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By Christine Smith, Southcoast Food Policy Council Program Manager

We are thrilled to announce and introduce the inaugural members of the Southcoast Food Policy Council Community Advisory Board (CAB). Our first meeting of the CAB will take place on September 30th via zoom. The CAB will use the 2021 Food System Assessment Report for Southeastern MA as a roadmap for identifying the regions food related assets, and progress made. It outlines the challenges that linger since the 2014 food assessment, and pertinent intervention points where policy can support a more equitable and sustainable local food system.

Collectively, the CAB will determine the priorities and overall direction of the Council with input from SFPC general membership, resident equity advisors, and local community members. Based on the priorities identified, the CAB will create working groups focused on tackling these issues on both a regional and state level.

Together, the CAB members and the community have the potential to affect long-term systemic change in the food system, address public health through increasing food access and food security, and boost the local economy.


SFPC’s CAB Members 

Adele Sands, Superintendent, Bristol County Agricultural High School

Christine Sullivan, Program Manager Tufts Grant Coordinator: Age-Friendly New Bedford, Coastline Elderly Services

Dale Leavitt Ph.D., Professor at Roger Williams University

Darlene Dymsza, RDLDN, Director of WIC, Greater New Bedford Community Health Center

David Perry, President, Greater Fall River Community Food Pantry

Deirdre Healy, Director of Community Service and Partnerships, UMass Dartmouth Office Leduc Center for Civic Engagement

Emily Breen, Grants and Program Coordinator, Massachusetts Community Health and Healthy Aging Funds, Wareham

Erin Hovan, Rochester Resident

Gioia Maria Persuitte, MPA, Program Coordinator, New Bedford Health Department

Ivan Brito, Chief Operating Officer and Food Pantry Director, M.O. L.I.F.E., Inc.

Jacob Miller, Senior Policy Advisor/Community Development Director, Office of Senator Mark Montigny

Jowaun Gamble, Program Director, Community Youth Empowerment, Wareham

Karen Schwable, Executive Director of SEMAP (Southeastern Massachusetts Agricultural Partnership)

Leimary Llopiz, Advocacy Assistant, YWCA Southeastern MA

Lisa Rahn, Community Outreach Director, YMCA Southcoast

Pam Kuechler, Executive Director, PACE (People Acting in Community Endeavors)

Peter Muise, Retired President of First Citizens, Resident of Marion

Rachel Davis, Director of Community Health & Wellness Southcoast Health

Robert Shaheen, Director of Food & Nutrition, New Bedford Public Schools

Sarah Labossiere, Coordinator, Mass in Motion Fall River

Stephanie Perks, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Coastal Foodshed

Stephanie Taylor, Resident of Taunton, Martha’s Vineyard Vegan Society Inc.,

Victoria Grasela, Vice President of Marketing & Community Engagement United Way of Greater New Bedford

Wendy Garf-Lipp, Executive Director, United Neighbors of Fall River

Marissa Perez-Dormitzer, Waste Reduction Manager, Greater New Bedford Regional Refuse Management District

Richard Vacca, Conservation Planner, Town of Plymouth

Elizabeth Wiley, Executive Director, Marion Institute

Christine Smith, Program Manager, Southcoast Food Policy Council

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