Heather Banikas is working to expand FRN’s presence through research and outreach to four specific regions in order to support the organization’s larger goal of feeding more food-insecure individuals and families, while also reducing food waste. She first became interested in the food cycle during her undergraduate career at the University of Mary Washington. While studying global development, she became aware of food issues around the world. She focused her capstone research paper on a zero-waste agroecology center in Guatemala that provides organic fruits and vegetables to surrounding villages. In her free time, Heather relishes in the simple things in life: time with family, knitting scarves, and taking a couple of deep breaths at the end of a long day. Her dream is to design and build a tiny home from scratch.
Program & Special Events Fellow
Sydney is the Program and Special Events Fellow at FRN, supporting the planning and execution of various FRN events. Sydney earned a degree Food Science and Human Nutrition from Clemson University, where she discovered her passion for fighting food waste and insecurity. Before starting her journey with FRN as the National Food Recovery Dialogue Intern in June 2019, Sydney served as an AmeriCorps VISTA, managing a community-lead gleaning program in Kaua'i, HI. In her free time, you'll find Sydney learning to play the ukulele, hiking, or traveling for food. Her current expedition is to eat at every bakery in D.C.
Development and Special Events Fellow
Cate is working to ensure FRN reaches its financial goals to support the growth of the food recovery movement. A Michigan native, Cate graduated in 2014 from Michigan State University with a degree in Social Relations and Policy, focusing on social justice issues like food access and housing insecurity. Prior to coming to FRN, Cate worked for migration and refugee services, connecting new immigrants to social services across the country. Outside of work, Cate enjoys trying new foods, thrift shopping, and exploring the Botanic Garden in Washington, DC.
Program Evaluation VISTA
Chrycka Harper joined the team to assist in the data collection process and enhance the resources offered to chapters. She recently graduated from Howard University with an undergraduate degree in Psychology and a Master’s of Social Work, concentrating in Community, Administration, and Policy Practice with a focus in Mental Health. During her last year in the graduate program, Chrycka created a food justice internship to explore her interests in the relationship among food insecurity, nutrition, sustainable agriculture and mental health. She hopes to inform the food system from the perspective of mental health empowerment through programs, policy, and community development. In her free time, Chrycka enjoys growing in her Christian faith, managing her website, Rycka’s Kitchen, undertaking culinary or foodie adventures, and dancing with the latest moves.
Program and Outreach Fellow
Dominique McMillan is a Connecticut native that found herself all over the eastern seaboard. After establishing an FRN chapter at her alma mater, Barry University, she set out to work for the groundbreaking organization. Dominique has a passion for history and plans to write books that will be taught in university and college settings. In her free time, you can find her binging on the latest show on Netflix, or heading into Washington, D.C. for mass at St. Dominic's Church. Her favorite quote is, “Be who God meant you to be, and you’ll set the world on fire” by Saint Catherine of Siena.
Program & Special Events AmeriCorps VISTA
Julia supports the Program Team and helps plan and manage FRN events. A recent graduate of Dickinson College, Julia received her degree in American Studies with a concentration in Indigenous Studies, choosing to invest her final year researching and writing about food insecurity facing Indigenous peoples within the United States. She hopes to continue educating herself and those around her about sustainable and accessible foodways through her work at Food Recovery Network. As a native Californian, Julia misses the redwoods and mountains of her home state, but is excited to explore the bustling city of DC. In her free time, you can find Julia hiking, reading, pondering her next travel adventure, cooking, and eating. She hopes to take advantage of all the wondrous food options DC has to offer.
Alumni Programs VISTA
Neal Montoya is working towards engaging FRN alumni through regular communications and connecting with those currently not involved. She studied English with a minor in History at the University of Maryland, College Park. Although she wasn’t involved with FRN at UMD, Neal is excited to learn more about the food recovery process as well as hear stories from alumni. When she is not working, Neal can be found with her nose in a book, watching a movie, or taking a nap.
Food Recovery Verified Fellow
Erin Price is a Virginia native, currently residing in Washington, DC. She discovered her passion for food policy and food justice issues while earning her Master’s degree in Public Administration from American University. A firm believer in the power of public-private partnerships to create social good, Erin is excited to apply her background in nonprofit management and resource development to promote a more sustainable and equitable food system with FRN. In her role as the Food Recovery Verified Fellow, Erin is working to strengthen existing relationships and develop new partnerships with food businesses across the country in an effort to recover more food and reduce hunger. In her free time, Erin enjoys wandering through the farmer’s market, experimenting with vegetable-inspired recipes in her kitchen, and traveling - especially to explore our National Parks!
Food Recovery Verified VISTA
Sean is working to support and expand the Food Recovery Verified program by continuing to grow the number of FRV accounts while also expanding its tracking and outreach capabilities. Before joining the team, Sean worked in the food service business and saw how detrimental food waste could be for the environment and the millions of people who go hungry every day. Sean graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a B.A. in Government and Politics.He has always had a passion for public policy and for working to solve or alleviate world issues such as climate change, poverty, and lack of healthcare. While attending UMD, he worked with several student-led organizations to raise awareness for global poverty, environmental issues, and the world refugee crisis. Working with these organizations enhanced his understanding of how urgent world hunger and environmental degradation truly are. Sean is excited to join the nonprofit world of food hunger and sustainability to help alleviate these problems. In his free time, he enjoys reading the Song of Ice & Fire Series, hiking in the mountains and the forests, and discovering new music.