Why I Give: Hannah Chatterjee

What’s your experience with nonprofits or boards?

I’m thrilled that Food Moxie will be my first experience serving on a nonprofit board, though I’ve spent the past four years managing a unique type of municipal board. The Philadelphia Food Policy Advisory Council is a group of 27 to 35 mayoral appointees that advises the City of Philadelphia on how to support a just food system. My time at FPAC has shown me what a tremendous impact engaged, active and hard-working members can have on an organization, and I’m excited to get started with Food Moxie.

How did you get involved with Food Moxie?

I was introduced to Food Moxie’s work through Saul High School, where I worked with volunteers, teachers and students to compost food waste generated at the Philadelphia Marathon. Students at Saul helped sift through the compost to sort out anything that shouldn’t be there, which was critical in making the process successful. They also helped manage the transformation of the food waste into compost for their farm and other urban agriculture projects.

I learned more about Food Moxie through Executive Director Jill Fink, when she joined FPAC. I was also familiar with Food Moxie through Weavers Way, which my parents joined when they moved to Mt. Airy in the 1990s. As a toddler, I remember hanging out on the stoop of 555 Carpenter Lane while my dad swept floors.

At Cheltenham High School, I joined Key Club and volunteered at Stenton Family Manor, where Food Moxie operates Hope Garden. We brought coloring supplies, games and toys for the kids and spent hours with them playing tag and doing arts and crafts. 

It feels really special to have all this context for the work that Food Moxie is doing. I’m looking forward to approaching these connections in new ways.

What are your areas of expertise?

Policy. My first and only full-time job has been with Philadelphia city government!

What do you want to accomplish as a Board member?

I want to help Food Moxie maintain the balance of implementing impactful programs and growing and expanding its work.

What’s your experience with gardening or urban agriculture? 

Full disclosure — I am not much of a gardener! For my whole life, my mom has cultivated a lovely flower garden at home, and my boyfriend has a community plot in West Philly and grows peppers and tomatoes in our backyard, but I personally have yet to develop a green thumb. I have worked on soil safety best practices and land-access policy through my work at FPAC.

Favorite fruit/vegetable?

Vegetable: Cauliflower. Fruit: So hard to choose, but I think Korean pears.

Favorite part of Philadelphia? 

My neighborhood, South Philadelphia, because of all the delicious food around me! My favorite places to go are Prima and South Philly Barbacoa for tacos, Pho 75 for pho, Francoluigi’s for pizza, and John’s for chocolate-chocolate gelati (a controversial flavor opinion).

Fun fact?

I wrote my honors history thesis on French bread.

Hannah Chatterjee is a new member of the Food Moxie Board of Governors.