OUR TEAM

 
Megan Gendig

Megan Gendig

Cooking Matters Program Manager
Megan Songer is the Cooking Matters Program Manager for Indy Hunger Network. She graduated from IUPUI in 2016 with her B.S. in Public Health with an emphasis on Community Health. In her last year of college, she was a wellness intern at a camp for children from low-income families, where she realized how much Marion County struggles with food insecurity. Her favorite memory was having the children try smoothies; many of the children had never tried the fresh fruits and asked for more. That experience led her to join the Indy Hunger Network in April 2017 as an AmeriCorps VISTA for the Cooking Matters program, and she 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.
Kate Howe

Kate Howe

Executive Director
Kate Howe joined the Indy Hunger Network as Managing Director in 2016. Kate has a B.A. in Biology from Macalester College, an M.S. in Ecology from the University of Minnesota, and a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Washington. Before joining the Indy Hunger Network, Kate spent ten years with the Midwest Invasive Plant Network, another collective impact organization that was housed by The Nature Conservancy and Purdue University. She became interested in food insecurity through serving as a volunteer and board member for the Mid-North Food Pantry. After seeing the challenges of poverty and food insecurity up close, she became passionate about working to improve the hunger relief system for people in need of food assistance.
Caleb Kulinski

Caleb Kulinski

VISTA Coordinator

Caleb Kulinski is Indy Hunger Network’s VISTA Coordinator. He previously served as one of IHN’s VISTA members working on the Cooking Matters Program as part of their 2018-19 VISTA cohort. He is excited to be back with IHN and to continue supporting its vital mission in working to end hunger. Caleb has a B.A. in Political Science and International Studies from Coe College, and a Masters in International Public Affairs from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He comes to IHN with a strong passion for public service and having had experience working with a variety of community stakeholders across Marion County. Caleb coordinates the VISTA program and facilitates professional development programming for VISTA members.

Genevieve Miller

Genevieve Miller

Director of Advocacy

Genevieve Miller is the Director of Advocacy for Indy Hunger Network. Genevieve graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a B.S. in Environmental Science and an M.S. in Entrepreneurship. As a U.S. Fulbright Scholar, Genevieve graduated from the University of Gastronomic Sciences with a Master in Gastronomy. Before joining the Indy Hunger Network team, Genevieve pursued her passions for food justice and public policy within the public sector, holding multiple positions including Deputy Chief of Staff to Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Policy Director for the City of South Bend. In her current role, Genevieve works closely with the Indy Hunger Network’s Advocacy Committee to develop strategies for raising awareness about food insecurity in Indiana and coordinate advocacy on relevant policy and legislation.

Alex Sindorf

Alex Sindorf

Food Assistance Programs Manager

Alex Sindorf is the Food Assistance Programs Manager for Indy Hunger Network. While studying for a B.S. in Urban Community Development in Portland, Oregon, Alex took a class on food ethics and has been involved with farming and other food-related work ever since. In her role with IHN, Alex works with the Food Pantry Network, Food Drop, Community Compass, SNAP & WIC Marketing, and other programs.

Megan Gendig

Cooking Matters Program Manager
Megan Songer is the Cooking Matters Program Manager for Indy Hunger Network. She graduated from IUPUI in 2016 with her B.S. in Public Health with an emphasis on Community Health. In her last year of college, she was a wellness intern at a camp for children from low-income families, where she realized how much Marion County struggles with food insecurity. Her favorite memory was having the children try smoothies; many of the children had never tried the fresh fruits and asked for more. That experience led her to join the Indy Hunger Network in April 2017 as an AmeriCorps VISTA for the Cooking Matters program, and she 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.

Kate Howe

Executive Director
Kate Howe joined the Indy Hunger Network as Managing Director in 2016. Kate has a B.A. in Biology from Macalester College, an M.S. in Ecology from the University of Minnesota and a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Washington. Before joining the Indy Hunger Network, Kate spent ten years with the Midwest Invasive Plant Network, another collective impact organization that was housed by The Nature Conservancy and Purdue University. She became interested in food insecurity through serving as a volunteer and board member for the Mid-North Food Pantry. After seeing the challenges of poverty and food insecurity up close, she became passionate about working to improve the hunger relief system for people in need of food assistance.

Caleb Kulinski

VISTA Coordinator

Caleb Kulinski is Indy Hunger Network’s VISTA Coordinator. He previously served as one of IHN’s VISTA members working on the Cooking Matters Program as part of their 2018-19 VISTA cohort. He is excited to be back with IHN and to continue supporting its vital mission in working to end hunger. Caleb has a B.A. in Political Science and International Studies from Coe College, and a Masters in International Public Affairs from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He comes to IHN with a strong passion for public service and having had experience working with a variety of community stakeholders across Marion County. Caleb coordinates the VISTA program and facilitates professional development programming for VISTA members.

Genevieve Miller

Director of Advocacy

Genevieve Miller is the Director of Advocacy for Indy Hunger Network. Genevieve graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a B.S. in Environmental Science and an M.S. in Entrepreneurship. As a U.S. Fulbright Scholar, Genevieve graduated from the University of Gastronomic Sciences with a Master in Gastronomy. Before joining the Indy Hunger Network team, Genevieve pursued her passions for food justice and public policy within the public sector, holding multiple positions including Deputy Chief of Staff to Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Policy Director for the City of South Bend. In her current role, Genevieve works closely with the Indy Hunger Network’s Advocacy Committee to develop strategies for raising awareness about food insecurity in Indiana and coordinate advocacy on relevant policy and legislation.

Alex Sindorf

Food Assistance Programs Manager

Alex Sindorf is the Food Assistance Programs Manager for Indy Hunger Network. While studying for a B.S. in Urban Community Development in Portland, Oregon, Alex took a class on food ethics and has been involved with farming and other food-related work ever since. In her role with IHN, Alex works with the Food Pantry Network, Food Drop, Community Compass, SNAP & WIC Marketing, and other programs.

VISTA TEAM MEMBERS

Indy Hunger Network is proud to partner with AmeriCorps,
which provides funding to operate the AmeriCorps VISTA program. 

Gabe Eckler

Gabe Eckler is the Westminster Pantry Coordinator at Westminster Neighborhood services through the Indy Hunger Network. Gabe was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, and lives in a small town about 30 minutes east called Greenfield. He graduated from DePauw University with a degree in History, and received his bachelor’s in May of 2021. Though new to the area of food distribution and security, Gabe is eager to learn more about it and help people in his community. Following his work with the VISTA program, Gabe desires to go on to get his Master’s degree in East Asian studies along with his MBA. Gabe enjoys playing piano, reading, outdoor activities such as fishing, and learning languages.

Cassandra Goodman

Cassandra Goodman is the Nutrition and Food Security VISTA Summer Associate at CICOA Aging and In-Home Solutions. She grew up in the small town of Butler, Indiana in northeast Indiana. In May 2020, she graduated from Purdue University with her degree in Global Studies and a certificate in Public Policy. After graduation, she served as an AmeriCorps VISTA for the Indiana Commission for Higher Education working to improve postsecondary enrollment rates in rural counties across the state through outreach. During her term as a VISTA summer associate, she hopes to continue serving rural communities in the central Indiana region. Cassandra plans to start her Master’s in Public Affairs with a focus on public management at Indiana University this fall.

Maria Hinojosa

Maria Hinojosa is the Cooking and Nutrition Education VISTA at Indy Hunger Network. She is from East Indianapolis and has been interested in cooking since high school, learning tips and tricks throughout the years from various family members. Maria studied Healthcare Administration and Public Health at IU Bloomington. While at IU, Maria interned at a local food pantry (Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard,) helping to run the Youth Nutrition program by leading children’s cooking classes. This combined her love of cooking, passion for food security, and her experience with teaching children. Her internship also focused on community engagement and cultural competency. Her internship experience was one of the most positive and fulfilling experiences of her life, and she hopes her time as a VISTA member will do the same. Most of all, Maria hopes to spread her love of cooking and teaching during her year with IHN and have a lot of fun while doing so. After her time as a VISTA member, Maria hopes to eventually attend a Masters Program in Europe, focusing on International Health.

Thomas Lageveen

Thomas Lageveen is the Community Compass Coordinator for the Indy Hunger Network. He grew up in West Lafayette, Indiana and graduated from Purdue University with a bachelor’s degree in film and video in 2014. Recently, Thomas has completed a certification program in Informatics through Ivy Tech. Combining his experience in the food service industry with his recent training in information systems and data management, he hopes to contribute in a meaningful way to the effort to decrease food insecurity in Indianapolis. A service mentality has been a part of Thomas’ work for several years, and he is excited to apply that in a new dimension in his role with the Indy Hunger Network. After his term with the IHN through AmeriCorps, he hopes to continue his training in the field of information technology and find work in which he can use that training to make a positive impact.

Grant Moran

Grant Moran is the Senior Health and Wellness VISTA at CICOA Aging and In-Home Solutions through Indy Hunger Network. An Indy local, he lives in Zionsville, Indiana. Grant studied Spanish and Letters at the University of Oklahoma and received a bachelor’s in July 2020. While in university, Grant volunteered as an interpreter at a low-income medical clinic and did community outreach & educational programming for the university’s Gender and Equality Center. These experiences fostered an interest in public service that continues to this day. After AmeriCorps, Grant hopes to continue participating in nonprofit work.

Mary Owen

Mary Owen is the VISTA Summer Associate for the CARE Program with Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana. Mary is from Geneva, a western suburb of Chicago, Illinois. She graduated from Ball State University with a degree in Psychology and went on to receive her Master’s in International Public Service from DePaul University. Prior to this position, Mary was a social worker that focused in the areas of adolescent mental health and domestic violence. Mary is looking forward to working with Indy Hunger Network to apply the skills she learned during graduate school. As she continues in the public service field, Mary hopes to keep working on creating programs and policies that address important social issues in our country. In her free time, Mary plays Quidditch for the Indianapolis Intensity and works as a project assistant on addressing gender inequities within the sport.

Ephraim Sy Palermo

Ephraim Sy Palmero is the VISTA Program Officer at the Indy Food Council. While originally from the Philippines, his parents were humanitarian doctors that led him to spend his childhood in Liberia and the Gambia, West Africa. At 17 years old, he was one of the youngest in his class from Tidewater Community College, to receive an Associates in Criminal Justice. In May 2020, he received his undergraduate degree from Andrews University in Political Science, with minors in Behavioral Science and Global Studies. Currently he is pursuing a Masters in Community and International Development at Andrews while starting his VISTA term. Throughout his academic journey, Ephraim has participated in various leadership positions from student government, to honor societies and associations. During his last two summers in undergrad, he interned with a INGO in Yemen, where he expanded on his passion for humanitarian development, project management, advocacy, and grant writing. Ephraim is excited to be a part of this VISTA cohort and the Indy Hunger Network to seek better solutions, and to build capacity for a more sustainable food system. In his free time, he enjoys reading, listening to podcasts, playing basketball, and travel photography.

Alyssa Parker

Alyssa Parker is the Rural Senior Home Delivery Program VISTA with Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana. She is originally from Vermont and received an undergrad degree from West Virginia University. During this time, she became more aware of environmental issues and food insecurity. She decided, however, to join the military. While in the military she was a Food Inspector learning not only food safety issues, but observing where all the food was coming from. After the military she studied Soil and Crop Science with a minor in Environmental Affairs at Colorado State University. Her hope was to focus on making food more sustainable, but she came to the conclusion that the infrastructure of the food system is broken. There needs to be a way to get food to the people who need it most. This is why she is excited to use the networking skills she gained while in the military for this VISTA position. She hopes to gain more experience in networking and community outreach. Afterwards she hopes to attend a Masters Program focusing on food and nutrition policy.

Kristen Phillips

Kristen Phillips is the Nutrition and Dementia Services Coordinator at CICOA Aging & In-Home Solutions through Indy Hunger Network. Kristen was born and raised in the small town of Wise, Virginia, nestled in the Appalachian Mountains. She graduated from Appalachian State University with a degree in music therapy. She moved to Indianapolis for her first VISTA term with Indy Hunger Network in 2018 and has remained in the community ever since. She is passionate about issues surrounding dementia, stemming from her training as a music therapist. During her first VISTA term, she grew in her knowledge and passion for hunger issues. Kristen is excited to be combining these two areas together in her second VISTA term. In her free time, Kristen is a dedicated volunteer with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, where she enjoys greeting patrons and creating a welcoming environment to all who come to enjoy concerts. She also volunteers her time with her church producing radio programs. Kristen spends her time hiking and camping as well, and has visited all of the state parks in Indiana. In the long term, Kristen hopes to continue in the nonprofit sector in Indianapolis to further bring change to her community.

Angela Richie

Angela Richie is the Indy Hunger Network Food Assistance Programs VISTA. Angela grew up in Anderson, IN and received her undergraduate degree from Anderson University in Youth Ministries. Angela began volunteering at food pantries as a teenager, and has since served by cooking meals, organizing donations, and meeting with recipients at multiple pantries in central Indiana. Angela is passionate about imagining the ways food insecurity can be addressed through collaborative community engagement and by supporting local initiatives. She is eager to gain further experience networking and facilitating training during her VISTA term. Following her year at IHN, Angela hopes to pursue a higher degree in the social sciences. Angela spends her free time teaching knitting classes at Plainfield Correctional Facility, co-hosting a storytelling podcast, getting her hands dirty in her garden, and racking up miles by backpacking, hiking, and kayaking.

AMERICORPS ALUMNI

Indy Hunger Network has sponsored over 44  AmeriCorps VISTA members who served through the program. We are always excited to see our former members enter graduate school, find a new job, or reinvent their careers. Here’s a sampling of where our alumni have landed.

Maura Broderson
Second Helpings, 2017-2018
Creative Marketing Specialist,
WFYI Public Media

Azaria Brown
Westminster Neighborhood Services, 2019-2020
Volunteer and Community Engagement Coordinator, Westminster Neighborhood Services

Stasy César
CICOA, 2017-2018
Community Health Worker Screener,
Marion County Public Health Department

Claire Crosby
Indy Hunger Network, 2020-2021
Medical Student, Louisiana State University

Mackenzie Dafferner
CICOA, 2017-2018
Graduate student at Loyola University:
Public Health

Baili Gall
Indy Hunger Network, 2017-2018
Graduate student at the University of Alabama: Biocultural Medical Anthropology

Adaline Heitz
Indy Hunger Network, 2019-2020
Medical Student, Indiana University School of Medicine

Hannah Hurt
Indy Hunger Network, 2020-2021
American Conservation Experience

Lisa Joseph
Indy Hunger Network, 2019-2020
Pursuing M.S. in Health Promotion Management
Program Coordinator, American Society of Clinical Oncology

Caleb Kulinski
Indy Hunger Network, 2018-2019
VISTA Coordinator, Indy Hunger Network

Joel Landis
City of Indianapolis, 2018-2019
Project Development Analyst,
City of Indianapolis: Department of Business & Neighborhood Services

Becca Olson
CICOA, 2020-2021
Rental Assistance Navigator, Home of the Sparrow

Grace Powers
CICOA, 2019-2020
Thrive to 5 Coordinator, Community Development for All People

Abby Rolland
Second Helpings, 2016-2017
Fellow, Patterson Foundation

Skylar Rueff
City of Indianapolis, 2020-2021
Indy Food Council Program Officer, City of Indianapolis

Robyn Rowe
CICOA, 2019-2020
Care Manager, CICOA

Katherine Starr
CICOA, 2020-2021
Graduate student in Economics at West Virginia University

Kathryn Slomski
Westminster Neighborhood Services, 2020-2021
Development Coordinator, Massachusetts General Hospital

Megan Songer
Indy Hunger Network, 2017-2018
Cooking Matters Program Manager,
Indy Hunger Network

Jessica Sullivan
Indy Hunger Network, 2016-2017
Senior Consulting Associate,
Kaiser Permanente