FRESH Staff

Alicia McAvay
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Executive Director

Alicia came to FRESH New London with a background in Community Organizing. She worked for two years as our Farm to School Coordinator before coming into leadership as the Executive Director. As Executive Director, Alicia is responsible for every aspect of FRESH-- from the big grants to the tiny worms. She wished she could get into the urban farm work more often but enjoys the work of connecting families, community partners and civic groups, to build momentum for food system change.

Sean O'Brien

Farm and Project Manager

Sean O'Brien joined the FRESH team as our Farm and Project Manager in Spring 2018. Originally from Vermont, Sean has practiced agriculture in both rural and urban settings, and is kitting those experiences together in multi-site urban agriculture here in New London. He and his wife Emily homestead 10 acres in Salem where they tend a herd of dairy goats and fiber alpacas. In 2019, Sean worked with young people and adult volunteers to grow food on 8 different sites and he's excited about digging deeper in the years to come! 

Sharms Gregor

Farmer's Assistant

"Growing food is important at this moment more than ever because of all the social, economical, and agricultural injustices happening across the world. Growing food is the best way to sustain and grow in community. This pandemic has allowed us to see where the system is broken and work to fix it in ways that are equitable and ecologically sustainable." 

Julie Garay
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Youth Organizer

Born in Puerto Rico and raised in New London since the age of 3, my heart has always been in this small city! Since I started my journey in FRESH New London as a freshman in high school,  I have played a part in growing and feeding New London. I started at FRESH as a Crew member and have worked my way up to Assistant Farmer, Crew Leader and now Youth Organizer. By uplifting youth voices in the FRESH Community, and a member of other New London organizations, I am proud to say I am a part of growing (pun intended) a better, more sustainable future for New London.  

Chloe Murphy

Food Justice Educator

"Growing your own food is always important and, given our societable structures, it's always revolutionary. Right now in particular, however, growing food at the community level is important to acheive some independence during the pandemic. [...] If we can create our own bounty right here in New London then we are not reliant on the productions of the exploitation of farmworkers whose health and safetly is equally as important as those of us who are currently able to take protective measures against the coronavirus." 

Davana Grabel

Office Manager

Born in California to parents who were avid gardeners, I’ve spent my whole life with my hands in the soil! I settled here in New London 21 years ago, and have had the joy and privilege of homeschooling two amazing girls in this little city. I think that FRESH is one of the very best things about our town, and now more than ever, empowering our community and feeding our friends and neighbors are vitally important. As long as we continue to work hard, look out for one another, and hold on to hope, I know that we will not only survive, but thrive.

Grace Amato

Social Media Coordinator

I'm a Connecticut College student from Massachusetts and have found a family here at FRESH! I first joined FRESH in 2019 as a summer intern, working on our multiple gardens, snack beds and the website. Now, I am updating our social media presence. As much as I prefer face-to-face interactions, social media has become especially important during the pandemic and a great way to keep you all updated on what FRESH has been doing!

FRESH Junior Staff

As youth move through our programs, they have the opportunity to work as Junior Staff. They guide our crew members through growing food from seed to harvest, learning about food justice, analyzing the systems of power and oppression in New London and building a family. Above is a picture of our 5 Junior Staff members from summer 2019.

FRESH Advisory Board

Nicolo Festa

Retired, social services

New London Resident 

Vita Rose

Educator, East Lyme Public Schools

Former Non-profit administrator

Denise Boyd

Community Leader at McDonald Park Community Garden

New London resident/Community Gardener   

Bob Stuller

Journeyman Composter

City of New London Sustainability Committee Member/New London Resident  

Elizabeth Spurr

Master Gardener

Community Educator, Fiddleheads Food Coop

New London Resident/Community Gardener 

Sheila Yee

Parent of FRESH Youth and Retired Educator

NAACP and NCNW leadership

New London Resident/Community Gardener

Tasha Hosendove

Educator, Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School

New London resident/Community Gardener/CSA member

Parent leader at Step Up New London

Call us: 860-574-9006

or

Visit our office: 26 Broad Street, New London, CT 06320

Be sure to include PO Box 285 in mailings to FRESH

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