Our Team

We may be young, but we’re experienced. Our team has a combined 20+ years of food recovery and hunger fighting experience. Four of our current team members have been recognized by former President Obama for their service. Our Executive Director alone has over ten years of experience with emergency feeding systems and working on hunger policy. Learn more about our individual team members below, and get in touch with who you need to speak to.

Maria Rose Belding

Maria Rose Belding

Co-Founder and Executive Director

As the author of more than a dozen nationally published pieces on food security and poverty, Maria Rose has also had the privilege to speak on the same issues in eighteen states. Her work has not gone unnoticed, with recognition from Points of Light, Prudential Spirit of Community Awards and the Obama White House with President’s Volunteer Service awards in 2014 and 2016, along with being named a L’Oreal Women of Worth in 2015 and receiving South By Southwest’s 2016 Dewey Prize. Maria Rose is a junior at American University in Washington, DC, where she studies public health on the premed track. In her free time, she enjoys being asleep.
Rachel Groves

Rachel Groves

Senior Project Manager

Rachel started as an Outreach Intern for MEANS and quickly rose through the ranks to Outreach Coordinator. She conducts outreach in the Northeast and assists with grant writing. As a volunteer for her local food pantry, she had the opportunity to serve 125 families per week. She studies Finance and Economics at American University and has served as a teaching assistant for an introductory business course. Every Wednesday she volunteers at a downtown unemployment site where she helps individuals find local food resources in DC and qualify for SNAP benefits. In her free time, she enjoys being outdoors and going on runs.

Sammie Paul

Sammie Paul

Chief Operating Officer

Sammie has worked with MEANS for more than two years, starting as an Outreach Volunteer, then becoming the Appalachian Regional Coordinator, and currently serving as Chief Operating Officer. She has a history of service with public health nonprofits both in the United States with SOS Children’s Villages and abroad with Lea Toto in Nairobi, Kenya. Sammie received the President’s Volunteer Service Award from former President Obama for her work with MEANS in 2016, and continues to work with MEANS to grow and expand its impact nationally. In her free time, Sammie loves going on runs and taking advantage of the DC restaurant scene.
Sofia Hinojosa

Sofia Hinojosa

Outreach Coordinator

Sofia Hinojosa is a junior studying Public Health at American University. She has worked on volunteering projects for on-campus organizations such as the Public Health Association and Health Without Borders. Sofia is currently piloting a health literacy community project with United Against Inequalities in Disease. During her free time, you will catch Sofia actively searching for discounts on cute clothes or catching up on Netflix series accompanied with a pint of green tea flavored ice cream.
Jennifer Tu

Jennifer Tu

Lead Developer

Jennifer Tu is a co-founder of Cohere LLC, a software consultancy focused on engineering leadership and education. She’s worked in roles from systems administration to product engineering, at both industry giants and Series A startups. Her favorite part of each of these roles? Helping teams align to produce real, useful software that helps real users — like the people who use MEANS Database to fight hunger in their communities.

Oliver Johnson

Oliver Johnson

Website Development Intern

Oliver is a high school senior at Sidwell Friends. He has previously worked as an IT assistant, and taken three years of computer science courses in and out of school. He has an avid love of theater and cross country, and pursues both as extracurriculars. Oliver can be found listening to Logic’s entire discography on repeat, while making homemade ramen.

(202) 449-1507

4410 Massachusetts Ave NW
#397
Washington, DC 20016