Cumpanis and it’s approach to food education represents a community-focused response to the insights Rosanne gained throughout her multiple experiences as an instrumental member of multiple food and community-oriented initiatives. For example, in 2014, Rosanne co-founded the South Bronx Farmers Market (SBFM)-- a SNAP, EBT and WIC-approved vendor, which served the Mott Haven neighborhood in the South Bronx with fresh and local produce. Last year, SBFM celebrated its fifth season---and continues to aid in facilitating access to healthy, fresh foods to the Mott Haven community. During her involvement in SBFM, Rosanne observed that community members were eager to eat healthier, but often expressed uncertainty or lack of confidence toward using new ingredients in their home cooking. Through these conversations, Rosanne saw a need for a community cooking school, where community members are empowered to cook from-scratch meals, celebrate traditions and culture, and foster community within their own personal spaces and beyond.
Rosanne took further action toward engaging her community in cooking and food appreciation while serving as a member for Foodcorps in 2016-2017, working with Bronx youth. Rosanne worked in two Bronx middle schools facilitating cooking and gardening workshops in the classroom, and developed two after-school cooking programs. After completing her service with Foodcorps, Rosanne launched Cumpanis full-time and immediately received a community grant through the New York City Parks Department and the Bronx River Alliance. This grant enabled Rosanne to facilitate community cooking workshops at Concrete Plant Park, and to extend Cumpanis’ reach to neighboring communities. To date, Cumpanis has been contracted by multiple agencies and organizations in the Bronx, Harlem, and Connecticut.
Rosanne is committed to serving her community through food, which she sees as an underutilized tool for positive community change. She facilitates workshops that impart cooking skills, giving families the confidence to cook from-scratch meals. She is committed to promoting food justice and health education as a way to empower individuals to become advocates for their health and active change agents in achieving and maintaining the health of their community.
Previously, Rosanne worked in Juvenile Justice, developing and facilitating strengths-based curriculums for mentors (Credible Messengers) working with court-involved youth through a NYC Department of Probation Initiative. Rosanne is trained in Motivational Interviewing, Circle Keeping, Restorative Justice, and Cognitive Behavioral approaches to working with system involved youth. Rosanne graduated from the University of Arizona in 2010, Summa Cum Laude, with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Spanish.