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