Global Partners

Amy Bentley

Professor– Food Studies, New York University

Amy is a professor of food studies at New York University. Recent works include co-editor of Food for Thought: Nourishment, Culture, Meaning (Springer 2021), and the award-winning Inventing Baby Food: Taste, Health, and the Industrialization of the American Diet (2014). She is co-editor of the Bloomsbury monograph series Food in Modern History: Traditions and Innovations.


Centre for Indian Knowledge Systems (CIKS)

CIKS LogoFounders– Dr. A V Balasubramanian (Balu) and Dr. K.Vijayalakshmi (Viji)

CIKS is an important interlocutor in the areas of organic agriculture, biodiversity conservation, Indian plant science (Vrkshayurveda), and farmers’ collectives in the city of Chennai in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The CIKS methodology involves looking deep into the heart of these ancient knowledge systems to gain a strong understanding of their workings and rationale. The understanding gained from this organizations initiatives is leveraged to develop solutions that are practical and feasible in today’s context.


CREATE (Consumer Research Education Action Training and Empowerment)

Chairman-Professor P. Duraisingam

The CREATE Trust is based at Madurai, Tamil Nadu (India). It has organized programs in sustainable agriculture, agro- biodiversity, heirloom seed conservation, wetlands conservation, and popular education to empower and engage farmers and consumers across India’s southern and eastern states for over twenty years. Aligned with the Save Our Rice international campaign (founded in 2007) with the THANAL Trust, CREATE has connected to over 112,000 farmers, distributed over 320,000 traditional and organic seeds, organized 25 seed festivals and traditional food melas. CREATE’s indigenous seed banks, seed sharing networks, and knowledge mobilization events aim to preserve the environment, build a community of healthy citizens, protect the livelihood of small farmers, promote climate resilient agriculture, alongside traditional and indigenous foodways.

Filippo Oncini

Assistant Professor, Maastricht Sustainability Institute (Maastricht University)
Filippo Oncini is assistant professor at Maastricht Sustainability Institute (Maastricht University), and honorary fellow at the Sustainable Consumption Institute, University of Manchester. His research interests lie in the fields of consumption and cultural sociology, with attention to social inequalities, food consumption and provision, and urban poverty. His recent projects focus on the relations of cooperation and competition between different food charities in the UK and Japan using field theory. 

Ghana Food Movement

The Ghana Food Movement is an empowering grassroots member network and agency of innovative and sustainable food and agri stakeholders. They are striving for building a fair and future-proof food system for Ghanaians and the environment. By celebrating, preserving and redefining Ghanaian food culture and cuisine that encourages local production, local value add, local employment and entrepreneurship, healthier consumption and healthy ecosystems will be possible. They design, execute and advise on events, campaigns and projects around gastronomy, farming and food production, youth employment, nutrition, biodiversity and food systems. Using a fresh, contemporary, grassroots and culturally appropriate approach- with a strong focus on young Ghanaians and professionals in the food and agri space, they translate stories, visions or messages into concepts and food experiences.


Krishnendu Ray

Professor– Food Studies, New York University

Krishnendu Ray received his Ph.D. in Sociology from SUNY Binghamton in 2001. He holds a master’s degree in Political Science from Delhi University, India. Prior to joining the NYU faculty in 2005, Krishnendu was a faculty member and an Acting Associate Dean for Curriculum Development at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA).


Noah Allison

Assistant Professor-Urban Studies, Loyola Marymount University
Noah is a visiting assistant professor at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. From 2021-2023 he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto’s Culinaria Research Centre where he was a  Feeding City Lab associate. His interdisciplinary work uses qualitative and visualization strategies informed by feminist and intersectional perspectives to make sense of everyday metropolitan inequities and opportunities and the processes that cause them.

Saumya Gupta

Associate Professor–History, Janki Devi Memorial College, Unversity of Delhi

Saumya is an Associate Professor of History at the Janki Devi Memorial College, University of Delhi and also a Fellow at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi. Her current research focuses on urban social history and north Indian foodways and at present, she is working on a book project on the social history of cooking in north India.

Tamales y Bicicletas

Jose Luis Villasenor– Founder

Tamales y Bicicletas is dedicated to strengthening Latino and immigrant communities through bike projects, green farming, cultural empowerment, and environmental justice. Rebuilding on these cultural traditions, Tamales y Bicicletas serves as a much-needed vehicle for Latino youth and families to learn about and organize for environmental and food justice



Thanal Trust

Logo for the environmental NGO Thanal Trust

The Thanal Trust brings together environmental activists around a common vision of People, Planet and Sustainability. Thanal promotes and supports a sustainable form of agriculture which would ensure restoration and protection of biodiversity and the environment, enhanced incomes for farmers and families, food safety and security for consumers and the public. Food and farming related social enterprises from Thanal include the Organic Bazaar (Thiruvanthapuram), and an Agro-Ecology Centre (Kannur). Thanal’s actions include the Save our Rice Campaign, Zero Waste Campaign, Climate Resilient Kerala Campaign, Paddy and Wetland Conservation Campaign, and the Climate Action Campaign. From Kerala, India, it connects with networks such as Gaia, IPEN, Pan Asia Pacific, and ASHA.

Thiago Gomide Nasser

Co-Founder and Executive Director of Junta Local
Thiago is co-founder and executive director of Junta Local, a community of local producers based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Since 2014, Junta Local has run street markets and has held events focusing on the promotion of good, local food. It also runs an online platform through which its community of more than 150 producers can sell directly to consumers. Thiago holds a Ph.D. from the Institute of Social and Political Studies at the State University of Rio de Janeiro (IESP-UERJ) where he researched food and politics.

Tracey Deutsch

Associate Professor– History, University of Minnesota

Tracey Deutsch is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Minnesota and Faculty Coordinator for Minnesota Transform, a $5 million Mellon Foundation initiative that uses the public humanities to make universities a site for racial justice. She works with Tamales y Bicycletas to develop outreach, community safety, and inclusiveness in the garden


Canadian Academic Partners

Annette Aurélie Desmarais

Professor– Sociology, University of Manitoba

Annette Aurélie Desmarais (PhD in Geography) is Canada Research Chair in Human Rights, Social Justice and Food Sovereignty at the University of Manitoba. Her current areas of research are agrarian change, the ‘land question’, social movements and food system transformation, and the gender dimensions of food sovereignty.


Bryan Dale

Assistant Professor– Environment and Geography, Bishop’s University

Bryan is an Assistant Professor at Bishop’s University in Sherbrooke, Quebec. He completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship with the Culinaria Research Centre at the University of Toronto Scarborough, which involved being the Project Manager for the Feeding the City project for one year. His research focuses on the potential expansion of ecological farming in the Canadian context, and the various political-economic and cultural considerations related to food system transformation.

Charles Z. Levkoe

Associate Professor– Health Sciences, Lakehead University

Charles is the Canada Research Chair in Equitable and Sustainable Food Systems and Director of the Sustainable Food Systems Lab at Lakehead University. His community engaged research uses a food systems lens to better understand the importance of, and connections between social justice, ecological regeneration, regional economies and active democratic engagement.


Dan Bender

Professor–Historical and Cultural Studies, University of Toronto Scarborough

Dan is a Canada Research Chair and director of the Culinaria Research Centre, the Uof T’s research unit for the study of food and its relationship to culture, society, and political economy.


Jeffrey Pilcher

Professor– Historical and Cultural Studies, University of Toronto Scarborough

Jeffrey is a Professor of History and Food Studies and is currently leading a research project on the history of migrant foodways in Toronto. From an early research focus on Mexico and Latin America, he has expanded his scope to food in world history.


Ken MacDonald

Associate Professor– Human Geography, University of Toronto Scarborough

Ken is a cultural geographer with the Department of Geography and Planning, the Centre for Development Studies, and the Centre for Diasporic and Transnational Studies.



Marie Anne Martin

Adjunct Faculty– Sustainability, Trent University

Mary is an adjunct faculty in the Master of Arts in Sustainability Studies program at Trent University. Her research interests include household food insecurity, the gendering of food work and caring labour, the impacts of community-based food initiatives, and urban agriculture, She is active in food policy work in both Durham Region and Peterborough, Ontario.


Michael Classens

Assistant Professor– School of the Environment, University of Toronto

Michael is an  Assistant Professor in the School of the Environment at University of Toronto. His teaching, research and advocacy work are broadly motivated by commitments to social and environmental justice, particularly within the context of the food system.


Michael Kessler

Assistant Professor– Trinity College in the University of Toronto

Michael is an Assistant Professor in the Ethics Society & Law Program at Trinity College in the University of Toronto, and the Raymond Pryke Chair and Director of the Margaret MacMillan Trinity One Program. He also directs Trinity College’s Sustainable Food Systems Research Group. His research looks at legal issues surrounding freedom of expression, consent, environmental and animal ethics, and political equality.


Michael Sacco


Nino Bariola Gonzales

Culinaria Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Toronto
Nino Bariola is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto’s Culinaria Research Centre. His interests include food culture and race, sustainability, and gender and racial inequalities in organizations. Bariola’s research appears in American Behavioral Scientist, Conservation Biology, Regional Studies, and other academic journals and books.


Nicole Spiegelaar

Assistant Professor– Trinity College in the University of Toronto

Nicole is an Assistant Professor and the Associate Director of the Trinity Sustainability Initiative which connects the classroom, student research, internships, and campus sustainability through experiential learning. Her research focuses on socio-ecological relations in the process of decolonizing and naturalizing food systems.


Peri Ballantyne

Professor, Sociology– Trent University

Peri is a health sociologist interested in the social determinants of health and the impact of institutional systems in influencing social and economic marginalization. Peri also conducts research on the sociology of pharmaceuticals, i.e., the changing role of pharmaceuticals in everyday lives or inequalities in access to essential pharmaceuticals.




Sarah Elton

Assistant Professor– Sociology, Toronto Metropolitan University

Sarah is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at Toronto Metropolitan University. She researches the human-ecosystems-health nexus in the city through the study of produce supply chains, urban gardens and one of our most intimate sites of health production as it relates to food, the human gut microbiome. She is the founder of the Food Health Ecosystems Lab.



Siera Vercillo


Post Doc Siera VercilloAssistant Professor, University of Toronto Scarborough
Siera’s research is broadly located in the fields of feminist geography, political ecology and critical development studies. Her work specifically focuses on linking the literature on agrarian and nutrition transitions, smallholder livelihood development, food sovereignty, rural-to-urban food systems, and household food security in northern Ghana where she has been working within communities for the past 10 years. Siera is teaching the following courses in the 2023-2024 academic year: ‘Gender in the Kitchen,’ ‘Special Topics in Food Studies: Food Sovereignty,’ and ‘Feeding the City: Food Systems in Historical Perspective.’




Canadian Organization Partners


Seema David– Founder & Executive Director

Seema has been the Founder and Executive Director of 5n2 Soup Kitchen Project since 2013. 5n2 strives to minimize poverty, hunger, and food insecurity by working with partner organizations to bring fresh and warm meals to local residents at food banks, shelters, seniors buildings, drop-in centres, and apartment buildings. 5N2 currently provides nearly 3500 meals at 13 locations each week in Toronto.



ChocoSol Traders


Coalition for Healthy School Food

Debbie Field– Coordinator, Associate Member, Centre for Studies in Food Security,  Toronto Metropolitan University

Debbie is Coordinator of the Coalition for Healthy School Food and Associate Member, Centre for Studies in Food Security, at Toronto Metropolitan University. She was executive director of FoodShare for 25 years.



Daily Bread Food Bank

Ilham Saydna– Community Engagement Coordinator

Born and raised in post-colonial Sudan in Africa, Ilham experienced food insecurity and hunger first hand. Before immigrating to Canada in 1997, Ilham worked in Sudan and Yemen forming collectives to help women farmers to fight drought, land grab and social injustices. In Canada, Ilham works for Daily Bread Food Bank as Community Engagement Coordinator to increase community food access and facilitate knowledge generation and sharing. She created support groups for Sudanese refugees arriving in Canada. Ilham holds a masters degree in Gender and Food Security from York University, Women in Development Diploma and Bachelor in Agricultural Sciences.

Feed Scarborough

Suman Roy– Chair

Suman Roy has an extensive career in Private, Public & Not For Profit sector business operations around the City of Toronto, Nationally and Internationally. Suman was one of the key consultants who helped write the first Food Strategy for the City of Toronto. He also initiated Scarborough Food Security Initiative (Feed Scarborough) to spread awareness and combat food apartheid in Scarborough.


Market City TO 

Marina Queirolo– Founder

Marina is a community builder and entrepreneur by nature, and a designer and marketer by trade. Since 2010, Marina has managed Evergreen’s initiatives related to food policy and public markets. She has also been a member of the Toronto Food Policy Council since 2013, and lead for the Public Food Markets and Market City project. Marina’s passion for food, public markets and community motivates her to find ways to collaborate and work together with other practitioners towards a common goal: A robust regional economy and healthier more inclusive communities.



Scarborough Farmers’ Market 

Jennifer Forde – Founder, Courtyard and Scarborough Farmers’ Markets, Red Onion Events, and Vision Quest Event Management

Jennifer is the Founder of the Courtyard and Scarborough Farmers’ Markets.  Jennifer brings nutrient-dense, affordable, culturally appropriate, locally grown produce and unique products to diverse communities with a concentration in her beloved Scarborough. She aims to combat inequality in the access to affordable, healthy, culturally appropriate foods in Greater Toronto Area, food deserts.   Jennifer also manages the flagship Nathan Phillips Square, and North York, Farmers’ Markets and is the former Manager of the Weston Farmers’ Market.


Scarborough Food Network (SFN)

Scarborough Food Network (SFN) is a group of community organizations, businesses, non-profits, faith groups, educational institutions, city representatives, and residents working together to increase food security in Scarborough and advocating for increased local food security. SFN focuses on advancing a collective dialogue around building a resilient and sustainable food system, while celebrating the richness of community-based food initiatives.



Toronto Urban Growers (TUG)

Toronto Urban Growers (TUG) is a member-based network of home and community gardeners, urban farming businesses, organizations and institutions that aims to increase availability of healthy, organic and sustainable food produced and sold in Toronto. Since 2009, TUG has promoted knowledge exchange through gatherings, webinars and tours, increased urban growing capacity throughout the city, contributed to policy and research. The network also collaborated on organizing events such as Seedy Saturdays and Toronto Urban Agriculture Week. Rhonda Teitel-Payne, James Kuhn and Joe Nasr are the three co-coordinators at TUG.