Lucy became Executive Director in 2017, bringing over 15 years of sustainable food systems leadership to Fresh Approach. She returned to community-based work after an excursion at Airbnb, where she led the rapid scale-up of their San Francisco-based workplace food service operations. Lucy’s deep understanding of food issues, culture and systems helped Lucy and her partners at Northwest Agriculture Business Center create the Puget Sound Food Hub Farmers Cooperative. It was designed to create a fair and efficient local food infrastructure, increase healthy food access, and reduce cost and waste. In coordination with the City of Seattle and partner agencies, she advised on the development and planning of its Farm to Table healthy food access program for low-income children and seniors. The program was recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a “Health Champion” in 2012, among other distinguished awards.
Lucy authored “Pickled: Preserving a World of Tastes and Traditions” (2003) and has served on multiple boards and advisory committees. Lucy has an MA in Food Studies and a BA in Anthropology and Performance Studies from New York University.
Education Program Specialist Najiha Al Asmar dedicates her time to East Palo Alto-based projects, including the Collective Roots Garden and Taking Root Urban Agriculture Youth Leadership pilot, as well as South Bay Veggie Rx nutrition education classes. Najiha works to make it more affordable and accessible to find resources to learn how to grow and share locally grown organic produce through building gardens, maintaining garden resources, and facilitating nutrition and gardening workshops. Najiha grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and graduated from the University of California, Irvine in 2012 with a B.A. in Psychology and Social Behavior, and followed by a Master’s of Science Degree in Integrative Eco-social Design from Gaia University International. She has interned for various organizations that focus on social justice and nature preservation, such as Irvine Ranch Conservancy, Acterra, Hidden Villa, and the Pachamama Alliance. Her work as health promoter for the non-profit, Nuestra Casa, in East Palo Alto sparked a passion for building community in underserved communities. She loves the outdoors, growing organic produce, and cooking.
As a Program Specialist, Betsy works as a bilingual instructor in VeggieRx cooking and nutrition classes all over the Bay Area. Betsy first joined the Fresh Approach team as a summer intern, and she is now fourth year student at UC Berkeley studying Environment and Human Health with a minor in Food Systems. She has worked with Mandala MarketPlace and Highland Hospital to help coordinate Bite to Balance, a health-centered, food access program with curriculum for kids. Betsy aspires to promote spiritual and physical health through food and activity while creating an equitable, accessible, and sustainable food system where marginalized communities can reclaim our health and well-being. In her spare time, Betsy can be found throwing clay at a studio, climbing rocks large and small, experimenting with herbal remedies and food in the kitchen, biking everywhere, and dancing and flowing in the great outdoors.
As Volunteer Program Specialist, Shelby is responsible for developing and implementing Fresh Approach’s new volunteer program. Shelby is a recent graduate from San Francisco State University and received her degree in Environmental Studies with an emphasis in Environmental Sustainability and Social Justice. During her studies she was drawn to food access and sustainable food systems. She is currently a Fellow in the organization Public Allies, an Americorp program. In her free time, you can find her trying new cooking and baking recipes.
Lizette joined the Fresh Approach team in 2019. As a Food Access Program Coordinator she operates the Mobile Farmers’ market routes in the South Bay and facilitates bilingual VeggieRx classes. Lizette grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and graduated from San Francisco State University with a B.S. in Business Administration (Management), and has a Culinary Arts degree from The Art Institute of California Sunnyvale. She has volunteered at various local food banks throughout San Mateo County. Lizette is passionate about making healthy food more accessible for all people. In her free time, you can find her cooking, enjoying the outdoors, and spending time with family.
As Fresh Approach’s Program Development Manager, Raffa thinks strategically about program advancement and cultivates strong partnerships in the community including other nonprofit organizations, businesses, government agencies, foundations, and farmers. She grew up in Italy and earned a Master’s degree in Agronomy and a PhD in Agro-food Economics. She began her career doing international research projects related to food and farming in order to promote organic and local food systems. After moving to USA six years ago she had a burning desire to work on promoting local food systems, social justice and fairness. Before Collective Roots, she worked at nonprofits providing research, resource development, fundraising, advocacy and community organizing assistance. From her previous experiences, she brings a strong commitment and passion to help vulnerable families eating and growing organic fruit and vegetables.
As Program Director, Laura deTar oversees implementation of all of our programs in the communities we serve, and pilots programming as opportunities arise. Laura directs our partnerships and participates in several collaborative workgroups throughout the Bay Area of stakeholders working to increase food security for all communities. She joined Fresh Approach as the Nutrition Program Manager in February of 2013, and brings to Fresh Approach her experience as a public health advocate, organizing farm-to-school programs, and coordinating research projects on health behaviors. Laura has a Master’s degree in Public Health and is a Certified Health Education Specialist. She is passionate about helping all people access fresh and healthy food, and talking with people about how to easily incorporate fresh foods into their diets.
As a Program Coordinator, Stephanie supports our Mobile Farmers’ Market routes and bilingual VeggieRx nutrition and cooking classes in the East Bay. Since 2013, Stephanie has also worked as an intern and volunteer at Veggielution, a San Jose community farm. In her spare time, you can find her cooking her way through a cookbook, writing at a local cafes, and riding her bike. She is currently working towards her Associate’s degree in Public Health at De Anza College.
Samiha joined the Fresh Approach team in fall of 2018. As a Nutrition Education and Food Access Program Coordinator, she facilitates bilingual community nutrition classes, assists with Mobile Farmers’ Market routes, and collaborates with farmers to increase food access. Samiha is passionate about food security, permaculture, and environmental justice. Originally from Indiana, Samiha obtained her Bachelors degree in Biology and Restoration Ecology from Indiana University. As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Panama, Samiha focused on community environmental conservation, sustainable agriculture, resource mobilization, and youth empowerment. She continues to integrate her newfound skills and cultural values into her daily work with Fresh Approach. When not in the field with Fresh Approach, she loves dancing, cooking, gardening, reading, writing, and is a self-love advocate!
As the Education Program Manager, Danielle oversees all education programs, including nutrition education and the CalFresh and Market Match outreach programs. Danielle also oversees all Fresh Approach interns and volunteers. In February of 2017, she joined the Fresh Approach team after completing a Masters of Public Health degree and dietetics program at the University of Washington. Danielle brings to Fresh Approach a passion for food justice and has worked with various food access and sustainable agriculture programs including a subsidized CSA program, and helped start a native garden at UW Farm. She has also conducted research about farmers market access for low-income shoppers. Danielle is passionate about improving the health of both people and the environment through the creation of a nutritious and equitable food system. In her free time, Danielle enjoys horseback riding, doing yoga, and hiking around the Bay Area.
Casey joined Fresh Approach in fall of 2017, and specializes in operating the Mobile Farmers’ Market routes in the East Bay. Casey is a recent graduate from UC Berkeley with a degree in Environmental Justice & Sustainability. She was drawn to the field of food justice in large part due to her experience as an overweight child, which inspired her to help build a more healthy and equitable food system. Casey has worked all over the food system, from restaurants to urban farms, and managed the kitchen of one of the largest student housing co-ops in Berkeley. She enjoys sharing elaborate meals with friends, biking around the Bay Area, and doodling cartoons.
As the Marketing and Communications Manager, Andie oversees all marketing, advertising, and promotional activities that increase awareness of Fresh Approach and it’s programs. As such, she wears many hats and serves as the in-house graphic designer, webmaster, digital content manager, and storyteller for Fresh Approach. Andie brings to Fresh Approach marketing wisdom honed through a decade in the natural foods and supplement industry, with a passion for healthy food access driven by her Master of Science in clinical nutrition and BA in medical anthropology. When she’s not generating buzz about Fresh Approach, Andie can be found honing her photography skills, foraging for wild plant foods, and hiking in the Oakland hills.
As a Program Specialist, Isabel manages the East Palo Alto Farmers Market on Wednesdays and Mobile Farmers’ market route on Sundays. She has made a conscious effort to move away from the corporate world and into a position where she can be of service, and be part of a team that’s creating a healthy change in the world and local food system. Isabel believes that food is medicine – so what better job to have, than to encourage this state of awareness to all communities? Isabel’s educational background is in psychology, and she has volunteered with Veggielution, City Year, and in her childrens’ schools. When she’s not overseeing farmers’ markets, Isabel can be found spending time with family, meditating, doing yoga, dancing, writing, watching films, creating art projects, and being out in nature.
Ellen joined the Fresh Approach team in 2018. As a Nutrition Education Program Coordinator, she teaches bilingual VeggieRx classes and assists with Mobile Farmers’ Market routes throughout the South Bay. Originally from Mississippi, Ellen moved to California in order to earn her Masters in Environmental Policy from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. She has always had a passion for gardening, cooking, and environmental justice. In her spare time, you might find her discovering a new hiking trail or releasing her alter-ego “NamaSlay” on the the derby track.
Andy Ollove is the Food Access Program Manager, and manages all aspects of the Mobile Farmers’ Market team. Andy is new to the Bay Area but has been working on food access projects around the country since 2012. Fresh out of college at New York University, Andy began working in farmers markets throughout NYC hawking produce and baked goods. Since then he has worked on projects around the country and in Mexico that create channels to bring fresh and local produce to underserved communities. In his time working at Wholesome Wave, he developed some of the first projects that introduced Market Match-like programs into retail grocery stores. He is excited to be in the Bay still hawking produce and pushing local food systems to be more equitable.
Christopher is an administrative & finance coordinator with Fresh Approach. In this role, he organizes and assists the team, providing both input and a helping hand to several ongoing projects, including; tracking fundraising, the match program’s impact, and finances. He also ensures that those projects are up to date and accurate. A big believer in the “love will save the world” narrative, Christopher supports equality and compassion. Before joining Fresh Approach in 2018, Christopher worked for a diverse range of organizations, including a small bookstore, a public ceramics studio and a large corporate retailer. Christopher looks forward to his latest venture and is excited to make a real, lasting impact in the company and community.
Give the gift of healthy food
and gardening skill-building to Bay Area communities, so everyone can enjoy access to healthy food.