HIP Staff

Darcy Buendia

Meal Program Manager

Darcy holds a masters degree in Environment and Community. She has previously coordinated a Community Kitchen project in Seattle and served as an AmeriCorps member at Earth Action in Pennsylvania. Outside of work Darcy is an avid vacationer, karaoke lover, and someone who lives for the summers in Seattle. While Lake City feels most like home, she sleeps in Capitol Hill with her partner and two cats, Ander and Bear.

Lauren Cameron

Shelter Meal Program Coordinator

Lauren received her Master of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University and is a Certified Nutritionist in the state of Washington. She likes to describe herself as a “culinary nutritionist” because her passion is providing healthy, from-scratch meals to the community. Her weekdays are kept busy coordinating HIP’s new meal program providing meals at an enhanced homeless shelter in Shoreline, in partnership with Lake City Partners Ending Homelessness. Her weekends are filled with creative projects, hiking the Olympic Peninsula, and looking out at the Puget Sound.

Srijan Chakraborty

Executive Director

Srijan holds a masters degree in Social Work. Before joining HIP, he was the Development & Communications Manager at The Sophia Way, an agency serving women experiencing homelessness. He also has a masters degree in Computer Science and worked as a software engineer at Microsoft for nine years before deciding to switch completely to the social service sector. When not at work, he enjoys spending time with his children, hiking in the mountains, listening to music, or reading a good book.

Madeleine Cole

Community Relations Coordinator

Madeleine grew up on Bainbridge Island and recently graduated from the University of Washington. While her studies focused on international development and migrant rights, Madeleine has been inspired to give back to her own community since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Madeleine is excited to learn more about food security and food justice during her time at HIP. In her free time, Madeleine enjoys reading, baking, hiking, and taking long road trips.

Claire Dunn

Nutrition Program Coordinator, WSC AmeriCorps Member

Claire grew up in the Netherlands and moved to the US for college. She just graduated from Tufts university in Boston, where she majored in Biology and English. Claire is passionate about food security and food justice and interested in nutrition and preventative health. In her free time, she loves playing ultimate frisbee, drinking coffee, baking lots of bread, reading, growing vegetables, and working on various art and woodworking projects.

Alex Eaglespeaker-Gilmore


Alex is a Lake Citizen who has lived in Lake City for most of his life. He graduated from Nathan Hale high school in 2018. He enjoys giving back to the community and helping others whenever he has the opportunity to. In his spare time, he enjoys playing video games, hanging out with friends, and is probably the most enthusiastic fan of Marvel comics and all things Star Wars!

Toni Higgs

Development and Communications Specialist

Toni connects resources and people to missions that matter. She has worked on social justice and racial justice issues for nonprofits and her church as an advocate, manager and fundraiser. She received her Certificate in Fundraising Management from the University of Washington. She believes in the fundamental right of every person to experience food security. She celebrates the joy of gathering around food and cooks some mean meatballs and pesto pasta, as well as other meals, for her always hungry teens.

Steve Littky

Meal Program Assistant

Steve joined HIP as a volunteer after losing his job due to COVID, and was hired as HIP’s Senior Meals Assistant when the position opened up. Steve has many years of experience as a cook, both designing and preparing meals for Bon Appetit at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the Women’s University Club. Steve also volunteered for North Helpline Food Bank, and in his spare time, likes to garden and do yoga.

Emebet Mamo

East African Meal Program Coordinator

Emebet grew up in Ethiopia until the age of 14. She then immigrated to the USA and went to high school in D.C. When she was 20 she moved to Seattle and went to accounting school for two years. She has a 17 year-old son and a 15 year-old daughter. She began a small business in Lake City for about 10 years before getting into home care. In her spare time, she volunteers at HopeLink and other programs in her community.

Shaili Parekh

Meal Program Coordinator

Shaili graduated from Seattle Culinary Academy and was working in the restaurant industry prior to joining HIP. Before moving to Seattle, she served with AmeriCorps and FoodCorps in Oregon doing nutrition education, cooking classes and farm to school work. In addition to experimenting in the kitchen when she’s home, Shaili loves foraging, hiking, camping, and generally taking in as much sunshine as she can in this rainy city.

Farheen Saleem

Nutrition Program Coordinator, WSC AmeriCorps Member

Farheen is a Pacific Northwest local who grew up in Lynnwood. She went to UW where she studied Anthropology and Labor Studies. Farheen became especially interested in working for food security when she noticed the lines get immediately longer at the food bank near her home when the pandemic hit. Farheen lives in in the U District with her cat, Percy, and in her free time she likes looking up places to travel to next, finding cute coffee shops, and thrifting!

Amy Spanne


Amy grew up in the east San Francisco Bay Area and holds a Business degree from UC Berkeley and a Masters in Applied Economics from UC Santa Cruz. After several years in Corporate Treasury with Bank of America she became a full-time mom and volunteer. As her two sons grew, she obtained a certificate in Financial Planning and occasionally teaches finance around freelance work as an accountant and financial planner. Her other hobbies include quilting, and studying history and genealogy.

Amy Stackhouse

Nutrition Program Coordinator, WSC AmeriCorps Member

Amy is a Registered Dietitian with a Master’s of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University. Her particular interest has always been in hunger prevention programs aimed at children and families in underserved populations. She has taught internationally as a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco and loves traveling and working abroad. As an AmeriCorps volunteer with HIP, Amy is excited to combine her passions for food and teaching in support of such a dynamic organization.