Who We Are

Our Story

 

 

Good food changes everything.

At Fair Food Network, we believe nothing is as important to our future as food. Food matters. It connects us like few things. It reflects our culture and traditions. It heals and sustains us. And it has outsized environmental, social, and political impact.

We launched Fair Food Network in 2009 with an entrepreneurial spirit and an unwavering commitment to our mission: to increase access to healthy food for families who need it most, while creating opportunities for American farmers and stimulating local economies.

Our spark.

There would be no story about Fair Food Network without Oran Hesterman. From early roots working on the country’s first student organic farm, his life’s purpose became clear: to create a more sustainable future for everyone.

In the decades following, Oran gained a broad perspective of our food system, first as a farmer turned owner of a small agricultural business, later as a scientist and agronomy professor at Michigan State University. This background laid the foundation for his next chapter at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation where he helped seed the local food systems movement with more than $200 million in philanthropic investments.

After more than a decade as a funder fueling nonprofit innovation and experimentation, Oran struck out to launch his own organization. And in 2009, Fair Food Network was born.

Inspiring, yet practical solutions.

We began by recognizing two of our greatest challenges as opportunities. On one hand, many families lack access to affordable, healthy food. And on the other, American farmers struggle to earn a fair pricing for their goods.

A win/win solution was born with Double Up Food Bucks, a healthy food incentive program that boosts the value of federal nutrition benefits spent on produce, while supporting local growers. Double Up was the first statewide incentive program and is today a national model implemented in over 25 states. And we continue to grow and innovate the program in Michigan to bring healthy food to more families, through more farmers, in more locations.

While Double Up is growing demand for healthy, locally grown food, Fair Food Network’s financing work–through Fair Food Fund and Michigan Good Food Fund – helps build our capacity to meet this demand by providing financing and business assistance to good food entrepreneurs.

In these signature programs and other projects, we are committed to pushing boundaries and identifying catalytic opportunities that create multiple wins and help move the field forward faster.

A team of pragmatic idealists.

Working with a diverse network of partners, we have made significant strides these past seven years—on the ground in communities, pioneering models that inspire others, and spurring public policy change.

This is just the beginning.

Our team leverages decades of experience in sustainable agriculture, food systems, policy, communications, public health, and community development.

We dream big, staying anchored in our core values of optimism, pragmatism, innovation, rigor, fairness, and partnerships.

We are fueled by this work and by the change we can create, together: more healthy food on the tables of low-income families, more money in the pockets of American farmers, a groundswell of American entrepreneurialism, and stronger, more resilient communities.

That is, and will always be, the work of Fair Food Network.

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Our Team

Liz Alpern

Liz Alpern

Program Manager
Double Up Food Bucks
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Sarah Andrysiak

Sarah Andrysiak

Program Consultant
Fair Food Fund
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Liza Baker

Liza Baker

Grants Consultant
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Joanne Baldini

Joanne Baldini

Program Associate
Fair Food Fund
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Kellie Boyd

Kellie Boyd

Program Director
Double Up Food Bucks
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Emily Case

Emily Case

Technology Projects Manager
Double Up Food Bucks
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Jean Chorazyczewski

Jean Chorazyczewski

Program Director
Michigan Good Food Fund
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Cara Cummings

Cara Cummings

Development Director
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Brian DeSmet

Brian DeSmet

Program Manager
Double Up Food Bucks
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Sara Elbohy

Sara Elbohy

Program Coordinator
Double Up Food Bucks
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Emilie Engelhard

Emilie Engelhard

Senior Director External Affairs
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Cassandra Fletcher-Martin

Cassandra Fletcher-Martin

Finance Director
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Noah Fulmer

Noah Fulmer

Director of National Partnerships
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Randy Gerber

Randy Gerber

Accountant
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Hannah Gingerich

Hannah Gingerich

Operations Assistant
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Oran B. Hesterman, PhD

Oran B. Hesterman, PhD

Founder & Chief Executive Officer
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Angela Hojnacki

Angela Hojnacki

Outreach & Engagement Manager
Double Up Food Bucks
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Noam Kimelman

Noam Kimelman

Program Consultant
Double Up Food Bucks
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Kate Krauss

Kate Krauss

Chief Operating Officer
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Alex Linkow

Alex Linkow

Director
Fair Food Fund
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Laura Ludka

Laura Ludka

Digital Strategist
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Joel Moyer

Joel Moyer

Manager
Fair Food Fund
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Kari Paine

Kari Paine

Communications Manager
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Holly A. Parker

Holly A. Parker

Senior Director of Programs
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Nicki Sandberg

Nicki Sandberg

Grants Manager
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Lauren Schaumburg

Lauren Schaumburg

Program Coordinator
Double Up Food Bucks
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Annie Shapiro

Annie Shapiro

Policy Manager
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Madeline Smith

Madeline Smith

Assistant to the President & Special Projects Manager
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Charles Walker

Charles Walker

Retail Specialist
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Lindsay Way

Lindsay Way

National Technical Assistance Manager
Double Up Food Bucks
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Mari Weaver

Mari Weaver

Data Specialist
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Our Board

Gary Appel

Project Director
American Institutes for Research

Kiff Hamp

Public Policy and Board Relations Manager
After School Matters

James Ella James

U.S. Postal Service (Retired)

Fe’ Mathelier

Nutz and Botz 
Creator, Musician, Artist and Designer

Nancy Snyderman, MD

Former Network Television Correspondent
Head & Neck Cancer Surgeon

Dan Warmels

Warmels & Comstock
Certified Public Accountant

W. DeWayne Wells

Economic Justice Alliance of Michigan
Executive Director

Our Advisors

Fair Food Fund Advisors

Aviv Aviad

Cornus Consulting
Managing Director

Rick Lejeune

Heath and Lejeune
CEO

Michael Rozyne

Red Tomato
Founder + Evangelist

Mark Watson

Keel Asset Management
CEO

Jeff Scheer

Pathstone Federal Street
Director