Worcester County Bar Association, and a member of the steering committee, and mentor for the Massachusetts Bar Association’s Tiered Community Mentoring Program.
The Food Research & Action Center improves the nutrition, health, and well-being of people struggling against poverty-related hunger in the United States through advocacy, partnerships, and by advancing bold and equitable policy solutions. To learn more, visit FRAC.org and follow us on Twitter and on Facebook.