LaMonika Jones, Interim Director
Martha Assefa, Anti-Hunger Associate
Blake Turpin, Anti-Hunger Program Associate
LaMonika joined D.C. Hunger Solutions, an initiative of FRAC in September 2021 as the Anti-Hunger Program Analyst – Child Nutrition Programs. In this role, she is responsible for working to increase participation and improve benefits in the child nutrition programs (WIC; school meals; summer, after school and child care meals) in the District of Columbia through advocacy, research, coalition-building, outreach, technical assistance, public education and program monitoring.
Previously, LaMonika served as the Procurement and Purchasing Compliance Officer with Georgia Dept. of Early Care and Learning working within the Nutrition Services Division providing technical assistance and monitoring oversight for child nutrition program providers participating in Child and Adult Food Care Program and Summer Food Service Program. She also served as a Steering Committee member of the Georgia Farm to Early Care and Education Coalition focusing on the use of local food systems in early child care and K-12.
LaMonika has a B.A. in Political Science and Communication from Oakland University, and a M.Ed. in Urban Teacher Leadership from Georgia State University. She is currently a 2021-2022 Equity Leaders Action Network (ELAN) Fellow working diligently to advance policies, practices, programs, and initiatives that intentionally redress racial marginalization and create racial equity in early childhood systems. She is also an Advisory Board Member for National Farm to School Network; Co-Chair of Fair Budget Coalition Food Access Issue Group; and Co-Chair of FRAC’s Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee.
Martha joined DCHS in January 2021 as an Anti-Hunger Associate. Martha is passionate about working toward a vision of local, culturally appropriate, accessible food for our community.
Blake joined FRAC in November 2022 as an Anti-Hunger Program Associate. In their role, they work to increase SNAP participation and quality in the District through advocacy, research, client outreach, coalition-building, technical assistance, public education, and program monitoring. They also work to advance the anti-hunger and anti-poverty goals of D.C. Hunger Solutions and partner coalitions.
Blake has previously served as a Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellow at Project Bread in Boston, MA, where they worked on child nutrition program policy, and at RESULTS Educational Fund in Washington, D.C., where they worked on housing and tax policy. Prior to this, they interned and volunteered in various roles related to education, immigration, and criminal justice.
Blake has a B.A. in Sociology with a concentration in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of Tennessee.