Meet The Women Behind The Mission

Project Bread

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Shining A Spotlight on Female Leaders in Honor of Women’s Day

No matter who you are or where you’re from, chances are there are women you can’t imagine moving through the world without. They lift us up, cheer us on, and guide us through life’s highest and lowest moments–and still, they are underestimated and excluded. 

But at Project Bread, we know that when women and girls are given equitable opportunities as their male counterparts, there's no telling what they'll become.

Of our 82 full-time staff members, 87% identify as women, and 82% of our organization’s leadership identifies as women. Project Bread’s success is proof of what happens when women feel free to show up as they are, and are uplifted to achieve their dreams. 

Stick around 'til the end for some advice from Project Bread's President & CEO, Erin McAleer!

Here are just some of the amazing things Project Bread’s women in charge have been recognized for recently:


Tune Into Project Bread’s Female Leaders

Project Bread’s radical approach to hunger, which has been recognized by the White House for its innovative utilization of existing community solutions to hunger, is almost completely run on the ideas and hard work of women across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 


By now you must have heard the three pillars of this radical approach: programs, partnerships, and policy. But what does that work look like? 

The truth is that no painter, not even Frida Kahlo, could encapsulate the full landscape of Project Bread's work in just one still image. Luckily, one of our female leaders can tell you all about it.

In this 12-minute interview, Sharon Johnson, Project Bread’s Assistant Director of Child Nutrition Outreach, outlines the details of our organization’s mission and scope of impact while diving into how we support schools and summer sponsors statewide.


Anyone curious about what to expect from The 56th Walk for Hunger should tune into this iHeart Radio WBZ Interview.

At around the 20-minute mark, you’ll get the inside scoop on Project Bread’s iconic event from Alexa Drolette, Project Bread’s Senior Director of Development, Individual & Corporate Giving. 

Professional fundraiser and the true mastermind behind connecting passionate individuals with Project Bread’s mission, Alexa tells listeners about how gratifying and joyful The Walk is for all participants, and how it changes the lives of families, seniors, and individuals experiencing a time of need in Massachusetts.

M health fair: mujeres que impactan en la salud


Getting To The Root of Massachusetts’ Food Problem

There’s no denying that good food is the key to good health. Recognizing this link, as well as the connection between lived-experience and solutions to a problem, Project Bread’s Vice President Catalina López-Ospina led the charge at creating our very first Council of Experts with Lived Experience in 2023. 

Through this program, we invited individuals to contribute their expertise and co-create solutions that will make it easier for others living in Massachusetts to access and afford food with dignity.

Check out this El Mundo Boston Interview, “Women’s Day: Their Impact on Health in Massachusetts” with Catalina López-Ospina, Vice President of Project Bread.


Professional Chef, Natural Born Community Leader

You’ve probably seen Project Bread Chef Educator, Sherry Hughes’ bright smile all across our social media– can you blame us? 

The role of a Chef Educator requires imagination, patience, compassion, and of course a skilled palate. From when she first started with us to now, Sherry has helped transform the way kids in Massachusetts see school meals.

Follow Project Bread on InstagramFacebook, Twitter (X), and LinkedIn to see what Sherry and the rest of our chefs are up to!

sherry at school visit
Khara Burns


Recognition For A Vital Visionary

Khara Shearrion, Project Bread’s very own Senior Director of SNAP Outreach Programs has been honored as one of the distinguished recipients of Profile in Diversity Journal’s Black Leadership Award. If her name rings a bell, it’s because she’s often emailed you to share stories of the people you make a difference for every day through your support of Project Bread. 

In her 20 years at Project Bread, Khara has brought a whole new vision of our FoodSource Hotline to life through her unique perspectives and compassionate leadership. She always puts peoples’ needs first as she provides compassionate food assistance, and her commitment to service and advocacy is something that we could never take for granted


Calm, Cool Communications: Project Bread's PR Pro

As the Assistant Director of Program Communications at Project Bread, Raina Searles Sibanda vibrantly leads the organization's public relations strategy with innovation and dedication. In 2023, Raina was honored by COLOR's POWER 40 Under 40, a Boston publication celebrating outstanding young professionals of color who are driving change and embodying leadership in today’s landscape. 

Her advocacy for accessibility and data-driven decisions has led many impactful campaigns, including the successful media campaign for permanent free school meals in Massachusetts. After this recent win for students in our state, Raina continues to inspire others through her transformative contributions and unwavering dedication to creating positive change through her commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Raina at The Walk for Hunger
douglas at pride parade


“I consider myself extremely fortunate to be a member of a leadership team that is composed of such powerful and smart female leaders.  I have never experienced such a collaborative, supportive, and impactful team in my career.  I believe it is a testament to leadership styles that set others up for success and authentically invest in each other and everyone in the organization.  I see the same dynamics in the work with my team where I am the sole male-identified individual. I cherish the way that my team sets titles and egos aside and focuses on creating an environment where everyone can do their best work.  I hope that my experience working on these teams can speak to the importance of inclusivity in all organizations and the importance of valuing difference and diversity at all levels of the organization. I will always treasure how I have been so accepted in a female-dominant environment, and it has made me a better professional for the experience.”

- Douglas Flores, Chief Operating Officer at Project Bread


Erin McAleer: She’s Not Bossy, She’s The Boss

To know her is to admire her – Erin McAleer is President and CEO of Project Bread. 

From defining our organization’s theory of change and intended impact to spearheading the broadening of our radical approach to hunger, Erin has transformed Project Bread.

In all she does, Erin is dedicated to improving the systems that shape our world, and thus the lives of each and every one of us. And like a true leader, she recognizes the importance of nurturing the growth of each individual who helps bring her innovations to fruition. 

Erin McAleer, President & CEO of Project Bread


An Interview With Project Bread’s Fearless Leader

Get ready to dive into the vibrant world of Project Bread's powerhouse CEO & President, Erin McAleer! Learn how leadership can transcend the boardroom through the everyday thoughts of a remarkable working woman.


Step Forward In Solidarity

Project Bread’s mission is to alleviate the strain of hunger for everyone in Massachusetts. Last summer, with the help of thousands of partners, we saved families $1,200/month/child by ensuring that all Massachusetts students would be fed nutritious food at school. 

But even with this life-changing relief, the increasing cost of living still holds many families in Massachusetts back from being able to afford everything they need. Over 114,105 women and children statewide depend on The Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program for daily access to critical nutrition and healthcare resources.

Thankfully for the 1 in 4 families with children experiencing food insecurity right now, there are people like you who are ready to help.

Register & Fundraise for The Walk for Hunger!!

The Walk for Hunger is a Project Bread’s annual fundraising event, where thousands of motivated Mass residents come together to have fun and raise funds to end hunger in Massachusetts. 

Funds raised through this fun-filled event go directly to dismantling barriers to food in communities all over the Commonwealth. 

Join 4,000 of your mission driven neighbors for a 3-mile low-incline loop around Boston Common on Sunday, May 5, 2024!

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