FRESH Staff

Alicia McAvay

Executive Director (freshnewlondon@gmail.com)

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.

Sydney Henderson

Farm and Project Manager (farm@freshnewlondon.org)

I started thinking critically about our food system after eating a lot of Doritos in high school. Upon graduating, I started to question what we eat and why which led me to interning on a number of farms where I learned different farming styles along with the basics of ecosystem functions. Having grown an understanding that operating without appropriate resources is extremely difficult, I started to notice parallels between our agricultural systems and societal inequities. Farming on a local, culturally relevant scale is one of the most radical calls to action because through farming, we see the interconnectedness of people, culture, and ecosystems. Through this connected knowledge, we gain power and create opportunities for change. I can’t think of a better way to spend my time and energy.

Chloe Murphy

Food Justice Educator

Chloe is a New London resident and a passionate community member. Her love for farming and food justice stems from her multicultural background as a Black, Filipina, Chamorro woman and the histories of food, land, and education that come with that lineage. She is majoring in Africana Studies and minoring in Sustainable Community Food Systems at the University of Connecticut. Her years at FRESH, most recently as the food justice educator, have shown Chloe that her passions lie in youth empowerment, particularly via education. As such, upon completion of her undergraduate studies, Chloe will be receiving her Masters in Education to become a high school history teacher. She will continue to hold conversations with young people about the various interlocking, mutually reinforcing systems that suppress our communities as well as how we liberate ourselves from them! 

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.”  

Davana Grabel

Office Manager (info@freshnewlondon.org)

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! My interest in food justice stems from my Gender Studies major and the intersectional nature of the issue. I first joined FRESH in 2019 as a summer intern, working on our multiple gardens, snack beds and the website. Now, I am working to update our social media presence to keep everyone up to date with FRESH!

Lizbeth Polo-Smith

Community Organizer

I am an immigrant From Peru, who is very thankful for my community. I want to work hard to give back the help I have received from the community.

India Charles

Social Media Coordinator Assistant

India came to Connecticut when she was 8 years old now she is 22. India likes to listen to music and volunteer on her free time. She currently attending Three Rivers Community College and will be transferring to Eastern Connecticut State University to continue her degree in social work. India joined FRESH in the summer of  2016 as a crew member. She will be continuing working at FRESH with be assisting with the social media aspect.

Makeeda Bandele-Asante

Health Equity and Public Health Intern

Makeeda is a part of FRESH as a Public Health and Health Equity Intern. Growing up in New London she has been a witness to the ways the health and well-being of residents would improve with anti racism work in schools, the food system, health care and all around. She studies nutrition and hopes to become a Dietitian Nutritionist. Her hobbies include listening to and writing music, podcasts, cooking, and reading.

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.

FRESH Advisory Board

Nicolo Festa

Retired, social services

New London Resident 

Denise Boyd

Community Leader at McDonald Park Community Garden

New London resident/Community Gardener   

Vita Rose

Educator, East Lyme Public Schools

Former Non-profit administrator

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

Tasha Hosendove

Educator, Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School

New London resident/Community Gardener/CSA member

Parent leader at Step Up New London

Sheila Yee

Parent of FRESH Youth and Retired Educator

NAACP and NCNW leadership

New London Resident/Community Gardener


FRESH New London

Call us: 860-574-9006

Write to us: PO Box 285, New London, CT 06320