HIP Staff

Darcy Buendia

Co-Executive Director of Programs

Darcy (she/her) served as HIP’s first AmeriCorps member in 2012 and just… never left. She is motivated by the passion and compassion of her fellow HIPsters as well as the occasional (very occasional) taste test in the kitchen. Outside of work, Darcy is an avid vacationer, karaoke lover, and someone who lives for the summer. While she was born & raised in Florida, her deepest roots are in Lake City. 

Srijan Chakraborty

Co-Executive Director of Operations

Srijan (he/him) 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.

Cameron Baker

Community Engagement & Events Coordinator, AmeriCorps VISTA

Cameron (he/him) is a recent UW graduate from the Food Systems program. Cameron is starting his term with AmeriCorps looking to broaden his horizons while impacting his community in a positive way. Aside from work he is passionate about music with good vibes, horror movies with good scares and tv shows that bring lots of laughter.

Liza Giguere

Healthy HIP Packs Lead, WSC AmeriCorps Member

Originally from New England, Liza (she/her) studied English and Communication at the University of Connecticut. Most recently, she finished a service year with AmeriCorps NCCC Pacific Region, where she gained a passion for working with community centered non profits just like HIP. Outside of work, Liza loves to be outdoors and is always looking for fun hiking trails to explore.

Toni Higgs

Development Manager

Toni (she/her) 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.

JP LaCrosse

Dishwasher & Facilities Assistant

JP (he/him) was born and raised in the University District of Seattle. He spent his career opening high-end restaurants around the country before returning to Seattle. JP grew up volunteering at his local food bank with his seven siblings, and joined HIP as the Dishwasher & Facilities Assistant to give back to his community once more. His other interests include reading, cycling, and skiing.

Emebet Mamo

East African Meal Program Coordinator

Emebet (she/her) 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 began a small business in Lake City for about 10 years before getting into home care. She has two children and in her spare time, she volunteers at HopeLink and other programs in her community.

Jessica Martinez

Senior Meal Assistant, WSC AmeriCorps Member

Jessica (she/her) was born in Southern California and raised in Seattle. She has 10+ years of experience with food and worked with HIP this summer, and is excited to get working in the kitchen and serving the community. She has two children, Jose & Melanie, and in her spare time she loves fishing, camping, and road trips with her family.

Rachel Mina

Shelter Meals Program Manager

Rachel (she/her) was born in the Philippines, immigrated to the Pacific Northwest at the age of 5, and grew up in the White Center area. After spending a decade working in healthcare admin, Rachel found her love for food justice through volunteer work. She has since worked at FareStart’s School Meals & Shelter Meals program in Seattle and helped open Librairie Gourmande, a culinary event/training space, in Grays Harbor. Her interests include both playing and watching basketball, visiting museums in small towns, and taking the ferry on a nice day. 

David Salerno

Senior Meals Program Manager

Originally from the Northeast, David (he/him) has been in Seattle since 2016. He studied classic culinary arts at the French Culinary Institute in NYC and most recently worked as a culinary instructor and resident chef at Sur La Table. He can completely nerd out over culinary anthropology and can talk about food and food science for hours with anyone who is willing to listen. When not in the kitchen, you can find him playing hockey or running in different neighborhoods of Seattle.

Amy Spanne


Amy (she/her) 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.