Stephanie R. Perks, MA, RD, LDN
Stephanie joins the SMFSN with the dedication and passion of educating communities in healthy and sustainable eating. For over eight years, she worked closely with her local farm in Rochester and gained a great appreciation for our current agricultural realities. In her undergraduate years, she earned a B.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics to learn the nutritional benefits of the food she grew. She later went on to receive her M.A. in Food Culture and Communications from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy, the birthplace of the Slow Food Movement. As a Registered Dietitian, she is dedicated to connecting her communities back to the importance of food. Stephanie currently splits her time between the SMFSN and Mass in Motion New Bedford as the Program Coordinator, where she manages a number of different nutrition and active living initiatives throughout New Bedford.
New Bedford Community Garden Coordinator
Adam Davenport’s passion lies in the potential that he sees in nature, education, and health to create positive social change throughout our world. He studied civil engineering at the University of New Hampshire, became a Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and is a certified permaculture designer. His background insustainability, civil engineering, holistic health, community service, and teaching, has focused his work on the connection between health, land and social systems using food and agriculture as a medium. Adam is currently the Garden Manager for the Marion Institute’s Grow Education Program, Southeastern MA Food Security Network’s New Bedford Community Garden Coordinator, and co-founder of Terra Cura, a regenerative design and education organization.
New Bedford City Fruit Communication Coordinator
Joyce Bettencourt is a designer, communications professional, and social/digital media consultant who has worked on projects for nonprofit and educational clients such as the American Museum of Natural History, Global Kids, TechSoup, and others. She was born and raised in New Bedford, and has had a lifelong interest in gardening and planting fruits and vegetables going back to helping her Portuguese grandmother in the family garden. She has been involved in local community gardening, is a long-time member of the Westport River Gardeners club, and in 2015 completed the Master Gardener Program at Bristol Community College. Joyce is a 2012 alumni of the Singularity University graduate studies summer program focusing on how future / advancing technologies can solve global challenges, and has a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Visual Design from the University of Massachusetts. She is excited to work with the Southeastern Massachusetts Food Security Network helping get the word out about the City Fruit program while getting her hands dirty learning more about sustainable agriculture.
New Bedford City Fruit Community Outreach Coordinator
Since retiring in 2013, John has been dedicated to providing food security to the underprivileged in his local community. In 2013, with assistance from the City of Taunton, John was able to develop the Taunton Community Garden to serve as a platform for locally grown, organic food, and educational programs on sustainable gardening. John was on the founding team and has served on the Board of Directors since that time. In 2015, John completed coursework at Bristol Community College to become a Master Gardener. John also serves as a volunteer at Taunton’s two food kitchens: Our Daily Bread Food Kitchen and Taunton Area Community Table. In 2013, John was recruited as a CUSO International (the Canadien Peace Corp) to use his business skills to in a pioneer program cosponsored by USAID and Accenture, called Diaspora for Development. John was tasked with teaching local subsistence farmers in Naro Moru, Kenya to grow high-value crops using modern agricultural methods. During his time there, he built a modern kitchen facility, managed and staffed by local abled and disabled women, that manufactured the strawberry and tree tomato crops into jams and chutneys under the brand Mititsu for local consumption and export, and provided jobs and value to the Mount Kenya area community.
City of New Bedford; Department of Infrastructure, MCA & ISA Licensed Arborist; City Fruit Advisor
As a ‘speaker for the trees’ Chance joins the SMFSN to help guide NB City Fruit to enable and support active participation and interest in fruit tree management culture. As an avid outdoorsman he gravitated to farm life in his early teens and graduated from Bristol County Agricultural High School. He received his Bachelors of Science in Ecological Forest Management from Paul Smith’s College in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. His strong understanding of natural forest systems is often assimilated into his urban tree management for the municipality’s overall tree cover. The orchards and other perennial crops growing in the crevices and open spaces of New Bedford are resources Chance is excited to illuminate and actively engage community residents to explore and experiment with.