team Food Justice Program Manager

Ari Datta

I am drawn to Stupski because the Foundation shares my commitment to accelerating the return of resources to historically disinvested, extracted, and underfunded communities.

Ari (she/her) is the food justice program manager. In collaboration with Aileen Suzara, she is committed to strengthening equitable access to good, healthy, culturally appropriate food. In addition to providing general support to the food justice program, Ari works to identify opportunities and needs that inform food justice priority areas and support grantee partners. She first joined the team in 2021 as a food security Hawai‘i intern. In 2022, she returned as a Hawai‘i food sovereignty special project intern and then joined the staff as the food justice program coordinator. In her current role, she is motivated to support food systems transformation.

Ari is a third-generation Indian and comes from a lineage of food practitioners. That lineage, as well as her upbringing on a farm in the ahupua‘a of Hōlualoa on Moku o Keawe (Hawai‘i Island), inspired her to pursue a career supporting all workers across the food chain.

Prior to joining Stupski, Ari worked with stakeholders across the food system, ranging from ‘Aina Pono and the Hawai‘i lieutenant governor’s farm-to-school pilot to distributing produce islandwide with a food hub. In a transformative role, Ari connected Hawaiʻi Island farmers displaced by lava flows with the technical assistance they needed to rebuild. Like many members of Ari’s own family, those farmers had dedicated their lives to growing food for the community. Seeing it taken away in an instant formed her understanding of the emotional component of this work.

Ari holds Master of Food and Agriculture Law and Policy from Vermont Law and Graduate School and a Bachelor of Arts from Sarah Lawrence College with concentrations in food systems and art. Ari lives in San Francisco, where she enjoys spending time outdoors resting as a form of resistance.