Our Board of Directors

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Karen Washington, Board Chair

Karen has been a community activist, striving to make New York City a better place to live, since 1985. Karen is the Just Food Board Chair and a Just Food Trainer, leading workshops on food growing and food justice to community gardeners all over the city. She is a member of La Familia Verde Garden Coalition and helped launched a Just Food City Farms Market which continues to bring fresh vegetables to her neighbors. Karen co- founded Black Urban Growers (BUGS) and has been key to Farm School NYC, whose mission is to train NYC residents in urban agriculture. Since retiring in April 2014, Karen has been pursuing her passion for farming full-time at the Rise and Root Farm in Chester, New York.

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John Ameroso

John Ameroso has been working in the fields of horticulture and agricultural production since 1964. He received a degree in Agronomy from the University of Georgia in 1968. From there John volunteered with International Voluntary Services and went on to study tropical agriculture at the University of The Philippines. In 1976, he piloted the Urban Gardening Program with Cornell University Cooperative Extension, and through his efforts successfully set the ground work for Extension education in urban agriculture and food production for New York City. Retired since 2010, John currently sits on the Boards of Directors of Just Food, Added-Value and Bissel Gardens -non-profits involved in urban agriculture.

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Matt McFarlane

Matt McFarlane has been a Just Food board member since 2015, several years after learning about Just Food at the Greenwood Heights CSA. Matt continues to be inspired to provide deeper support for Just Food because of the organization’s focus on food security and building sovereignty to sow seeds of justice and equity across New York City. By day, Matt helps engaging people create positive impact by defining novel plans and projects, locating resources for growing companies to generate new value, and protecting the various legal interests of my clients. Matt lives in Brooklyn with Jen, Felix, Lincoln and Monkey.


Sarita Daftary

Sarita Daftary began her career in food justice work as an Americorps VISTA with Just Food in 2003, through which she was placed with United Community Centers, working on the East New York Farms! Project (ENYF). She later became the Project Director and led ENYF to become a nationally recognized model for youth and community engagement in urban agriculture and community markets. Sarita now works with JustLeadershipUSA, a membership organization that focuses on ending mass incarceration. She is honored to continue to supporting Just Food's commitment to addressing racial and economic injustice in our food system through developing community leadership.

Patty Guzman

Patty Guzmán is a Brooklyn-based facilitator and organizational developer committed to positive and active social change. Patty currently works as a Senior Project Officer at The Working World, where she applies a popular education framework to business and org development with worker-owned businesses and cooperatives. She attended NYU’s Master’s in Food Studies and holds a double Bachelor’s in Environmental Science and Studies from Santa Clara University. Combined with her experience as an Afro-Latina immigrant, Patty believes that community self-determination is the primary pathway to thriving and empowered communities. Patty is an avid lover of plants and nature, and likes working to find the balance between embracing urban living and exploring new found natural treasures of the east coast.