Lura Barber

Director, Hunger Initiatives

Lura Barber

Areas of Expertise

  • Senior Hunger
  • Benefits Access


Lura Barber provides direction and oversight for NCOA’s initiatives to end senior hunger and increase access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Under her leadership, funding for NCOA’s SNAP and hunger-related initiatives has grown from a small pilot project in two states, to more than $3.75M for senior SNAP enrollment initiatives in over 20 states and online, supported by the Walmart Foundation.

She also leads a three-year, $3M Atlantic Philanthropies-funded initiative focused on creating sustainable policy and systemic changes to improve benefits access for seniors at the state and national level. Her efforts inform NCOA’s policy agenda to increase seniors’ participation in SNAP.

Prior to joining NCOA, Lura served as a Long-Term Care Ombudsman and Pension Rights Advocate at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago (LAF), where she advocated for the rights of elders to self-determination, freedom from abuse, and economic security. While at LAF, she also served terms as Vice President, Treasurer, and Lead Bargainer for United Legal Workers Local 2320.

Lura earned a BA in English and Gender and Women’s Studies from Grinnell College (Phi Beta Kappa) and a Master’s in Public Policy, focusing on Women and Public Policy, from the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. She is a member of the faculty of Washington Improv Theater, and teaches and performs improv in the DC area and across the country.