Melanie has had a long and adventurous career in the not for profit sector. Armed with a background in Social Services, Gerontology and Volunteer Resource Management, Melanie has managed offices, been deployed to respond to natural disasters in Canada and the United States, worked alongside President Carter in New Orleans and Thailand and worked with and led teams to Tajikistan, Guatemala, Mozambique and Chile. An adoptive mom of two children, Melanie knows first hand the impact good food has on health, behaviour and education and is passionate about using her skills to increase access to real food in her community.
Ashley has local roots in Kingston and its surrounding area. She brings close to 20 years of customer service experience to the Loving Spoonful table with some side dishes. These skills vary in an array of fields from having a background in banking, being a Childbirth Educator and Family Photographer. Ashley’s admiration of the uniqueness of people is the true driving force behind Ashley’s passion of getting involved with non-profits, which she has done through volunteering and working in non-profits, and holding executive positions on non-profit board of directors. Ashley's heart and drive to serve the community is key to her role as the Fresh Food and Systems Coordinator. As a mom of 3, she understands the importance of eating good food and the connection between healthy food options and mental health. When she’s not working, you can usually find Ashley at a local coffee shop or market, at a craft fair with a few kids in tow, on a hike, out camping or snowshoeing with her kids, or painting or quilting.
Ayla is a first-generation farmer and community organizer. She graduated from Queen's in 2011 with a B. Sc (Honours) in Biology, and since 2013 has been working on local organic farms, learning regenerative production methods for vegetables, livestock, cereal grains and dairy. Since 2015, Ayla has been a board member of the National Farmers Union, and has been involved with organizing young farmers and farmworkers nationally and internationally, advocating for the transition to agroecology, food sovereignty and climate justice. Ayla also represents the NFU in the global peasant movement La Via Campesina. She is excited to bring her passion for food and farming to Loving Spoonful and the Kingston community as our Urban Agriculture Organizer!
Community Kitchens Coordinator
(currently on leave)
Tibratā is a Red Seal Certified Chef with over 35 years of professional cooking, 15 years as a culinary educator, 15 years of farming and 8 years of special event programming experience. Her outlook on sustainable food systems is rooted in her training and perspectives as a Biogeographer and as an Applied Food Researcher. As a professional chef in Kingston, she has been active in the local food movement for over 20 years. In the fall of 2017, Tibratā made a life-long commitment and is training to become a Sacred Fire Keeper and as a Sacred Gardener. Tibratā’s life work revolves around food in one way or another as a means of offering love and opportunities for connection. Tibratā joined Loving Spoonful in May 2019 and enjoys coordinating Community Kitchens.
Christine owns and operates a farm with her family in Kingston. Food and cooking have always been a passion and she has worked in one way or another with food all of her life. From her first job in a grocery store to working in restaurants and the tourism industry and ultimately farming. She actively looks for ways to learn about food whether it is in the form of sharing her love of cooking with friends and family, taking classes, reading cookbooks, exploring ingredients, growing food, or simply connecting with others around the knowledge that eating well is a powerful tool for our overall health.
Mary has always been drawn towards work that uses education and community to chip away at attitudinal and systemic barriers that prevent many from accessing resources we all need, particularly in areas of mental health and wellness. Since graduating from the University of Waterloo with a BA in Psychology & Social Work, she's spent 20+ years in the non-profit sector in various roles, many of which have included coordinating efforts to promote service programs and social causes to a wider community through relationship-building and online engagement. Mary’s passion for good food and natural health became more prominent as raising a family became a priority. Mary can be found enjoying the outdoors with her family, and singing with one of Kingston’s community choirs.