Need food? Call our SNAP Hotline: 215-430-0556

Our Staff

Laura Wall, Executive Director 
215-430-0555 ext. 100,
Laura Wall brings more than two decades' experience leading nonprofit organizations. Prior to joining the Coalition in 2013, Laura headed Inter-Faith Housing Alliance, which provides housing to homeless families in Montgomery County. Laura's experience also includes heading Aurora Rehabilitation Services in Harrisburg serving adults with mental illness, and she was the founding director of The Kids' Center, which serves at-risk children in Illinois. Laura's community involvement has included positions as vice chair of the Cumberland County Commission on Women, as a member of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission's Task Force on Civil Tension, The North Penn Community Health Foundation volunteer board, and chair of the North Penn CEO Roundtable. Laura studied Philosophy at MacMurray College and holds a certificate in Non Profit Executive Leadership from Bryn Mawr Graduate School of Social Work. She is the 2012 recipient of the YaffeSmith Civil Rights Award for her work promoting ethnic and interfaith understanding, the recipient of the 2014 Martin Luther King Service Award and she is the author of Being the Change, a book profiling individuals and organizations working to better their communities.

Noelle Dames, Community Educator
215-430-0555 ext. 108,
As SNAP Outreach Coordinator, Noelle Dames helps strategize and implement the Coalition's efforts to reach more low-income individuals and connect them with public benefits. Before joining the Coalition in early 2012, Noelle served as Program Coordinator for Greensgrow Farms, where she managed operations of the Community Kitchen's business incubator and culinary program. She also successfully launched the Local Initiative for Food Education (LIFE) program, a low-income CSA with a cooking and nutrition component, which was created to improve access to fresh food for SNAP participants. Noelle holds a B.A. in Geography and Human Environment from San Francisco State University.

Julie Engle, SNAP Hotline Counselor
215-430-0555 ext. 105,

As the SNAP Case Manager, Julie advocates for clients to ensure that they are able to successfully obtain and keep the benefits they are entitled to.  Julie obtained her B.S. in Public Health from Stockton University, and then served two years in AmeriCorps, including the National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) and the National Health Corps in Philadelphia. Upon discovering the work being done by the non-profit community during her time in AmeriCorps, she knew she was meant to continue to help underserved communities. Julie’s main goal in life is to improve the health and wellness of those around her. She hopes to help the Coalition’s clientele by connecting them to SNAP and other services throughout PA. Julie is also a certified yoga teacher and enjoys teaching yoga, meditation, and mindfulness in various communities in Philadelphia.

Derek Felton, Community Organizer
215-430-0555 ext. 106,
Derek has been an active part of the food community since 1968, serving in various capacities including as an executive chef for Sheraton Hotels on Maryland's eastern shore and as a culinary trainer at Warwick College on the eastern shore. Derek moved to Philadelphia in 1987 where he worked for the Marriott Corporation as a Manager Trainer, before being promoted to General Manager. He is the Executive Director of Fresh Start Food and Resource Services, a local food pantry. He has a degree in Hospitality Management.  Derek's work is strengthened by his personal journey out of poverty. At The Coalition Against Hunger, he is the central point of contact for pantries and soup kitchens, facilitating monthly meetings and workshops, conducting site visits and helping to secure donated food for those in need.  He has received numerous awards, but those closest to his heart come from his peers and clients.

Kathy Fisher, Policy Director
215-430-0555 ext. 121,
Kathy Fisher joined the Coalition in Aug. 2014. As our Policy Director, she performs research and policy analysis, presents information to elected officials, service providers and community members, and works with a wide-range of anti-hunger and nutrition partners to promote policies and programs that will best serve those who struggle with hunger in our communities. Kathy joins our team with nearly twenty years of social service and advocacy experience, many of them working at Public Citizens for Children and Youth focused on family economic security issues, including child nutrition, welfare (TANF), and tax policies and programs. She has her J.D. and M.S.W. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and completed her undergraduate work at Rutgers University.

Michael Ginder, Operations Manager
215-430-0555 ext. 116,
Michael Ginder has 20 years of nonprofit experience. From the beginning of his nonprofit career, he immersed himself in his work gaining as much knowledge as he could about volunteer management, helping with fundraisers, delivering education programs to managing all the business aspects of running an organization. He was a founding member of The Zen Society and the head cook, where he prepared nutritious vegetarian meals for the community. He is the former Executive Director of Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge and currently a board member of Freedom Center for Wildlife. Most recently he was Vice President of Operations for BBC Worldwide, a for-profit third-party logistics company. Michael holds a B.S. degree from Temple University in Biology. He has a certificate of Nonprofit Management from the Enterprise Center at BCC and a certificate of Nutritional Therapy from the Nutritional Therapy Institute.

Michele Lofton, Director of Developement
215-430-0555 ext. 111,
With more than fifteen years of experience in fund development, Michele Lofton joined the Coalition Against Hunger in April 2018 as its first Director of Development. In this role, she oversees all fundraising and grants management initiatives including the Walk Against Hunger—one of the Coalition’s signature events that helps raise more than $250,000 in funds for food pantries, soup kitchens and various other anti-hunger agencies in the Greater Philadelphia region. Prior to joining the Coalition, Michele helped to secure thousands of dollars in funding for various non-profit organizations in the region including Center School in Abington, PA; Saint Malachy School in Philadelphia, PA and Montgomery County CADCOM in Norristown, PA. Her previous experience includes managing annual fund and major gift programs, grant prospecting and management, and implementing and overseeing special event fundraisers such as galas, auctions, golf tournaments and 5K Run/Walks. Michele holds a B.A. in political science from Temple University, an M.A. in strategic communications from Seton Hall University, and an MBA with a concentration in public administration from the Keller Graduate School of Management at DeVry University.

Claire Richardson, SNAP Hotline Counselor
215-430-0555 ext. 107,
Claire Richardson comes to the Coalition after a personal experience with food insecurity moved her to want to help. This has included working as a Market Associate for the Food Trust, and volunteering with the Coalition Against Hunger's SNAP Hotline. Claire is a former veterinary nurse with the University of Pennsylvania, and a graduate of Temple University's Health Information Professions program. Claire is currently enrolled in American Public University's environmental science program with a concentration in sustainability. 

Tanya Thampi-Sen, Community Nutrition Program Manager
215-430-0555 ext. 101,

Tanya Thampi-Sen, MPH, RD has nearly 20 years of experience in the fields of health, hunger and nutrition.  Tanya has worked with the Coalition Against Hunger since 2000 and previously worked as an Outreach Coordinator for the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program and as Education Coordinator for Reading Terminal Farmers Market Trust (now The Food Trust). As Nutrition Program Manager for the Coalition, Tanya teaches community members how to eat healthy on a budget and advises local food pantries and soup kitchens on ways to provide healthier food to their clients. In 2013, Tanya led the Coalition’s groundbreaking efforts to create a new model for food pantries in Philadelphia. Unlike most food pantries, Green Light Pantries provide only highly nutritious food to their clients as well as nutrition workshops, health screenings and other services.