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.

Alyssa Desanti

Shelter Meals Lead, WSC AmeriCorps Member

Alyssa (she/her) is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, where she received an Associate Degree in Baking and Pastry Arts and a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Food Studies. She comes to HIP all the way from Pittsburgh, PA to work on Shelter Meals. When she’s not working, she likes to crochet, collect houseplants, and hang out with her dog, Mel.

Daniel Koobatian

Healthy HIP Packs Lead, WSC AmeriCorps Member

Born and raised in Connecticut, Dan (He/Him) is passionate about sharing good food and building community. After receiving his BA in Government and Mathematics from Hamilton College, his career landed him in various places that cemented the importance of local impact. He enjoys watching The Great British Bake Off and playing board games with friends.

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.

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. 

Zahraa Obuli

Community Engagement Coordinator VISTA

Zahraa (she/her) graduated from the University of Washington, School of Public Health Seattle, WA, and received a Bachelor of Arts in Public Health-Global Health, with a Minor in Anthropology. She has worked on research at the University of Washington, including conducting oral histories of the Somali Health Board staff and volunteers to learn about the Somali community’s health and wellness needs. Her interests include community health, historical fiction, fantasy books, and traveling.

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.

Aidyn Stevens

Senior Community Meals lead, WSC AmeriCorps Member 

Aidyn (she/her), raised in Seattle, attended Western Seattle University where she studied Theatre, Music, and Arts Enterprise and Cultural Innovation. Her passion for service and food justice brought her to HIP, where she continues to serve the community she calls home. She would love to chat with you about the amazing arts scene in Seattle.

Andrew Weaver

Development and Communications Coordinator

Andrew (he/him) is originally from Grand Rapids and now Iives in Seattle, the greatest city in the world. He has a degree in Political Science from Aquinas College. His professional experience comes from working for great organizations that supply healthy meals to the community. This led to learning about the importance of food and nutrition in individual’s lives and more importantly the community at large. In his work, he wants to help alleviate the issues of homelessness and hunger in our society. He loves music, collects records obsessively, and goes to concerts on a weekly basis. Go Sounders!

Charlotte Whiting

Senior Community Meals Delivery lead, WSC AmeriCorps Member 

Charlotte (She/Her) is a graduate of the University of Washington with a degree in Psychology. Originally a Summer Meals associate, she returned in the Fall to work on Senior Meals deliveries. In her free time, she likes visiting different markets in the Greater Seattle Area, playing video games, and cooking up new recipes.