Jason Battani, Hunger Fight Manager

Jason has volunteered at Meals from the Heartland since 2012. He’s also run a Mobile Hunger Fight at his church, St. Mary of Nazareth, for 7 years and counting. He joined MftH part-time in July 2019 to lead Thursday evening and Saturday morning packaging events. Jason works full-time at Principal in cybersecurity. He’s married to Susan, and they have 3 children.


Lisa Behrends, Director of Development

Lisa comes to Meals from the Heartland with 20 years of experience in management, customer relations, and engaging with volunteers. Her passion is giving back to the greater Des Moines community and positively impacting the world. Lisa lives in West Des Moines and is excited to be part of the MftH mission, as she has traveled to 21 countries.

Shellie Billings, Office Manager

Shellie started working for Meals from the Heartland in May 2012 when there were just 3 staff members. She is married to Steve, and they have 2 children, Alex and Jayme. Her husband was blessed to visit an orphanage in Uganda in 2014 where he saw Meals from the Heartland rice and soy meals being prepared to be served to the children. Shellie spends most of her free time riding horses.

Greg DeHaai, Executive Director 

After 25 years in Corporate America, Greg was called to use his experience, skills and gifts toward serving others. Seeing as how he has packaged meals since 2007, Meals from the Heartland became the obvious choice, and he joined the team in 2015. Greg enjoys watching the packagers have fun while they make a difference in others’ lives. He believes this is only the beginning for Iowans making a difference in the world around us.

Georgie Filber, Warehouse and Hunger Fight Manager

After hosting Mobile Hunger Fights for 7 years with his church in Oskaloosa, Georgie joined our staff in 2017. He now helps churches, schools, businesses and individuals cultivate and put into action their desire to serve the Lord and the world through feeding the hungry. Georgie and his wife Erica have 4 brave and adventurous boys Will, Bennett, Matthis and Cooper.

Megan Fox, Administrative Assistant

Meg joined Meals from the Heartland part-time November 2019. In Meg’s spare time you can find her with her husband, Matt, and their adorable kids, Cael and Heidi. She also enjoys working out and serving where she’s needed at her church.


Andrew Hirst, Hunger Fight Manager

Andrew joined Meals from the Heartland in August 2021 as a Hunger Fight Manager. Prior to moving to Des Moines in 2020, Andrew worked in Zambia as a Food Security Specialist with the Peace Corps for 2 years. Attending the University of Iowa, Andrew worked with community groups on issues of food security and sustainability. When not working or volunteering on food security issues in the greater Des Moines area, Andrew can be found beekeeping, biking, or baking.

Susan Ling, Hunger Fight Manager

Since 2016, Susan Ling has lead packaging shifts with MftH as a Pack Master. In October of 2020, Susan joined the MftH team to lead Tuesday evening and several Saturday morning packaging shifts. Susan is married to Marlyn and has a son, Alex, who is attending the University of Iowa. Susan works full-time for a student loan company and is a huge Cyclone fan. You might also catch her cheering on the Texas Rangers and the Packers.

Mike Lowe, Sales Manager

Mike started with Meals from the Heartland in 2020 but is definitely no stranger to our organization. He and his wife Suzy and their 3 children, Katherine, Matthew and Emily, have been packaging meals since 2007. Mike has nearly 30 years of sales in the pharmaceutical and medical device industry and is anxious to guide MftH into market expansion throughout the midwest. Mike is active in the music and men’s ministry at Lutheran Church of Hope in West Des Moines.


Sandy Niland, Volunteer Coordinator

Sandy has been with Meals from the Heartland since 2015 where she enjoys saying “yes” to volunteer requests. She has always enjoyed puzzles and continues to do so by trying to find the best fit for each volunteer who comes through the door. She firmly believes that everyone can help to fight hunger. Sandy is married to Brent and has 3 sons who keep her busy with activities and trips to the grocery store.

Joel O’Dell, Hunger Fight Supervisor

Joel joined Meals from the Heartland in February 2012. Prior to this, Joel and his family served as Director of Robin’s Nest Children’s Home near Montego Bay, Jamaica, for about two years. It was during this time that Joel was able to help distribute our food to the less fortunate of Jamaica. As the Hunger Fight Manager, Joel is responsible for managing a small but mighty team of event managers who host Mobile Hunger Fight packaging events all over the heartland at schools, churches and businesses. Joel and his wife, Angie, have 3 kids and live in Waukee. He enjoys many outdoor activities, including cycling, walking his dogs and cheering for the Iowa Hawkeyes and Denver Broncos.

Brandi Reed, Hunger Fight Manager

Brandi has been with Meals from the Heartland part-time since February 2016. She leads Wednesday evening and Saturday morning packaging events. In addition to work at Meals, Brandi works full-time in West Des Moines and stays busy spending time with her husband, Eric, and his daughter, volunteering at church, playing co-ed softball and fishing at a family pond.

Jill Richey, Administrative Assistant

Jill came to Meals from the Heartland in January 2014 and has volunteered at Meals from the Heartland at the Lutheran Church of Hope Thanksgiving packaging event. She lives in Mitchellville with her husband, Casey, and their 2 children, Colton and Caity. Jill spends most of her free time shuttling kids to practices.

Angela White, Hunger Fight Manager

Angela joined the Meals from the Heartland team in October 2019 leading Tuesday and Friday morning packaging events. She is blessed to be married to her best friend Todd, raising 5 very loved children. They are looking forward to welcoming a son-in-law into their family this year. In her free time, Angela enjoys organic gardening, anything outdoors and is passionate about natural health.


Kali Zimmerman, Marketing Manager

Kali joined our team in 2020 with a background in marketing and graphic design after looking to leave the corporate world and give back to the community. Kali lives in Ankeny and has a daughter attending the University of Iowa. After being a Cyclone fan her entire life, she is learning to say, “Go Hawkeyes!”

If you have any questions about Meals from the Heartland, please contact us.