Celebrating Our Nutrition Champions:
Meet Our Registered Dietitians

Published on March 7, 2024

We are excited to introduce Rachel Burgun, MPH, RDN, LDN and Laura Ortiz, MS, RD, LDN, the driving forces behind our commitment to providing healthy, nutrient-dense food to our communities across Eastern Massachusetts. March is National Nutrition Month, a fitting time to celebrate the importance of nutrition and healthy eating while also recognizing those who are making a significant impact in the field. At GBFB, we are proud to shine a spotlight on our dedicated Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) who play a crucial role in shaping our nutrition initiatives.  

At GBFB, we firmly believe that Nutrition Matters. Rachel and Laura are dedicated to maintaining and improving the health of clients served by our network of agency partners across Eastern Massachusetts with a particular focus on breaking down barriers that prevent our neighbors from putting food on their tables. Our RDNs ensure that 95% of our food inventory meets GBFB’s high nutrition standards, 33.3 million pounds of which is fresh and frozen produce.Rachel and Laura also lead our Board-approved Nutrition Policy at GBFB, which shapes our acquisition and distribution decisions. They collaborate closely with our Food Acquisition Team to assess our food inventory and ensure the availability and procurement of nutrient-dense foods. 

Rachel Caty, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Rachel Burgun, MPH, RDN, LDN

Rachel’s primary responsibility is to direct the development and execution of SNAP outreach and nutrition programming strategies. She oversees the food bank’s external facing nutrition programming including the Healthy Pantry Program, the recipe website Click ‘N Cook, and the food bank’s Nutrition Policy. She leads SNAP and nutrition education-related research collaborations.

 Laura’s primary responsibilities are to manage Click ‘N Cook, teach food safety courses to member agencies, and precept dietetic interns. She also works to develop and coordinate the Healthy Pantry Program, a video-based nutrition education program designed to educate agency staff. Recently, our Nutrition Team enhanced our food safety education program to meet Feeding America’s standards. This upgrade increased automation, expanded participation, and enabled our RDNs to train over 200 food pantry staff and volunteers this year.

Laura Ortiz, MS, RD, LDN

One of their unique strengths lies in their ability to transform complex scientific data into easily understandable information. Through the creation of educational materials, Rachel and Laura empower individuals to make informed choices about their nutrition, fostering healthier communities one step at a time. While the terms “dietitian” and “nutritionist” are often used interchangeably, it’s essential to recognize the distinction. Registered Dietitians Nutritionists (RDNs), sometimes just called Registered Dietitians (RDs), are experts in the field, having completed rigorous educational requirements and practical training. The term “nutritionist” is more general and not regulated, highlighting the specialized knowledge that RDNs bring to the table. 

As National Nutrition Month unfolds, we extend our heartfelt appreciation to Rachel Burgun and Laura Ortiz for their unwavering commitment to nutrition excellence at GBFB. To learn more about our efforts to improve nutrition and foster healthier communities, visit our Nutrition webpage. Together, let us celebrate their valuable contributions and the positive impact they make on the well-being of our communities. 

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