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.

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

Volunteer & Communications Coordinator

Madeleine grew up on Bainbridge Island and graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in international development. She found HIP through her AmeriCorps term of service, fell in love with the HIP community (and the food), and hasn’t looked back. When not at HIP, you can find Madeleine baking, hiking, or petting cats.

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.

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 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.

Julia Kleemann


Julia grew up in Southern California and just moved to Seattle in the Fall of 2021. She holds a bachelors degree in Agribusiness from Cal Poly Pomona, and also works part-time as a farmhand at Local Roots Farm in Duvall. She is passionate about food security and is excited to be a part of the HIP team! In her free time, she likes playing outside, working on art projects, film photography, and traveling.

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.

Rachel Mina

Shelter Meals Program Coordinator

Rachel 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. 

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.

Steven Zweifach

Senior Meal Delivery Driver

Steven hails from New York City and moved to the Pacific Northwest in 1988. Before coming out of retirement, he had a long career in insurance in Edmonds. He has two children and three young granddaughters, and when not working you can find him volunteering for political campaigns or reading about history.