About Us

Photo by Maria Orlova on Pexels.com

Our Vision: Build a food system in Holyoke that is equitable and accessible for all

Mission: The Holyoke Food and Equity Collective is an antiracist community organization working to create better access to healthy food in the city of Holyoke by building food sovereignty. On every level from policy change to gleaning, the collective’s goal is to generate health, racial, and economic equity in our community.

Meet the HFEC Co-Directors!

Chelsea Gazillo (She/her/hers)

Chelsea primarily focuses on policy work for HFEC. She is very passionate about agricultural policy and ensuring that healthy food is accessible for all of Holyoke’s residents. Outside of HFEC, she also directs American Farmland Trust’s project to save farmland in Connecticut.

Kara Nye (She/her/hers)

Kara is a member of the LTBB Odawa of Northern Michigan. She teaches band in Amherst, lives in Holyoke, and loves both!

Photo by Cara Totman Photography
Neftalí Duran (He/him/his)

Neftali is Oaxacan Native (Ñuu Savi) and Holyoke resident with a lifelong passion for food justice. He is a chef, educator, and fierce advocate food sovereignty and access.

Cynthia Espinosa (She/her/hers)

Cynthia is Food system scholar and activist with other 10 years of work in Holyoke. She currently serves as a liaison/partner with the Collective under her work as the Senior Project Manager/Mass in Motion Coordinator at the Office of Planning & Economic Development City of Holyoke.

Jennifer Albertine (She/her/hers)

Jenn works for the Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust where she is responsible for the integration of Climate and Land Justice into every aspect of Mount Grace’s work: conservation, stewardship, and outreach. Before Mount Grace, she held a faculty position at Mount Holyoke College where she taught classes that focused human-environment interactions associated with climate change, environmental pollution, sustainability, and food systems- all from the perspective of human health and social justice.

John (J.R.) Rivera (He/They)

J.R. is Holyoke Farmers Market Manager. As an activist and organizer J.R. wears many hats. J.R. also works as a tenant union organizer within Western M.A.