2017 Class of Fellows: Food Insecurity

Ford’s Thirty Under 30 program is a yearlong course in leadership and philanthropy that matches nonprofits with Ford employees under age 30 in the U.S.

Back row (L-R): Ford Fund Director Janet Lawson; Cory von Achen, Sustainability, Environment & Safety Engineering; Austin Thind, Product Development; Natasha Reed, Office of General Counsel; Mackenzie Fankell, Ford Motor Credit Company; Casie Ocana, Marketing; Hannah Bailey, Product Development; Nicole Kruse, Sustainability, Environment & Safety Engineering; Erin Sauter, Product Development; Ford Motor Company Fund President Jim Vella; Kelsey Schmitz, Marketing; Ford Fund Manager Rene Palileo Middle row (L-R): Alex Kewney*; Clinton Mejias, Product Development; Kelly Bedro, Product Development; Sarah Perry, Marketing; Kyle Ness, Product Development; Ford Motor Company Executive Chairman Bill Ford; Kimberly Barr, Product Development; Michael Orr, Manufacturing; Andrew Steinman, Product Development; L’Nard Tufts, Product Development; Christopher Craft, Product Development; Boratha Tan, Product Development Front row (L-R): Toni Davis, Product Development; Caroline Wells, Finance; Christopher La Boo, Purchasing; Lauren Morrison, Marketing; Michael Riffenburg, Product Development; Chanel Jeon, Ford Motor Company Credit; Nihala Thanikkal, Advanced Engineering and Manufacturing; Matthew Mckenzie, Information Technology; Ahmed Khalid, Product Development, David Root, Product Development *Alex Kewney replaced by Anthony Papa, Marketing (not pictured)


Who We Work With


Detroit, Mich., provides counseling, advocacy and material assistance when possible and appropriate as well as responding to other human needs in the community.

Proposed solution- The team created a unique approach to building brand identity for the organization, while increasing the impact on the community.

Fellows: Chris La Boo, Casie Ocana, Michael Orr, Kelsey Schmitz, and Caroline Wells


Taylor, Mich., a client choice food pantry, “Ensuring No One Goes Hungry” in the communities they serve.

Proposed solution- The team introduced technology tools and other modern business methodologies to improve client effectiveness.

Fellows: Mackenzie Fankell, Chanel Jeon, Clinton Mejias, Erin Sauter, and Austin Thind


Southeast Michigan, a collaboration between United Way and Ford Motor Company, a fleet of Ford Transit Connect vehicles ‘Ford Mobile Food Pantries’ serve Southeastern Michigan every day, providing access to food through unique, responsive and impactful methods of collection and distribution.

Proposed solution- The team evaluated a successful food pantry network model and developed an innovative mobile, hydroponic nutrition delivery system.

Fellows: Chris Craft, Michael Riffenburg, Natasha Reed, Dave Root, and Nihala Thanikkal


Detroit, Mich., provides households with access to sufficient, nutritious food, and related resources to achieve a hunger-free community in southeast Michigan.

Proposed solution- The team created an organization and tracking method to define real-time community hunger relief needs.

Fellows: Khalid Ahmed, Nicole Kruse, Matthew McKenzie, Kyle Ness, and Cory von Achen


Detroit, Mich., provides services to the city’s homeless from their location in the heart of downtown Detroit.

Proposed solution- The team created an awareness and education system to expand and improve how the organization communicates its mission.

Fellows: Hannah Bailey, Kimberly Barr, Kelly Bedro, Boratha Tan, and L’Nard Tufts


Berkley, Mich., provides supplemental kosher food, necessities and enhancements of holidays and lifecycle events to those in need in the Jewish community.

Proposed solution- The team established an inventory and logistical support system to improve food delivery and client access.

Fellows: Toni Davis, Lauren Morrison, Tony Papa, Sarah Perry, and Andrew Steinman