Greenwich Food System Forum (GFSF) is a six part educational series that engages thought leaders on the interconnectedness between the industrial food system and our greatest ecological and social challenges; human and ecological health, economic disparity, racial inequity, food insecurity and access, affordable housing and climate change. GFSF amplifies local and state-wide advocates and community organizers, who understand the layers of complexity within our food systems. Panel discussions explore the ways in which root causes are embedded in policy, practice and mindset, and how a connected web of networks provide pathways to systemic change. Panelists set context, connect dots, and highlight initiatives focused on equitable solutions. 

  have a role to play in reweaving our social fabric. WE have the power to be food system changemakers! Together, we can realize a future that advances a regionalized, regenerative, equitable and just Connecticut food system. Join us.

"We acknowledge that the place commonly referred to as “Connecticut” is located on the occupied and/or unceded traditional lands and waters of Indigenous peoples, and that we have a responsibility to help make that truth visible and to support efforts toward indigenous sovereignty and well-being.” The Foodshed Network 

Greenwich Food System Forum is convened by
THE FOODSHED NETWORK and Greenwich Conservation Commission. 

Thank you to our community partners!



Dawn Spears (Narragansett)
Director of the Northeast Indigenous Arts Alliance (NIAA) and Co-Founder of Narragansett Food Sovereignty Initiative

Dawn Spears (Narragansett) is the Director of the Northeast Indigenous Arts Alliance (NIAA). For more than twenty-five years Dawn has worked to support Indigenous arts as an artist, educator, demonstrator, and organizer. Most recently Dawn produced two of the largest and most significant markets in New England, the Indigenous Fine Arts Market East in 2016 and the inaugural Abbe Museum Indian Market in 2018.  In 2014 Dawn and her husband of thirty-seven years formed the Narragansett Food Sovereignty Initiative, a farm-based organization devoted to reclaiming food and cultural ways for Narragansett people. She runs her families Ashawaug Farm, where she grows hundreds of varieties of heirloom tomatoes. Dawn also enjoys her role as mother and grandmother. Dawn's work within her family, community, and in the arts is driven by her belief in the preservation and education of culture and traditions. Read Dawn's full bio HERE.

Matthew Rose is an American Cheese Society Certified Cheese Professional and is currently the Lead Cheesemonger for Fairfield/Greenwich Cheese Company. As Lead Cheesemonger, Matthew helps to oversee the team of Cheesemongers and ensure all quality and food safety standards in the retail setting. Matthew has been in retail food service for 10 years now and could not be happier to continue pursuing his passion for small-batch, sustainable artisan foods by educating and connecting consumers with specialty, small-scale producers of delicious food.  Learn more about Fairfield/Greenwich
Cheese Company HERE.

David Standridge is currently the Executive Chef at the award-winning restaurant, “The Shipwright’s Daughter” in the heart of downtown Mystic, CT. Prior to joining The Shipwright’s Daughter team, David spent the last 13 years in New York City earning his culinary chops. He earned two Michelin Stars with culinary icon Joel Robuchon, before heading the farm-to-table restaurant, Market Table in the West Village of NYC. Next, he was tapped to create a new health-focused concept Café Clover, Clover Grocery and revamped the Maidstone Hotel in East Hampton. At Shipwright’s, David produces an ever-changing seasonal menu with a focus on the bounty from local waters and farms. Although a modern New England restaurant at heart, David’s cuisine is informed by the culinary techniques of Oaxaca, the deep South and Southern Italy. Read David's full bio HERE.

David Standridge 
Executive Chef “The Shipwright’s Daughter"

Natalie Love Cruz
Afro-Latina Culinary Professional, Food Justice Advocate, and Writer

Matthew Rose
Lead Cheesemonger for Fairfield/
Greenwich Cheese Company

Natalie Love Cruz is an Afro-Latina culinary professional, food justice advocate, and writer. She specializes in culinary instruction and decolonized food work. Natalie is currently writing a cookbook on the African Diaspora in Latin America and writes a weekly newsletter on Substack called Food For Thought, where she writes about food, society, and identity. She is a Co-Leadership Chair of the North American Food Systems Association.  Learn more about Natalie HERE.



April 6 ~ The Industrialized Food System:
Equity, Regionalization, Regeneration 
May 4 ~ Cultivating Connecticut Grown:By Land
June 1 ~ Cultivating Connecticut Grown:By Sea
Sept 21 ~ Seasonality:
A Celebration of Taste, Place and Connection

October 19 ~ Just Food: Opportunity, Empowerment + Local Food Economies 
November 16 ~ Pathways to Engagement: Regenerating a Resilient CT Foodshed



Seasonality: A Celebration of Taste, Place and Connection, promises to inspire! Each of the panelists' artistic expressions are at the intersection of creativity and a commitment to fostering a just and regionalized food system, and we will explore what it means to celebrate seasonality as a conduit to taste, place and connection. The discussion will help us understand the ways in which practices such as industrialization, structural racism, and lack of access have dissociated society from experiencing ‘a sense of place’ through food. The panel will share the barriers they experience in supporting a local food system, and the ways in which relationships serve as a pathway to overcome those same obstacles. Ali Ghiorse, will facilitate and will engage the panel about their professional journey’s, what compels them to use food as a catalyst for change, where they see the opportunities for growth and renewal in our food system, and most critically, how it can realize its promise to nourish.