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What’s Happening at Hunger Solutions New York

By June 8, 2023No Comments

Hunger Solutions New York has been busy! Several new folks joined our team and we all attended a wonderfully fulfilling service day. We had the incredible opportunity to attend the FRAC Anti-Hunger Conference in early May. You can read more about that experience in our latest blog post at the following link: Hunger Solutions New York Goes to Washington D.C.

New Employees and Employee Promotions


Recently, we welcomed Krista Hesdorfer, the former Government Relations Manager for Hunger Solutions New York, to the Director of Public Affairs position. Before working for Hunger Solutions New York, she was the NOEP Coordinator for Schoharie County where she had the opportunity to see SNAP policy in practice. She has a bachelor’s degree in Government from Hamilton College and a Master of Public Administration from Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy.

Krista looks forward to continuing to work with the Public Affairs team and Hunger Solutions New York’s many partners on state and federal advocacy, including the Healthy School Meals for All Campaign, the upcoming Farm Bill, and federal child nutrition bills. She is also excited to continue and build on Hunger Solutions New York’s statewide outreach and assistance to maximize all the federal nutrition programs for individuals across the state.

Krista enjoys cooking, reading, and hiking on her free time! We are excited to see what you do in this new role, Krista!


Photo of ShaneWelcome to our new Director of Technology, Shane Albertin. Shane has 20+ years of experience in technology and nonprofit organizations. He has experience with resource development, data analysis, computer hardware, software and network administration. He considers himself a “customer service representative with technical skills” as his position helps support our organization by ensuring that we have the tools, ability and know-how to work efficiently and effectively.

Shane was married in 2019 and has two children and one grandchild. He has been with his wife for nearly 15 years. Shane’s free time consists of spending time with family, gardening, cooking and he is a self-taught glass artist. Welcome Shane!



Photo of DelsyWelcome to Delsy Joya-Reyes, one of our new Outreach Specialists. Delsy will help us build and maintain partnerships across New York State and implement locally tailored strategies to increase outreach to the WIC-eligible population. In her work with WIC, she is most looking forward to identifying and developing outreach and technical resources.

Delsy comes to Hunger Solutions New York with a diverse background in advocacy, development, and outreach. She applies an intersectional lens to her work to identify and dismantle social categorizations that contribute to systems of discrimination. Outside of work, Delsy loves to be outside, listening to music, and cuddling up with her cats. Welcome, Delsy!



Photo of DanWelcome to Dan Vaughan-Cherubin, one of our new Outreach Specialists. Dan’s work will focus on WIC, and he is eager to help expand participation in this vital health and nutrition program. Dan previously worked on critical issues such as gun control, police accountability, and public health. After a brief time in the NYS Senate, he shifted his focus to the non-profit sector, where he has spent almost a decade working to create more equitable futures for all.

Beyond his professional career, Dan is an avid gardener and budding alpaca farmer who enjoys spending time outdoors with family and friends. Dan enjoys playing basketball and soccer. Welcome, Dan!



Photo of CaraIn April, we welcomed Cara Rodriguez, our new Communications Specialist. She will be helping us develop, enhance, and implement our communications efforts across all program areas. Cara brings experience in content writing, social media, graphic design, and user experience design. Before this, Cara worked for a nonprofit in Colorado that provided services for people with disabilities. She focuses on accessibility and creating a communication strategy that includes everyone.

Beyond work, Cara likes to bind books, pickle various vegetables, and go treasure hunting at antique stores. She also likes to read and relax with her husband and overly fluffy cat. Welcome, Cara!


Volunteering for the Patroon Land Farm

On May 19th, several Hunger Solutions New York employees geared up in gardening attire, applied more than enough sunscreen, and headed out to Patroon Land Farm. We started the service day with a picnic then donned our gardening gloves to get ready for the main event. Brandon from the Patroon Land Farm shared  a bit of the farm’s history and its impact in New York. We learned that since 2006, the farm has produced over 1,100,000 pounds of fresh vegetables for the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York! One year, he said, they produced over 200,000 pounds of vegetables. And all of this work is supported heavily by volunteers like those of us at Hunger Solutions New York, so we were fired up to learn that we can help get the Patroon Land Farm closer to the two million pounds of food mark.

Hunger Solutions New York employee holding baby summer squash

We all worked together to plant over 1,900 yellow squash and cucumber seedlings along a row, and we did it in record time! Delsy Joya-Reyes, an Outreach Specialist, said,

“This was my first time volunteering with colleagues at Patroon Land Farms and I’m already looking forward to going back! [This] left me feeling so fulfilled and grounded from being able to connect with the earth and food that will later feed a community. I’m already excited for future Service Days with my team; it was a great and engaging way to get to know everyone outside of their roles at HSNY while also making a physical effort to end hunger in New York.”


In fact, because we had finished with an hour or two to spare, Brandon had another idea for us. We excitedly followed him to another field that was almost ready to be the new home for several vegetables, but one thing needed to be done. Large rocks needed to be weeded out and we were the ones right for the job. A few Hunger Solutions New York employees came up with a strategy to get the most rocks with the least amount of effort, and so we began working like a well-oiled machine. Big thanks to Shane Albertin, our Director of Technology, for the idea of having one group place rocks in piles along the way so that the second group can toss them into the tractor!

Hunger Solutions New York employees moving rocks out of a field

Alexandra Mershon, the Executive Assistant and member of the Hunger Solutions New York Service Day Committee, told us,

“HSNY Service Day was rewarding for me because I was able to connect with my colleagues and work with them to support the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York’s efforts to mitigate hunger. Being a part of this work showed us the complexity of how produce is grown and how farmers play a vital role in anti-hunger efforts. As an NGO that is involved in anti-hunger policy and initiatives in the State of New York that aims to help people gain access to food assistance benefits, it was enriching to see the other side of the puzzle and the hard work it entails in providing food to our communities.”

Hunger Solutions New York employee group shot at the end of the day

We ended the day sweaty, covered in dirt, and with our hearts filled to the brim. We are so thankful to Brandon and the Patroon Land Farm for having us!