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.

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.

Ben New

Ben Croghan, Hunger Fight Manager 

Ben joins Meals from the Heartland after a long career as a Graphic Designer working in advertising. Ben has years of non-profit experience, working as Festival Director for the Des Moines Music Coalition, coordinating the Gross Domestic Product and Little BIG Fest music festivals. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Station 1 Records. Ben is an avid movie watcher and loves to collect vinyl records. On weekends, you’ll probably find him at a local music venue enjoying live music with friends.

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, Operations 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, Assistant Office Manager

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.

Debby Hudson, Sales Manager

Debby first packaged with Meals from the Heartland at Lutheran Church of Hope in 2007 with her husband Tim and her twin boys, Wyatt and Corbin. After continued involvement through her church group and the West Des Moines Leadership Academy, she left her 20+ years position in the health club industry to join the MftH team, giving her the opportunity to do something close to her heart while using her professional experience and natural ability to build relationships for God’s purpose.

Outside of work, you can find Debby in activities that involve spending time with family and friends such as camping, golfing, bowling, hiking, attending Renaissance fairs or whatever suits the mood.

Joy Johnson, Director of Development

Joy packaged her first “Meal from the Heartland” alongside her family at Lutheran Church of Hope back in 2007 and has been an active volunteer ever since. After a 30-year marketing career, Joy felt a growing interest to transition her expertise into a more service oriented vocation, and Meals from the Heartland was just the right place to fulfill that passion. She is excited to get a front row seat to see how God plans to grow this mission moving forward.

When not at work, Joy can be either be found on a tennis court or adventuring outdoors with her family, friends and a beloved golden retriever.

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.

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.

Tom New 2022

Tom Pigneri, Hunger Fight Manager

Tom began volunteering in September 2021 after retiring from a thirty-three year career in logistics.  Primarily involved with perishable food distribution throughout his career, Tom was involved with salvaging/donating food products and learned first-hand the immense need of those who struggle to meet basic nutrition requirements. Tom lives in Des Moines and has two adult children in Oregon and California. When the weather isn’t cooperating for outdoor activities, Tom can often be found in the kitchen baking biscotti and other Italian treats.

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 farm.

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 looking to leave the corporate world and give back to the community. She has a background in marketing and graphic design. Kali lives in Urbandale 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.