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Staff Team

Stephen Gard

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Executive Director

Stephen returns to Kingston after 25 years working in the non-profit sector in Windsor and Essex County. He brings with him experience developing and implementing programs in community health, employment, newcomer settlement, volunteer management and social marketing. Stephen holds Bachelor’s degrees in Arts and Education and in 2016 earned the Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation in non-profit leadership through the Canadian Society of Association Executives. He is excited to join the Loving Spoonful team as it brings together his passions of helping community and healthy food. In his down time, he can be found cooking in the kitchen, on the pickleball court, at a concert, or watching sports.

AYLA FENTON

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Food Systems Manager

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! 

MARIE BENCZE

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Community Harvest Farmer

Marie is an agroecological food enthusiast who has been running the Community Harvest Gardens since 2020. She started her farming journey in 2009 and has worked at several organic vegetable farms in the Kingston area including Root Radical CSA and Patchwork Gardens. In 2019, Marie completed a Master’s of Environmental Studies which focused on farm-based education with children and its ties to food sovereignty. With deep roots in the farming community, 3 years on the board of the local National Farmers Union, and more than a decade of involvement in social and environmental justice initiatives, Marie is passionate about building community and struggling toward food sovereignty. Outside of work, she is a proud parent, voracious reader, banjolele player, and DIY-er.

FIONA SMITH

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Gleaning & Fresh Food Access Facilitator

Fiona is a student at Queen's University currently completing her BA in Global Development with specific interests in food sovereignty, Indigenous studies, and environmental sustainability. She took on this role in hopes of exploring these topics more through hands-on work and getting more involved in her community. While she has spent some time working in community gardens already, she very much looks forward to working one on one with local partners, farmers, and volunteers to create a network of meaningful connections through Loving Spoonful. When she can find some time to spare, Fiona loves to bake, spend time outdoors with family and friends, and explore the world around her. 

KATHLEEN MORITZ

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Farm Training Coordinator

Kathleen is a farmer and herbalist originally from the Kingston area. She studied Literature while also taking courses in Environmental Studies and discovered a passion for the intersections of ecology, food, and social justice. She started her farming journey in 2016, working on animal and vegetable farms across Ontario including several seasons with Root Radical CSA in Kingston. After studies in herbal medicine, she co-founded Redwing Herb Farm, a local farm on Howe Island growing a variety of medicinal herbs and offering herbal education. She is excited to dive into more learning and teaching as this year's Community Training Farm Coordinator! Outside of work, Kathleen likes to spend time walking the woods, making music, and reading.

 ROB MCMULLEN 

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Farm Education & Communications Facilitator

Born and raised in Ottawa, Rob has always had a personal passion for vegetable gardening, regenerative agriculture, and the farm to table lifestyle. Rob studied Business Administration majoring in accounting and finance at Algonquin College. After over seven years of working with top financial institutions, most recently as a Financial Advisor, Rob decided to prioritize his family life and pursue his passions. Rob joined Loving Spoonful's Community Training Farm Program with the excitement to learn a new industry and skill set, and instantly fell in love with the work being done and Loving Spoonful’s community outreach and public programs. When the opportunity arose to combine his personal passions with professional aspirations it felt providential. Rob brings with him expert level financial knowledge, communication and networking skills, as well as carpentry skills gained through studies at St. Lawrence College during the pandemic. In his free time, Rob is a proud father, bushcraft enthusiast, and hockey fanatic, striving towards a more self-sustaining lifestyle. He hopes to bring his creative problem solving and previous professional background to help the organization continue to thrive and build strong community ties. 

ADRIENNE CHALATURNYK

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Farmers Market & Gleaning Coordinator

While working as a freelance artist and animator, Adrienne fell in love with farming and shifted her focus and creative energy to growing vegetables and community. She first connected with Loving Spoonful as a farmer participating in the Gleaning program in 2020. After a few seasons of co-running a small vegetable farm, she's excited to be joining the team as the new Farmers Market & Gleaning Coordinator and continuing to connect and build relationships with farmers in the community. In her free time, Adrienne can be found petting dogs, dipping her toes in the water, or exploring the backcountry.

Stephanie D'Souza

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Food Systems Program Facilitator

After completing her Hons. Bachelor of Arts in International Development Studies in 2012, Stephanie gained diverse experience in the non-profit sector working on program monitoring and evaluation, curriculum design, and facilitation. She recently made the move to Kingston to pursue her Bachelor of Education at Queen’s University, which she completed in July 2023. 

In her work at Loving Spoonful and as an educator, artist, and consultant, Stephanie has always had deep connections to food. She believes in a world where community care is at the core of everything and sees food as one of the biggest tools for this type of connection-building and systems change. In her downtime, Stephanie enjoys cooking, mushroom walks, and training sessions with her dog!

TIBRATȦ GILLIES 

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Community Kitchens Manager

​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.

CHERILYN BURNELL

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Community Kitchens Facilitator

Cherilyn's passion is to feed people good food. Whether eating with family and friends, or hosting a food centred event (like a murder mystery dinner!), she loves connecting with people around a table. With a background in education, she is experienced at facilitating diverse groups of people to build greater skills, confidence and connections. 

As one of the City of Kingston's Neighbourhood Climate Action Champions, Cherilyn combined her love of community, education and food by developing and teaching gardening programs at a new community garden in the west end where she serves as the garden site coordinator.

In her down time, she enjoys spending quality time with family and friends, reading, and making music with others

TARA BOLAND

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Community Kitchens Facilitator

Originally from Toronto and Markham area, Tara is a First Nations Métis woman with Irish roots and a passion for food.  Food and family have always been a large part of her life. Whether cooking with her mother and grandmother, or spending time with her Nany cooking large meals at home, these food experiences have deeply shaped her. 

 

Tara has been in Kingston since 2006 and has worked in the food industry for 15 years. She has experience with farming, gardening and foraging and using those foods when cooking. A natural in the kitchen, Tara is driven by a commitment and passion for serving community, particularly marginalized populations. She has a long history of volunteering, including with Loving Spoonful.

 

She is a recent graduate of Mental Health and Addictions with First Nations Technical Institute (FNTI) and Canadore College. She is currently completing her diploma in Social Work at FNTI. 

ANNE WOODALL

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Administrative Assistant

Anne Woodall started volunteering with Loving Spoonful in 2016. Her first task as a super-star volunteer was to assist with the Fund Development Committee. Through this volunteer position, Anne learned so much about the different aspects of fundraising and came to appreciate the essential work of Loving Spoonful. In 2017, when Anne retired, she took on the role of Donor Liaison Volunteer. This past March, Anne joined the Loving Spoonful staff team as Administrative Assistant, and she loves working with this team!

LESLIE HANSON

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GROW Coordinator

Leslie was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Growing up in an agricultural city, she quickly developed an appreciation and passion for local food and healthy eating. Her love of food and health promotion led her to study nutrition at the University of Manitoba. She completed both a Bachelor and and Master of Science in Human Nutritional Sciences, with her Master’s focused on Agri-Food research and the role of nutrition in disease management and prevention. Leslie has years of experience teaching diverse groups of people about the benefits of good food and healthy lifestyles. After moving to Kingston, Leslie joined Loving Spoonful in 2018 where she used her experience to promote food literacy and community connections. After taking time off to start a family, she is thrilled to be back as the GROW Coordinator with the GROW Project, working to expand the program and make it a more accessible resource for students and educators.

Leslie will be on maternity leave until September 2023.

Please contact Michelle Kehoe with any inquires.

GAIL PAQUETTE

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Outreach Coordinator

In February 2022, Gail joined the team at Loving Spoonful as Community Outreach Coordinator. Gail is a photographer, journalist, video producer, and digital marketer. She has been immersed in the Kingston culture for the past 8 years telling stories about local people, events, and organizations. Gail is especially passionate about what goes on behind the scenes and has worked closely with various organizations and community groups to help spread the word of their achievements. Having participated in many Loving Spoonful events in the past, Gail is excited to be a part of the team. As Outreach Coordinator she will enlighten and inform the community and spread the word on the amazing work that they do. On her days off, Gail enjoys exploring small towns and rural communities throughout Ontario, hiking and spending time with her three children.

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