Letter From the Board
As a member of the Heartside Gleaning Board of Directors, I am grateful for the opportunity to serve this organization to help improve the health of Heartside residents through nutrition education and increased access to fresh produce.
2019 was a fantastic year for us! Our first signature fundraising event was a big success (special thanks to San Chez Bistro for providing the venue and delicious food). We would also like to thank the Andy J. Egan Co. for our selection as the first organization to receive a very generous grant to help celebrate their Centennial Anniversary.
In addition, we expanded our reach from the Heartside neighborhood to additional Grand Rapids' residents in several ways. New community partners were added to our regular distribution schedule. We also launched an initiative to provide produce to those who cannot access our distributions on gleaning Saturdays through Good Food Box deliveries.
We are very thankful for the support and generosity of our donors, farmers, community partners, and volunteers. I look forward to the continued expansion of our reach and impact in 2020 and beyond.
Kristin Moretto, Ph.D.
Vice-Chair, Board of Directors
Board of Directors
LISA SISSON, CHAIR | RETIRED, GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
Lisa is a registered dietitian/nutritionist and former Assistant Professor in the Hospitality and Tourism Management Department at Grand Valley State University. Her areas of interest include access to healthy food, food policy, community-based nutrition and food service. She works to impact access through policy changes with several non-profit organizations including the Kent County Food Policy Council and The West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum.
KRISTIN MORETTO, VICE CHAIR| GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY BROOKS COLLEGE
Kristin Moretto, Ph.D. is the inaugural Director of the Office for Community Partnerships and Student Professional Development in the Brooks College. Kristin previously served as the the Director of Experiential Learning in the College of Public Health at the University of South Florida. Prior to that, she was the Assistant Director for Service-Learning at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she oversaw the growth of academic service-learning, directed a community-based research grant program, and led the NASPA CLDE initiative. Moretto also directed the Michigan State University Student Food Bank and worked in the Office of Faculty and Organizational Development.
RORI WESTON, SECRETARY | FULTON STREET FARMERS MARKET
Rori is the Executive Director + Market Manger of the Fulton Street Farmers Market. Rori has a background in Hospitality + Tourism Management, farming and has been apart of the Grand Rapids food scene for years. She loves building relationships with the vendors + patrons and enjoys working closely with community partners to help create a fruitful food system for all. Rori has served on the HGI board since 2015. Rori also serves on the Grand Rapids's Urban Agriculture Committee.
EMILY EVERS | ARTISTS CREATING TOGETHER
Emily Evers has been a member of the Board of Directors of Heartside Gleaning Initiative since 2014. She has a passion for fostering sustainable food systems, environmental stewardship, and the intersection of social justice within these challenges. Evers is a native of Grand Rapids and holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies & Agriscience, with a concentration in Science & Policy, from Michigan State University.
SUZAN COUZENS | DEGAGE MINISTRIES
Suzan has served in the Heartside neighborhood as a Parish/Faith Community Nurse for the past 22 years. Her passion is to empower the homeless to remove barriers to health through assisting Heartside residents in creating a culture of health. Her work with a team of Heartside residents and others has focused on improving the nutrition of those living in the neighborhood and/or eating at soup kitchens in the neighborhood. Through various community partnerships, access to healthy food has improved.
DEBBIE LOWN | GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
Debbie is an Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences at GVSU as well as a registered dietitian/nutritionist. Her focus is on food insecurity and community nutrition. She brings many students to assist with projects and further their knowledge and understanding of food insecurity through community based learning.
DANA EARDLEY | FULTON STREET FARMERS MARKET
Dana is passionate about finding community based solutions towards creating equitable food systems. Dana believes that together our farms, restaurants, grocers, and food entrepreneurs provide the foundation for a strong local economy that celebrates a connection to our planet and our people.
BRUCE BARRESI | COMMUNITY MEMBER
Bruce is a well-known, long-time resident of the Heartside neighborhood. He can frequently be seen talking with those who work, live, and play in Heartside. He spent his summers working on his uncle's cherry farm in northern Michigan and attended Grand Rapids Community College. Bruce is also a long-term member of the Community Care and Enrichment Team.
TOMMIE C. WALLACE | COMMUNITY MEMBER
Tommie graduated from Wilberforce University with a major in Fine Arts and a minor in History. He lived in the Heartside neighborhood for almost 20 years and continues to volunteer and create works of art there. Several of his murals can be seen in Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids.