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


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

Stephanie Pike, Chair
Farm & Sea to School Director
Farm Fresh RI


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


Sara Churgin
District Manager
Eastern RI Conservation District

Kendra Doe-Mode
Farmer, Community Gardener & Educator


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


Caitlin Mandel
Farm to Child Nutrition Program Specialist
RI Department of Education

Solange Morrissette

District Manager


Rachel Newman Greene
Food Access & Nutrition Security Program Director
RI Food Policy Council

Jack Sisson

Agricultural Marketing Specialist
RI DEM, Division of Agriculture

Michael Skeldon

Beacon Charter Schools

Juli Stelmaszyk

Director of Food Strategy
RI Commerce

Karin Wetherill

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

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RI Farm to School Network