Who We Are

The Newburgh Farm and Food Initiative is an active partnership between organizations and individuals in the City of Newburgh, working together to foster a resilient community in which fresh food is available and accessible to all.

Through the building of community gardens and offering of youth education + employment programs, informative workshops, and volunteer opportunities at the Downing Park Urban Farm, NUFFI empowers residents to take ownership of their own lives, health and community.

NUFFI is also proud to be a central part of Newburgh’s emergency food response, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since June 2020, NUFFI has donated between 90 and 250 pounds of fresh, local produce to pantries and emergency food services weekly and will continue to donate the bulk of our urban farm harvests to feed our community members for as long as needed.

Our Partners

NUFFI is grateful to partner with the following organizations in our pursuit of environmental justice, racial justice, and food security:

This effort is broad-based and seeks to increase partnerships with additional community organizations and individuals.

Who We Are

Virginia Kasinki | NUFFI Executive Director

Virginia  is the Executive Director for NUFFI, overseeing organizational development and community outreach.  Since 2015, she was the Outreach Coordinator for the Downing Park Urban Farm. Virginia was the former Director of Community-Based Programs at Glynwood and was responsible for Glynwood’s Keep Farming Program which is designed to help communities identify the many ways in which agriculture contributes to their wellbeing.  She has extensive experience with planning community-based programs and in training and coaching local leaders.  She is also an experienced meeting organizer and facilitator. Virginia is a Newburgh native.

Christine Hutchinson | Our Core, Inc. – Youth Education

Christine Hutchinson is a veteran teacher in Newburgh, NY. In 2004, she started Girls to Ladies, a character development, life-skills, community service program for teen girls. Since 2006, she’s been involved in food justice and sovereignty work. Currently, she is invested in the leadership and development of the Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust, Downing Park Urban Farm, Global Village, along with gardening and stewardship projects, food security, equity, and distribution efforts, and engaging with leaders in the urban agricultural movements.

Julie Noble | DPUF Farm Manager

Julie is the Farm Manager of the Dowing Park Urban Farm. Now in her 11th year of Farming, she is proud to work with NUFFI to facilitate Sustainable Urban Agriculture in the City of Newburgh. Julie had their own Farm in Stuyvesant, NY and sold vegetables, flowers, and herbs to farmers markets in NYC and upstate. Working on diverse Farms in Oregon, California, and New York she has experience in livestock, dairy, seed farming, flowers, and urban farming. Julie is a Newburgh native.

Ahmad Free-Cohen | DPUF Assistant Grower

Ahmad is the Assistant Grower at the Downing Park Urban Farm. As a former educator, Ahmad is passionate about sharing his Farming knowledge with volunteers and forwarding Urban Agriculture in the City of Newburgh. Currently, he is a member of the Non-Profit Melanin Unchained “We focus on championing education and healthcare, economic equity, financial literacy, wellness, environmental justice, employment, job retention, civic engagement, and character development.” Ahmad is a Newburgh Native.