Indy Hunger Network adds new Staff Members

Indy Hunger Network expanded its staff in January with the addition of two new team members. Sarah Chappell joined IHN as the new Cooking Matters Program Coordinator and Anastasia Oguntade is the new Healthy Nudges Program Coordinator. 

Chappell is a recent graduate of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis where she earned a degree in General Studies. She has prior experience in public nonprofit and community recreation at several organizations, including Boys and Girls Club, Girl Scouts, and schools. She also served as an AmeriCorps VISTA at YELLS, a neighborhood center in Marietta, Georgia.

Chappell also comes from a family where community work was important. Her mom was heavily involved at Circles Indy, and Sarah grew up learning about the struggles of those facing food insecurity. The Cooking Matters program at Indy Hunger Network was also of special interest to Chappell, who has also worked in restaurants.  

“I remember a lot of school projects in school, my topic would be food insecurity because I knew about it from going to Circles or Bread for the World conferences with my mom. When I found that Indy Hunger Network was hiring I thought it fit with what I have done previously and aligned with my interests really well. I’m glad that this kind of incorporates both my experience from growing up in the nonprofit community and also my cooking experience. ”

Oguntade joins Indy Hunger Network with an extensive background in lactation, maternal health, and infant health. She also has experience in the food sphere, where her mom ran a food pantry out of their church growing up. Oguntade moved to Indiana less than a year before the start of the pandemic and is interested in experiencing the community in new ways through working with IHN. She believes her experiences working with mothers and families translate well to her new role. 

“Healthy moms equal healthy babies,” Oguntade said. “What moms eat, babies eat, and if we feed mom a good, nutritious, and balanced meal then that is going to be most beneficial for their babies. Sometimes it’s hard for moms to eat and find time to eat in between navigating new parenthood and everything that goes with it. So finding the most nutritious paths that are quick and easy for them, while also making sure that it’s cost effective as well [is important].”

Both Chappell and Oguntade are looking forward to supporting Indy Hunger Network in its mission to feed food insecure individuals in the greater Indianapolis area. 

“I think [hunger] is a need that not enough people know about. Growing up my friends didn’t know about it,” Chappell said. “It was different from the communities that I was in and it’s not talked about very widely unless you are living in it or working in it. I think it’s good that there are so many programs and I’m excited to see [Indy Hunger Network] expand.”

“Being hungry is not fun, being hungry is not okay, and being hungry is not something that anyone should have to experience,” Oguntade added. “For me, feeding people is a way of communication, feeding people is a way of life. Growing up, that was how we spent time, how we loved one another and cared for one another. That’s why feeding people is so important.”

To learn more about Indy Hunger Network and our work in the greater Indianapolis area, read about our projects on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn. If you want to support our efforts, consider volunteering with us or donating here.