DARCY HIGGINS
Partner

Darcy is a food, community and sustainability advocate and consultant in Toronto. He founded Food Forward in 2010 to connect and support Toronto food work and advocate for policy change. He has brought together thousands of Torontonians in dozens of successful events and projects. Darcy has advised politicians and officials on policy at institutional, municipal, provincial and federal levels, and enjoys writing, gardening and community engagement.

LISA KATES
Partner

Lisa is a Founding Partner of Building Roots, which creates places to grow, cook, share and buy fresh, healthy food in all neighbourhoods. It is a social venture working collaboratively in many communities to build markets, urban agriculture, retail and food hubs. Lisa has created a number of local food and community programs with a focus on local economic and social benefits. She has owned and run a local food business called A Food Gypsy, consults, and is the photographer for Sorauren Farmers’ Market. Lisa’s writing has been featured in Edible                                                                  Toronto and her work was on CBC’s Metro Morning.

DUSTIN STERN
Director of Programming

Dustin comes from a background of several years working in the non-profit sector, developing a variety of think tanks, conferences and other special events for international NGOs and advocacy groups. Seeking to work more directly with local community members, Dustin joined Building Roots in 2018 as Director of Programming, managing the diverse array of community programs and developing community partnerships.

HANNAH BACKMAN
Community Outreach Coordinator

Hannah has led and coordinated multiple Good Food Markets and food security projects primarily within downtown Toronto east, developing models of facilitation within community-led initiatives, while bringing folks together around food. Through community engagement, she advocates the genuine power of coming together with overwhelming love and generosity to create change. Hannah joined Building Roots in 2019 to further connect community, volunteers, and partners, deepening opportunities for participation.

TOOBA NASIR
Moss Park Market Manager

Tooba has extensive experience coordinating local food, and food security initiatives, in different parts of the country. She comes with a strong background in building community-led projects, and continues to foster that sense of community through food programs in the Moss Park neighbourhood. Her passion for social development and community engagement are her driving force at Building Roots.

KATE HAMILTON
Urban Farm Manager

Kate coordinates the Building Roots urban farming initiative at Ashbridge Estate and skills workshop series. Her focus on fostering agency has been applied in varied fields as editor, project manager, organic farmer, and writer. Kate’s perspective is shaped by formal training and experience in history of science and technology, non-profit management, and horticultural therapy. She says growing vegetables, even at a small scale, has a universal appeal that invites friendships and provides infinite scope for reflection and joy.