How we work

Growing a diverse and committed Network of stakeholders is critical to imagining and realizing a robust statewide Farm to School program in Rhode Island.The Network’s structure allows for differing level of engagement with members, Communities of Practice, Action Committees, and a Leadership Council. 

Anyone interested in farm to school activities, whether local foods in schools, gardens and growing activities, or food, nutrition, and agriculture education programs, can join the Network as a member by subscribing to our eNews.

Those who want to engage more deeply with a specific area of interest can join a Community of Practice (COP) or an Action Committee (AC) where the core activities of the Network are planned and organized. 

The Leadership Council which serves as the overarching decision-making body for the Network, is comprised of sector and organizational seats and determines the Network’s direction, including policies, membership structure, fundraising initiatives, communication platforms, action committees and goals. Elected council members actively promote the RI Farm to School Network with colleagues and constituents across the state and region and participate fully in consensus-making decisions with Action Committee leaders to ensure Network goals are achieved.   

RI Farm to School Network

Structure

Leadership Council members Karin Wetherill and Stephanie Bush entertain the crowd at a RI Farm to School training for food service workers
Henry J. Winters Elementary School students help themselves to some delicious local apples at the fruit and veggie bar
From left: Leadership Council chair Jessica Patrolia, council members Stephanie Bush, Solange Morriessette, and Karin Wetherill, Lincoln school committee chair Mary Ann Roll, and council member Juli Stelmaszyk support an Apple Crunch event at Lincoln High School
Students tend to the their school garden at Hopkins Hill Elementary School in Coventry

RI Farm to School Network

Leadership Council

Jessica Patrolia, Chair
Coordinator, Child Nutrition Programs
RI Department of Education

 

Sara Amin
Asst. Professor, Community Nutrition Ed. Director
University of Rhode Island

 

Stephanie Bush
Farm to Community Program Director
Farm Fresh RI

 

Mary Caprelli
Assistant Principal
Woonsocket High School

 

Sara Churgin
District Manager
Eastern RI Conservation District

 

Jason Evans
Dean, College of Food Innovation & Technology
Johnson & Wales University

 

Kate Lacouture
Executive Director
Green Circle Design

 

Caitlin Mandel
Access & Equity Program Manager
RI Food Policy Council

 

Solange Morrissette
District Manager
Chartwells

 

Tiferet Rose
Parent/Gardener
Martin Luther King Elementary School

 

Jack Sisson
Agricultural Marketing Specialist
RI DEM, Division of Agriculture

 

Jake Stanton
Food Access Associate
Southside Community Land Trust

 

Juli Stelmaszyk
Director of Food Strategy
RI Commerce

 

Karin Wetherill
Co-Director
RI Healthy Schools Coalition

Leadership Council Chair Jessica Patrolia of RIDE matches the green broccoli being highlighted at this RI Farm to School event at Agnes E. Little School in Pawtucket
Leadership Council member Kate Lacouture teaches students about gardening at International Charter School in Pawtucket
Leadership Council members at a stakeholder event held at Farm Fresh RI's Saturday farmers market, from left: Kate Lacouture, Juli Stelmaszyk, Caitlin Mandel, Stephanie Bush, Jack Sisson, Jessica Patrolia, and Karin Wetherill
A Greystone Elementary student in North Providence tries kale at a Local Food Ambassador taste test event, with her dad as an LFA volunteer