We are the same team at UNC that is known for speaking up for underused USDA child nutrition programs throughout North Carolina. We proudly stand alongside our trusted partners – state agencies, school nutrition teams, food banks and other community food service providers – celebrating YOUR great work and working for change to make your jobs easier, while building awareness to assure our kids get access to healthy meals that fuel their minds and bodies.
Lou Anne Crumpler
As director, Lou Anne oversees the vision for Carolina Hunger Initiative’s statewide work to improve access to healthy meals. No Kid Hungry North Carolina, a campaign of Share Our Strength, was established under Lou Anne’s leadership in 2011 in the NC Governor’s Office and is now a partnership with the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. Previously, she was engaged in corporate, nonprofit, and public service work focusing on enterprises that serve the greater good.
Lou Anne served as the first Executive Director of the North Carolina Health and Wellness Trust Fund, created in 2000 to invest tobacco settlement funds. She led the Advisory Board and staff in setting the initial goals and priorities of the fund to address teen tobacco use and affordable prescription drugs for seniors. Lou Anne’s passion for the arts led to her prior service on UNC School of the Arts’ Board of Trustees and Foundation Board, and an appointment by NC Governor Roy Cooper to serve on the board for the North Carolina Arts Council. She also was invited by the NC Secretary of Health and Human Services to be a partner in the development of NCCARE360, a comprehensive directory of resources and referral system to improve the health and well-being of NC citizenry.
Project and Communications Director
Tamara leads the Summer and Afterschool Nutrition work, and communications, for the Carolina Hunger Initiative. She has been a part of No Kid Hungry North Carolina since it was established in 2011. She also manages the federal SNAP-Education grant for improving nutrition policy, systems and the related environment for children in low income areas. Tamara began her career in Washington, DC, as press secretary for a member of the Agriculture Committee in Congress, then worked with USDA information services before moving to a large public relations agency where she led global public relations for the relief agency Feed the Children. She was relocated back to North Carolina by the pharmaceutical leader GlaxoSmithKline.
Program and Communication Manager
As Program and Communication Manager for the Carolina Hunger Initiative, Andrew is responsible for digital content and contributes to overall planning for strategy and outreach. During COVID-19 school closures, he maintained online tools for finding meals for children statewide and managed North Carolina’s application process for the Emergency Meals-to-You program. Andrew is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, where he majored in Communication Studies with a focus in Media Production. He began working with the No Kid Hungry North Carolina team in 2017.
School Breakfast Program Manager
Helen leads the Carolina Hunger Initiative’s collaboration with No Kid Hungry North Carolina to increase access to school breakfast. She has been a part of this work since the inception of the No Kid Hungry NC campaign in 2011 under Governor Bev Perdue. Since 2013, Helen has helped organize the NC School Breakfast Challenge, an annual recognition of the schools with the greatest increase in school breakfast participation. She was also a member of North Carolina’s team at No Kid Hungry’s 2018 School Breakfast Leadership Institute, which led to almost $100,000 in grants to school districts in support of innovative breakfast programs. Before getting involved in child nutrition, Helen taught physics for 35 years at Broughton High School in Raleigh.
Dr. Jessica Soldavini
Dr. Soldavini’s work focuses on food insecurity, federal nutrition programs, and nutrition and cooking education. She has been involved in both research projects and public health practice related to these areas. Dr. Soldavini oversees the nutrition education program, research and evaluation efforts, and volunteers and interns for the Carolina Hunger Initiative and No Kid Hungry NC. She also teaches a nutrition policy course at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. Dr. Soldavini received her PhD in nutrition from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, MPH in Community Health Sciences from the University of California, Los Angeles, and BS in nutritional sciences – dietetics from the University of California, Berkeley. She is also a Registered Dietitian and completed a Certificate in Culinary Arts. She has received numerous recognitions for her work including the 2021 NC Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Outstanding Dietitian of the Year, 2020 Mary P. Huddleson Award for exceptional paper published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2019 James Beard Foundation National Scholar Award, and 2019 Rise Against Hunger World Hunger Leadership Award.
Tiki joins the world of academia after enjoying a long career in the nonprofit world. Her grandmother instilled a passion and commitment to help those in need in her at a young age. As a result, Tiki decided to address the social and economic injustices she witnessed by working to provide people with access to the resources needed to making a positive change in their lives.
Prior to joining the UNC Center for Health and Disease Prevention (HPDP), Tiki successfully directed an innovative program that addressed the social determinants of health at the United Way of the Greater Triangle. Her previous work also included managing a statewide network of free tax preparation providers as well as a pioneering public benefits access program. In her role at HPDP, Tiki is responsible for the day-to-day budget management for both the Carolina Hunger Initiative (CHI) and Food, Fitness, and Opportunity Collaborative (FFORC) teams. She also contributes to program planning for the CHI team, and is the project manager for the Community Circles project through FFORC. Community Circles enables community residents to address poverty and racism’s effect on their access to healthy foods through a series of facilitated conversations.
Tiki obtained a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Elizabeth City State University and a Master’s in Public Administration from NC Central University. She has a beautiful daughter Dorean, a handsome son David, and an adorable grand-doggy Mikey. Tiki lives in Chapel Hill.
Marlee Marrotta is a second year MPH Nutrition/RD student at the Gillings School of Global Public Health. She graduated from North Carolina State University in 2020 with a B.S. in Applied Nutrition Science, where she also received the award for Outstanding Community Engagement.
Her roles and projects for the Carolina Hunger Initiative team include: developing and implementing virtual Cooking Matters nutrition series for adults and kids; producing the monthly nutrition newsletter; PORCH project nutrition resources; intern trainings; and social media.
Interns and Graduate Students
Much of our work couldn’t happen without the students from UNC-Chapel Hill and beyond who join our team as interns, youth ambassadors, and child nutritionists to work on nutrition education materials, cooking programs with kids, and more.
Visit our interns page to learn more about recent team members. If you’re interested in being a part of the team, contact Jessica Soldavini.