ABOUT IHN

 

WHO IS INDY HUNGER NETWORK (IHN)?

Started in 2009 as the recession hit, Indy Hunger Network is a collaborative organization made up of representatives of leading anti-hunger organizations and corporations in the Greater Indianapolis area. By working together, we make the systems that feed the hungry more efficient and effective.

Today over a dozen projects have been completed with the help of our over 15 partner organizations.

 

OUR IHN TEAM

We have a small but mighty team and are a proud certified Good Wages Choice Employer

Adriana Arthur

Adriana Arthur is the FRSH Resource Navigator at IHN. Throughout her life, she has been committed to liberation and community care. She developed a passion for helping other through public history, advocacy, and education. Her experiences and dedication culminated into her getting a master’s degree in African-American studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2022. In her role with IHN, Adriana works in the FRSH Food Resource Services Hub as a FRSH Resource Navigator

Megan Gendig

Megan Gendig has been with IHN since 2017 and currently serves as the Director of Cooking Matters. Gendig started at IHN as an AmeriCorps VISTA for the Cooking Matters program and now oversees that program as a full-time staff member. Megan enjoys teaching others the importance of cooking a healthy, nutritious meal on a budget. Learn more about Megan’s experience here.

Kate Howe

Kate Howe has been with IHN since 2016 and currently serves as the Executive Director. Howe became interested in food insecurity after serving as a volunteer and board member of Mid-North Food Pantry, exposing her to the challenges of poverty and food insecurity up close. Learn more about Howe’s experience here.

Tom Lageveen

Tom Lageveen is the Community Compass Coordinator for IHN. After working in the service industry for years, Tom took a certification in Informatics through Ivy Tech. Looking for positive ways to apply his new training, he found a VISTA position at Indy Hunger Network working with Community Compass and now serves on the staff full-time. 

Martha Malinski

Martha Malinski is the VISTA Coordinator for Indy Hunger Network. She served in this position in 2020-2021 and returned in 2023. This position combines her commitment to food justice with her passion for supporting young nonprofit profressionals.

Anastasia Oguntade

Anastasia Oguntade is the Healthy Nudges Program Coordinator for Indy Hunger Network. Growing up in Virginia, she developed her passion for helping others through volunteer experiences at local food pantries. While currently pursuing a general studies degree and international certification in lactation consulting, she is now working to make healthy food accessible to underserved and overlooked communities. Learn more about Oguntade’s experiences here.

Emily Patterson

Emily Patterson  is the Cooking Matters Program Coordinator at IHN. Emily has worked with the Cooking Matters program since 2018, when she began volunteering as a student at IUPUI. She worked as an intern with IHN while earning her B.S. in Public Health, and she served a year-long term as an Americorps VISTA with Cooking Matters. Additionally, Emily has been a professional cook for 7 years and speaks Spanish. Her love of cooking and fighting hunger are what drew her to the Cooking Matters program. The hands-on, boots on the ground team is what led Patterson to stay with IHN after completing her VISTA term. Serving communities in her home town of Indianapolis is her favorite part of her job!

Alex Sindorf

Alex Sindorf is the Director of Food Assistance Programs for IHN. Sindorf has been involved with farming and other food-related work since earning her B.S. in Urban Community Development. In her role with IHN, Alex works with the Food Pantry Network, Food Drop, Community Compass, SNAP & WIC Marketing, and other programs. 

Maxine Thomas

Maxine Thomas serves as the Director of Food Resource Services Hub (FRSH) for IHN. Having firsthand experience and a professional background in hunger and poverty, Thomas has a deep passion for community and food justice. She has served on various boards, locally and internationally, using her voice to speak up for those living in poverty. Understanding the systemic barriers that lead to hunger, along with her work in the community, she is improving access to education, health and economic opportunity to achieve more equitable access to food and resources in Indianapolis. She is continuously thinking of ways in which she can impact the lives of people around her and by sharing her personal story of triumph.

Anne-Marie Valdez

Anne-Marie Valdez is the Cooking Matters Program Assistant. After her family took a class with Cooking Matters in 2019, she started volunteering with the program. In 2021, she joined our team as a part-time employee. Ann-Marie is an avid cook, gardener, and mom of two. She is passionate about teaching others how to cook nutritious meals while staying on a budget. Her biggest joy is watching others enjoy a food or meal that they wouldn’t have tried if it weren’t for Cooking Matters.

Phillisha Wathen

Phillisha Wathen is the Office Administrator for IHN. Throughout Wathen’s life, she has been committed to community and public service. Her experience and dedication culminated in her receiving her Master’s degrees in Public Affairs and Arts Administration from Indiana University. In her role with IHN, she oversees administrative operations.

OUR IHN VISTA TEAM

Indy Hunger Network is a proud partner with AmeriCorps,
which provides funding to operate the AmeriCorps VISTA program. Here are our current VISTA members. 

SJ Benraiss is the Food Pantry Network Coordinator VISTA at IHN. She previously served as a AmeriCorps VISTA in Rochester, NY working with local organizations to support food justice initiatives through urban farming. Recently, she spent time engaging in permaculture and food waste projects in the UK. She is excited to return home to the US and begin integrating her previous experiences while continuing to learn about the future of food systems within the Indianapolis community.

 

Johnette Grant is the Philanthropy Coordinator VISTA with St. Vincent De Paul. Johnette’s focus is on strengthening donor relations and fundraising venues for the organization. Johnette’s personal journey encompasses being an actual client years ago in the St Vincent De Paul community service database. She has an MBA in Strategic Business & Accounting from the University of Phoenix. Johnette is motivated by paying it forward and helping others and hopes to simply achieve making a great difference in others lives with her wealth of knowledge and life experiences. Johnette has worked extensively in the nonprofit area, hosting her own nonprofit distribution project in Marion County. Johnette is also endeavoring to defend her dissertation topic regarding hunger in undergraduate college studies by Oct 2023.

Marissa Sorini is the Ambassador Program Coordinator VISTA with Meals On Wheels of Central Indiana. She is originally from a suburb of Chicago and previously served as an AmeriCorps VISTA in La Grange, IL for the Illinois Association of Free and Charitable Clinics. Marissa is a graduate of DePauw University. She is passionate about nonprofits and is excited to help get the Meals on Wheels’ new Ambassador Program off the ground!

AMERICORPS ALUMNI

Read more about our previous AmeriCorps VISTA members by clicking above.