Social Harvest Project Officer
Jessica Moreira Maia Souto started working at Social Harvest as an intern in February 2020. An Urban Agriculturalist with over 5 years of experience in research and management, she is now, leading the operations and management of this social enterprise. Jessica believes in helping individuals and communities access nutritious and fresh foods not only because it is a right but also because it is delicious. She focuses on implementing actions for better urban planning and market-community-oriented measures that bring solutions to the improvement of food safety and food security. Working at Social Harvest is providing her with the opportunity to merge her passions for fresh and local food with business outreach.
Jessica has an undergrad degree in International Logistics in which she targeted export solutions for native fruits in Brazil. While completing her master’s in Agribusiness, Jessica developed an evolutionary framework of urban and peri-urban agriculture across the globe. She also has international experience having lived in France and the US and working in countries belonging to the Southern Cone. Outside of work, Jessica loves cooking and sharing food with family and friends.
Marketing and Communication Intern
Alan is originally from the Northwest Territories. Being an alumnus of Lethbridge and Algonquin College, with a diploma and graduate certificate in Media Productions and management. Starting his early years in his hometown of Yellowknife, he worked in designing and creating material to promote local film and music events. Supporting local communities and connecting with others are what he enjoys doing. On his time off, he’s either gaming, watching movies, or playing board games with friends. His favourite things at Social harvest are learning new tools and doing a variety of tasks.
Yashna Nanda is a chemical engineering professional with over 5 years of experience in market intelligence and management consulting. Yashna believes in the genuine power of coming together with love and generosity to participate in social change. She is passionate about working closely with the local community and using her analytical skills to triangulate insights and drive growth opportunities. She also focuses on leveraging her experience in generating sustainable data-driven solutions to complex problems.
Seeking to promote food security initiatives and community engagement, Yashna joined Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre’s (RRCRC) social initiative Social Harvest.
She supports Social Harvest’s vision to offer learning opportunities for urban agriculture and improve food literacy among community members. She enjoys being part of a project that locally produces fresh and nutritious microgreens in the urban greenhouse. When she is not working with the Social Harvest team, she enjoys exploring the country as she is a newcomer to Canada. She is also an avid reader and enjoys the fiction genre.
Erik Watkins has had a growing interest in plants and the environment for as long as he can remember; growing up, he always enjoyed helping his mother with gardening, and was a scout from the ages of 7 to 16. In the past few years, he has collected, germinated and propagated a variety of indoor and outdoor plants, which range from cacti to spider plants to bonsai. He likes to lower his carbon footprint by biking just about everywhere and shopping locally and second-hand as much as possible.
Erik graduated from Glebe CI in 2020, where he learned the basics of plant biology and plans to continue this education at Dalhousie University in Halifax. In the meantime, he maintains the social harvest greenhouse as the Greenhouse Operations Intern. In his free time, he likes to play video games, pretend to be a bike mechanic, and tend to his plants.