Just Food Staff Members
Jacquie Berger, Executive Director
Jacquie Berger is the Executive Director of Just Food, a New York City nonprofit that connects farmers and communities with the resources and support they need to make fresh, healthy, locally grown food accessible in all neighborhoods. Jacquie is dedicated to building an environmentally, economically and socially just food system. Since 2006, she has led Just Food's growth - diversifying programs and increasing community representation and reach.
Before joining Just Food, Jacquie managed community garden and urban greening programs at the Knox Parks Foundation in Hartford, CT. Before working in cities and on urban agriculture projects, Jacquie was the Director of the Holcomb Farm Environmental Learning Center, where she developed nature and agriculture education programs for students pre-K through high school, teachers, and the public. She is a graduate of Barnard College and received her MBA from Yale School of Management. She lives with her family in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn where she is a gardener and a member of the Clinton Hill CSA. She can be reached at: 212.645.9880, ext. 242 or e-mail: jacquie[at]justfood.org
Gregory Anderson, City Farms Program Manager
Greg began his work with Just Food in 2008 when he led the effort to bring chickens to the Walt L. Shamel Community Garden in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. That same year he became a Just Food Trainer for the City Farms Program. Since then, he has given many workshops on chicken care, soil health and cover crops; worked side by side with Owen Taylor to build more than 10 of our City Chicken Project coops; and has co-taught three Training of Trainers courses. Greg comes to Just Food after being a Youth Development Specialist for 13 years, implementing youth programming in Queens, NY. He also helped lead the effort to bring Walt L. Shamel Community Garden back to life in Crown Heights, Brooklyn where he and his family has lived for the past 20 years. He can be reached at 212.645.9880, ext. 229 or email: greg[at]justfood.org.
Carrie Blackburn, Membership & Outreach Coordinator
Carrie returned to Just Food in 2011. She initially worked for the organization in 2009 as the AmeriCorps VISTA leader for a team of 22 VISTA volunteers serving at food and farming projects throughout the city. As an undergraduate at Vassar, Carrie worked at the Poughkeepsie Farm Project and taught ESL at an elementary school. She majored in Latin American Studies and dabbled in English, Anthropology and Geography, all of which cultivated her passion for food as a means to social justice. Upon graduation, Carrie moved to Nevada to create health, hunger and nutrition programming through the Winnemucca Community Garden. She is a certified Master Gardener, a lover of surreal fiction, and the owner of a well-worn cookbook collection. She can be reached at 212.645.9880, ext. 225 or e-mail: carrie[at]justfood.org.
Amy Blankstein, Grants and Communications Director
Amy joined the Just Food staff as Grants and Communications Manager in 2007. An enthusiastic omnivore and home cook, Amy’s interest in the sustainable food movement deepened after she joined her local Brooklyn CSA in 2004. A former magazine and book editor, she has explored a broad range of subjects, including the visual arts, music, food, technology, and business. Amy is thrilled to have the opportunity to use her writing skills to highlight the amazing work of Just Food’s staff and partners. She received her BA from James Madison University in English and Anthropology. She can be reached at 212.645.9880, ext. 243 or e-mail: amy[at]justfood.org.
Jessica Cortes, Farm Network Coordinator
Jessica Cortes joined Just Food as the Farm Network Coordinator in spring 2011. She comes from the eastern part of Queens, where she grew up loving the outdoors and dreamt of working to bring environmental awareness. In college, Jess taught at the Queens Botanical Garden and the Alley Pond Environmental Center, and interned with the NYC Composting project. Jessica earned a B.A. from Queens College in Environmental Studies, with a concentration in Geology, in 2009. After graduation, traveling sparked her interest in agriculture. Visiting farms in the United States and Central and South America inspired her to get involved in the world of farmers’ markets once she returned home to New York City. As a Market Manager for GrowNYC in 2010, she coordinated 3 farmers markets in Queens. For Jessica, it was a great opportunity to connect with and foster connections between Hispanic community members and local farmers. She also served as a volunteer at the Cloud Forest School in Monteverde, Costa Rica, working with kids on composting and environmental projects. While in Costa Rica, Jessica also explored local farms and community markets. She is excited to work with Just Food and connect with farmers once again. She can be reached at 212.645.9880, ext. 231 or e-mail: jessicac[at]justfood.org.
Jorge Cubas, Administrative Assistant
Jorge L. Cubas was born and raised in Jackson Heights, Queens, where he was weaned on empanadas and chana masala. After high school, he worked with the MTA for six years on various projects, putting himself through school while exploring his passion for food through volunteer work and gardening. In 2011, he graduated with a BS in Biology from CUNY Brooklyn College, where researched vermiculture and aquaponics technologies. Jorge joined Just Food in 2011 as an Administrative Assistant. In his spare time, he grows gourmet mushrooms and enjoys sci-fi reruns. Jorge can be reached at 212.645.9880, ext. 221 or email: jorge[at]justfood.org.
Angela Davis, Community Food Education Program Coordinator
Angela brings more than 12 years of program management, public relations, and education experience, along with a passion for local agriculture, food and community health to her role as Just Food’s Community Food Education Program Coordinator. She received her certification as a Holistic Health Counselor from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. As a volunteer at the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts, she continues to develop her love for cooking delicious and healthy food. Angela has a Master of Education degree from George Washington University and a Bachelor of Arts from Oberlin College. She can be reached at 212.645.9880, ext. 239 or email: angela[at]justfood.org.
Margie Davis, Bookkeeper
Margie worked many years in a family business as Office Manager. She has 18 years of experience in bookkeeping, mostly working for nonprofit organizations. Her family includes her husband, two children and a dog. She has been happily working for Just Food since 2004. Margie can be reached at 212.645.9880, ext. 241 or email: margie[at]justfood.org.
Rachelle Faroul, Fresh Food for All Program Coordinator
Rachelle Erica Faroul hails from Brooklyn, NY (by way of Barbados, West Indies) and is a graduate of Northwestern University. After graduating in 2007 with a degree in Communication Studies, Rachelle served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cape Verde, West Africa as an agriculture extension worker. Her volunteer experience centered around creating small-business opportunities for rural farmers and managing agricultural projects funded by UNFAO, USAID, and the United States African Development Foundation. An avid eater and lifelong fan of farming, Rachelle is thrilled to share her experiences with the Just Food family. She can be reached at 212.645.9880, ext. 227 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jessica Gaffney, Events and Marketing Director
Jessica joined the Just Food staff as Events and Marketing Manager in 2011. She has over eight years of event planning and marketing experience working with small and large companies as well as government agencies and non-profits. She has planned successful product launches, premiere events and town hall meetings for her clients in many different venues from retail stores to Times Square. Jessica is excited to apply these skills to Just Food and its community. Jessica has embraced her passion for good and locally-sourced food by joining the Katchkie Farm CSA in Hell's Kitchen. She is also a proud Farm School NYC certificate student. Jessica graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in marketing and small business management. She can be reached at 212.645.9880, ext. 232 or jessica.gaffney[at]justfood.org.
Taireina Gilbert, Farm School NYC Program Assistant
Joining Just Food as Farm School NYC’s Program Assistant in January 2012, Tai has 15 years experience in freelance graphic design, project management, creative development, and systems coordination in NY, NJ, FL, AZ and OH. As one of Farm School NYC’s first alumni and a City Farms Trainer, Tai brings her passion for urban agriculture, sustainability, and community development to the Just Food and Farm School Family. She can be reached at 212.645.9880, ext. 231 or tai[at]justfood.org.
Connie Hammarlund, Farmer Resource Associate
Connie Hammarlund joined Just Food as the Farmer Resource Associate in 2012. After receiving a degree in Business Administration from Long Island University and working for several years in the insurance industry, Connie’s decided to follow her passion for fresh food by pursuing a career as a chef. Connie later moved out of the kitchen and a step closer to local farmers by managing farmers’ markets for GrowNYC and sites for Corbin Hill Farm. As a market manager, Connie promoted the preservation of local farmers’ land and businesses. At Corbin Hill, she helped bring fresh local veggies to communities in Harlem and the Bronx. Both positions provided her with valuable insight into what consumers want from their local farmers. In addition to her passion for environmental sustainability and agriculture, Connie is an avid hiker and advocate for animals. She can be reached at 212.645.9880 ext. 238 or e-mail: connie[at]justfood.org.
Jane Hodge, Farm School NYC Director
Jane Hodge started as Farm School NYC's Director in November 2010, after returning from Santa Cruz, CA where she received a Certificate in Ecological Horticulture through the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS). Jane has been with Just Food since 2005, starting out working with La Familia Verde's and Bissel's farmers markets as an Americorps* VISTA. In 2006, she served as the City Farms Market Coordinator, helping to build a strong network of community-based farmers markets run by city farmers. After managing the City Farms program for two years, Jane took a six month sabbatical to attend the CASFS apprenticeship. Jane received a BA at University of Richmond in Leadership Studies with a concentration in Environmental Leadership and Social Movements and a minor in Women's Studies. Her previous experience includes working with urban agriculture projects in northern England. She can be reached at 212.645.9880, ext. 228 or e-mail: jane[at]justfood.org.
Nadia Johnson, Food Justice Program & City Farms Market Network Coordinator
Nadia joined Just Food in 2008. As Food Justice Program Coordinator, Nadia works to increase awareness and action around local food and farm issues through organizing community advocacy trainings, food justice workshops and conferences, and policy advocacy and campaigns. She led Just Food's successful campaign to legalize beekeeping in NYC. As City Farms Market Network Coordinator, Nadia manages Just Food's community-run farmers' market network that supports urban growers, rural farmers and fresh food access in low-income neighborhoods in NYC. Nadia spent eight years at Women's Environment & Development Organization (WEDO) working with social justice groups worldwide on issues such as trade, corporate accountability, food sovereignty, water rights and climate change. She also taught Women's Studies, worked as a community organizer on breast cancer-pesticide linkages, and received an MA in Sociology. She can be reached at 212.645.9880, ext. 237 or email: nadia[at]justfood.org.
Paula Lukats, CSA in NYC Program Manager
Paula has over fourteen years of experience working in community and program development in New York City. Originally from Ohio, she obtained her BS in economics and sociology in 1991 from the University of Notre Dame and her Masters in Social Work from Ohio State University. She then chose to pursue her long-time interest in environmental sustainability and in 2005 earned a Certificate in Conservation Biology at Columbia University. Paula has been a member of CSAs in New York for over 6 years and has been working as the CSA in NYC Program Manager for Just Food since May 2005. She can be reached at 212.645.9880, ext. 233 or e-mail: paula[at]justfood.org.
Qiana Mickie, CSA Program Associate
Qiana Mickie’s journey with Just Food began in 2011 when she took the Community Advocate training course. The experience inspired her to engage with community members around the city and the North East region to learn more about the Farm Bill, its effect on our daily lives, and offer ways to advocate for more fair and equitable policies. Qiana joined the Just Food staff as the CSA Program Associate in the spring of 2013. Throughout her career, Qiana has followed her passion to work and volunteer with organizations that are committed to improving lives. She is a Steering Committee member of NESAWG and remains an active volunteer around increasing access to healthy food in communities and other sustainable causes. She earned a BS in Marketing from Hampton University and has worked in community development and fundraising since 2004. Qiana likes to take Vinyasa yoga classes and work on her encyclopedic knowledge of pop culture. She can be reached at 212-645-9800, ext.244 or e-mail: qiana[at]justfood.org.
Anthony Reuter, Volunteer Coordinator
Anthony Reuter came to New York City via Wisconsin and Minnesota--both farming meccas in their own rights--as a graduate of the University of Minnesota. After serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA for the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, he co-founded the Hell's Kitchen Farm Project, a collaborative rooftop farm and CSA. For two years, he managed GrowNYC Greenmarkets in Manhattan and Brooklyn, cultivating relationships with rural and urban farmers, bakers, fishermen, beekeepers, and customers while cooking and eating some of the greatest local food available. Anthony joined Just Food in 2013. In his role as Volunteer Coordinator, he engages volunteers to support Just Food and our community partners. He can be reached at 212.645.9880, ext.230 or e-mail: anthony[at]justfood.org.