HIP Staff

Darcy Buendia

Co-Executive Director of Programs

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

Co-Executive Director of Operations

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, AmeriCorps VISTA

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. In her free time, Madeleine enjoys reading, baking, hiking, and taking long road trips.

Sare Dowling

Nutrition Program Coordinator, WSC AmeriCorps Member

Sare is a transplant from Nashville, Tennessee and a recent graduate from Lipscomb University with a bachelor’s degree in Dietetics. She is passionate about food equity and supporting her community’s health through nutrition education and teaching cooking classes. In her spare time, Sare can be found at farmers markets, exercising or getting lost in a good book.

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!

Angelina Gawaran

Nutrition Program Coordinator, WSC AmeriCorps Member

Angelina is a recent graduate from the University of Washington with a degree in Public Health and minor in Nutrition. She worked with HIP this past summer as a HungerCorps member helping with the Summer Meals Program. In her free time, Angelina loves playing with her dog, Luna, watching movies and trying new food places!

Toni Higgs

Development and Communications Manager

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.

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 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.

Abhainn Raymond

UW BASW Intern

Abhainn is a West Seattle native who is currently working on their Bachelors of Social Welfare at the University of Washington. Before joining HIP, they enjoyed working with both the YMCA as an outdoor educator and the Aromantic Union for Recognition, Education, and Advocacy as a social media coordinator. In their free time, Abhainn enjoys painting, gardening, reading, and spending time with their friends and family.

Farheen Saleem

Nutrition Program Coordinator, WSC AmeriCorps Member

Farheen is a Pacific Northwest local who grew up in Shoreline. 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!

David Salerno

Senior Meals Program Coordinator

Originally from the Northeast, David 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 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.