We strengthen local farms and fisheries and promote healthy communities by increasing local food purchasing and education at schools.
Simca manages the Farm to School Network and provides procurement assistance and workshops to food service professionals, farmers, food distributors, and community advocates in eastern and southeastern Mass. Simca has worked in a variety of non-profit organizations in the Boston area that focus on food and agriculture, including three years as a farmer and farm-based educator at a community farm and two years running a shared use community kitchen for culinary entrepreneurs. She holds an M.S. in Food and Agriculture Policy from the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. In her free time she loves making desserts out of vegetables.
As the Western Mass. Program Director, Lisa works with farmers, food service operators, food distributors, and farm to school advocates in central and western Mass. to assist in local food procurement efforts. Growing up on a farm in the Hudson Valley, Lisa spent her free time milking cows, selling pumpkins, and picking beans. After successfully transitioning to urban life in Boston, while attending Boston University for degrees in Environmental Policy, Lisa decided to return to agriculture by earning an M.S. in Agriculture and Nutrition Policy from the Tufts’ Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. Before joining the Mass. Farm to School, Lisa worked for the Mass. Department of Agricultural Resources for five years where she coordinated the Department’s nutrition programs, the Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP), and various other marketing initiatives within the Division of Agricultural Markets.
Dena is responsible for making sure everyone is aware of the great work that Mass. Farm to School is doing. She is a graduate of Tulane University and has previous non-profit experience at the Essex County Greenbelt Association, Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts, and the American Institute of Architects, New York Chapter. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she is continually adapting to living in cold weather. She enjoys gardening, sharing recipes with her sister, reading, and spending time with her family.
Rachel coordinates workshops and trainings for farm to school stakeholders, and provides individualized technical assistance to schools and other institutions. Rachel brings 5 years of farm to institution experience to Massachusetts Farm to School. She co-founded the UMass Amherst Dining Services permaculture and sustainability programs, secured $1.4M in grant funding for food and farming projects, and has consulted on farm to school programs across the northeast region. She is driven by the unshakable belief that healthy food is a human right and sees a mutually beneficial partnership between institutions, local farms, and food entrepreneurs and is excited to continue the work of connecting them in her new role. In her spare time, Rachel can be found tending to her home garden or happily cooking and preserving the harvest.
We also offer individualized services for schools looking for in-depth support in planning, implementing, or evaluating a farm to school programConsulting Services
Massachusetts Farm to School benefits from the generous support of a number of key public and private foundation funders as well as individual donors.