Our Team

 

Eva Wertimer

FoodCorps Member/ PS 42

 

Katya Galfund

FoodCorps Member/ PS 294

 

Gus Stavroulakis

Youth and Farm Stand Coordinator

718-716-8000 Ext. 419
 
 

Lana Alman

Seasonal Culinary Educator/ Farmers Market for Kids

 

Maria Caicedo

Cooking and Gardening Coordinator

718-716-8000 Ext. 121
 
 

Taisy Conk

Program Director

718-716-8000 Ext. 116
 
 

Passion Jackson

Farm Stand Assistant/ Former Crew Leader

 
 

Leslie, Reginald and Justin

Farm Stand Assistants

 

Eva Wertimer

Eva grew up in Washington Heights and is a proud graduate of the NYC public school system. She is grateful to the amazing teachers who nurtured her curiosity, and hopes to do the same for the students of PS 42, the Claremont Community School, where she’ll serve the 2020-2021 school year. 

Eva graduated from Scripps College with a dual degree in Environmental Studies and Philosophy. In college she aided in organizing a local CSA with a subsidized program. Through the CSA program she learned about food apartheid in the United States.

Eva hopes to instill a love of food in children, and aid in giving them the tools to represent their communities to minimize food apartheid and inequity. 

Katya Galfund

Katya is passionate about using food as medicine and working towards a system that prioritizes food access equity. After volunteering for an after-school gardening program, Katya found joy working with children in an outdoor setting. She hopes to help children learn how to love trying new things and how to care for others and the environment.

A graduate from Eckerd College with a major in International Relations, Katya hopes to refocus her path towards emphasizing the importance of grassroots and community building to achieve change.

Katya’s favorite foods include: asparagus, bananas, falafel, and pinto beans!

Gus Stavroulakis

Gus has always understood the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. When continuing his education after his military service, he learned that there is more to living a healthy life than the choices a person makes. The Social environment where a person lives in plays a significant role. Pursuing a career in public health, he has worked in advocating for his fellow veterans within the Veterans Administration and as a student at Bronx Community College and Hunter College.

Moving to the Bronx, Gus feels a strong connection to the Bronx. Believing that civil engagement is an important part of building a strong community, Gus has volunteered his time on the Jerome Avenue Public Health Task Force and is now a part of New Settlement Apartments Community Food Action. What has also helped in making the Bronx his home is great pizza like Giovanni’s pizza.

Lana Alman

Lana Alman is originally from the former Soviet Union and has lived and worked in Latin America, where she feels most at home. Lana was a management consultant for 11 years, and most recently oversaw global engagement efforts for a youth leadership organization in Latin America and the former Soviet Union. Parallel to her professional work, Lana is happiest creating healthy recipes and sharing them with people around the globe.

Having an opportunity to serve as the bilingual culinary educator for the Farmers Market for Kids is a way for Lana to share her passion for healthy eating and community building, while contributing to the well-being of children and families of diverse backgrounds. Lana believes that everyone should have access to nutritious food and seasonal fruits and vegetables, and is excited to be part of Community Food Action’s social justice programming. 

Maria Caicedo

Maria is a bilingual educator and community worker who joined us in 2018 to coordinate our cooking and gardening initiatives. On the one hand, she leads the Farmers Markets for Kids, and on the other, she coordinates Community Food Action’s work in schools and is the service site supervisor for our two FoodCorps Service Members.

Her efforts in promoting and advocating culturally responsive educational environments have allowed Maria to practice in the classroom, at the Battery Urban Farm where she was tenured for two years prior to joining the CFA team, and at various other alternative community-based educational settings. She strives to contribute to the economic and sustainable development of migrant populations in NYC through fostering increased social/political awareness, and implementing educational initiatives around healthy food, agricultural autonomy, and heritage language preservation.

Maria believes that by rescuing the innate connections we have with nature, we can develop a love of place. And love for our shared home ground leads us to care for it and act against its destruction and exploitation, which is our own. Children in particular “allow themselves to be imprinted by place” and if they’re lovingly devoted to a place, that is the beginning of action.

Maria’s favorite foods to eat are watermelons, guabas, and chirimoyas.

Taisy Conk

Taisy has loved good food her whole life and is always looking forward to her next meal. Growing up in New York City, she was exposed to cuisines from around the globe, but was also aware of the predominance of cheaply made processed food. Taisy first came to this work to address the damaging and disproportionate health impact of processed food on low-income families and communities of color. As she steadily became aware of the systems and structures in place that propagate food that is bad for the body, for communities, for workers, and for the environment, Taisy became determined to join efforts to restore truly nourishing food to our neighborhoods.

Taisy Conk came on board to New Settlement as the Community Healthy Food Advocate through Communities for Healthy Food in 2013.  Since then, she has built the program from the ground up with the support of her passionate team members and committed partners.  Prior to working at New Settlement, Taisy conducted food access and physical activity research in New Orleans and was a Patient Navigator at a safety net hospital in Boston. Taisy holds an MPH from Tulane University in Global Community Health and Nutrition.  Having lived, gone to school, and now worked in the Bronx, Taisy is proud to have the opportunity to transform the neighborhood food landscape alongside Bronx youth and adults.

Taisy’s favorite place to grow, cook, or eat food in the Bronx is City Island.

Passion Jackson

Passion has been with the farm stand for several years as a Youth and then Crew Leader. As an Associate, her positive attitude and great taste in Disney show tunes are uplifting and fun!

In past years, Passion has assisted with community outreach at the 170 Farm Stand’s Compost on the Go Station (not in operation this year due to COVID-19 closures), in pursuit of her interest in learning more about composting and sharing the importance of recycling organic scraps with the Mt. Eden community. She also did a brief stint with Farmers Markets for Kids, and looks at this job as an opportunity “to learn and get out of your comfort zone.”We know and see Passion’s potential as an educator, for community members and her peers, and we look forward to continuing to see and celebrate her growth!

Leslie, Reginald and Justin

Leslie is an undergrad at the CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College. In her spare time, she loves to grapple and train in Muay Thai kickboxing, and also models.

As a new graduate from Lehman College with a degree in public health and a resident of the Bronx, Reginald is passionate about improving the Bronx’s health.

Justin is a graduate of Community Food Action’s youth development program. As a former youth leader, Justin brings tremendous knowledge and care to the farm stand operation. He is a hard worker who puts tons of effort into all the things he does, and has an unwavering vision.