Meet Nichole Fields-Kyle, Concrete Jungle’s Director of Program and Operations. Nichole is responsible for supporting our staff on the ground as well as overseeing all the behind-the-scenes operations that provide fresh food for our community.
Like many other CJ staff, Nichole got her start with Concrete Jungle as a volunteer. Nichole is a transplant by way of California and New York. When she arrived in Atlanta, she immediately looked for a way to get her hands dirty.
As she puts it, “I came that first day to volunteer and was fresh off the plane, maybe 4 days into living in Atlanta. And I actually met one of our other coworkers there, who was also a volunteer at the time. He asked me such great questions about myself. Not like, ‘So, what do you do for fun? ‘or ‘What do you do for work?’, but really wanting to get to know me. After that, I took the MARTA train for an hour to get to the farm every other Saturday during my first year living here. Just because of that sense of community. I didn’t know anyone here, but all of these people were coming together to sweat for two hours, to do this volunteer work, and they really cared whether I showed up or not.”
When the pandemic hit, Nichole joined as staff to oversee our COVID Grocery Delivery Program. Today, she’s co-leading Concrete Jungle forward through the next phase of our growth. In her role as Director of Programs and Operations, Nichole uses our fruit tree map every single day. She and Adam, CJ’s Field Manager, use the map to plan fruit-scouting routes and volunteer pick events. The map is critical for sourcing the freshest produce for Atlanta’s food-insecure residents.
Nichole explains, “The map is the easiest way to see what we’ve got growing in the city in a specific area. But it’s also really helpful if, say, we get an email from a homeowner about a new pomegranate tree. So if I’m going to go check on the pomegranate today, I can look and see what else is in that neighborhood that we can scout. We’re using it to plan our days and our pick program, because it is such an amazing visual tool. Just pulling up coordinates on Google maps doesn’t really let us move as efficiently as we’d like.”
This year for #GivingTuesday, we need your help! With your support, we will be able to make much-needed upgrades to our map software, so that we can continue getting the freshest produce to families in need. Learn more and help us map the way to a fruitier future at donorbox.org/mapthefruit