We're continuing our series where we interview current Maine Foodscapes BOD. If you're interested in learning more about this Board and how YOU can get involved, click here.
Today we're introducing the dynamic, energetic, and thoughtful Alyssa Schoppee!
Tell everyone a little about yourself.
I grew up enjoying all of the natural beauty that Maine has to offer including many summer afternoons in my grandparents' berry farm fields. I left home to attend Northeastern University in Boston where I graduated with a degree in Environmental Studies and Food System Sustainability and began working at a nonprofit in the city. I made the move back to Maine in 2020 to run the development efforts of a food security nonprofit based in Brunswick. Since then, I've enjoyed rediscovering all of the things Maine has to offer alongside my city-raised rescue pup who is experiencing it all (sometimes begrudgingly, as the photo may have given away) for the first time.
What are your hobbies and interests?
I enjoy getting outdoors no matter the season! Downhill skiing in winter, kayaking, camping, and gardening in the spring and summer, and hiking with my dog throughout the fall. I also have a major sweet tooth and often spend weekend mornings on the hunt for tasty breakfast pastries!
What makes you most excited for the upcoming grow season?
This was a challenging growing season for my garden and for many gardeners and farmers throughout Maine. I'm excited for a fresh start in 2024 (hopefully with a bit less rain) so I can try my hand at some new crops. Despite a soggy 2023, the highlight of my grow-season was spending a day alongside friends building raised beds for two local families. We were wet, muddy, and happy as could be!
How did you get first introduced to Maine Foodscapes?
I shared my interest in volunteering some of my skills to a growing nonprofit via a survey through the Maine Association of Nonprofits, and Ali reached out to connect. It was the perfect match! I offer fundraising skills which help the organization fund its work and in return, Foodscapes has given me wonderful opportunities to get involved on a personal level with families and organizations passionate about their food system.
What do you enjoy most about gardening?
My gardening skills are still developing but my big win this year was finally being able to pick a delicious strawberry from my garden. This was the culmination of a two-year process but it was so worth the wait! I'm hoping next year I might harvest enough to share the deliciousness!
What kind of impact are you hoping to make on the organization and/or your community this year?
During 2023, I worked with Ali to help finalize Maine Foodscapes first official Strategic Plan. Now that it has been adopted by the Board of Directors, I am looking forward to supporting Foodscapes in making some of its goals come to life!