Board of Directors
Stephanie: President and Founder
Stephanie Glover Wilson is the President and Founder of Hunger Free—Unity in the Community. Although she was born and raised in Jersey City, she always had ties to Bayonne and now considers it home for her and her family. Stephanie has always advocated for the fundamental right to basic food security, often saying, “No one goes to bed hungry.” There is not a single person you could meet out in the community that would be a more fierce and fearless advocate for everyday people and families. Stephanie has worked and started several local food pantries in Jersey City before deciding to start HFUIC in Bayonne. Although the organization once only served Bayonne and parts of Jersey City, COVID created a need for more locations to be serviced, and Steph answered the call! It is clear in all of Stephanie’s work how passionate she truly is about taking care of our community.
Fun fact about Stephanie: She was the first African-American altar girl in the state of New Jersey out of St. Patrick’s Church in Jersey City, NJ!
Mrs. Kathi: Vice President
Kathi Miles, Vice President of the Executive Board of Hunger Free UIC, has been volunteering with this wonderful organization since its humble beginnings. As one of the OG volunteers and board members, she has seen HFUIC grow from only handling local distributions to becoming the only traveling food pantry in Hudson County. Known to all HF volunteers as Mrs. Kathi, she loves being part of an organization that is committed to tackling the issue of food insecurities that so many communities across New Jersey experience. Mrs. Kathi is living her best, most fun, retired life now, but she was a Jersey City Medical Center nurse for 39 years! Her dedication to every patient and person she has ever come across makes her the best Vice President and volunteer ever. Now, when she isn’t volunteering with Hunger Free, Mrs. Kathi gets to visit new destinations around the world on cruises (her preferred travel method).
Fun fact about Mrs. Kathi: Bugs Bunny is her favorite cartoon character!
Linda Cooper: Secretary
Linda Cooper is the Secretary of the Executive Board of Hunger Free—Unity in the Community (HFUIC) since its founding as a 501(c)(3) organization in June of 2021. Having been a secretary for her entire professional career, Linda is an expert in helping Hunger Free remain well-organized and efficient. Linda became aware of HFUIC after her husband Rich volunteered and saw just how many people and families were living with food insecurities. Although food insecurities and living in food deserts were always a reality in Hudson County’s communities, the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the issue and subsequently pushed HFUIC to travel throughout the county distributing to multiple communities. Her clerical experience helps this entirely volunteer-based organization to run smoothly, and her hope is that the organization continues to grow so it can continue to assist those who struggle.
Fun fact about Linda: She enjoys searching up yummy, new cookbook or baked goods’ recipes every chance she gets!
Richard Cooper: Treasurer
Richard Cooper is the Treasurer of the Executive Board of Hunger Free—Unity in the Community (HFUIC) since its founding as a 501(c)(3) organization in June of 2021. Rich has worked for 25 years in the wholesale liquor industry, and he joined HFUIC in September of 2019 when a co-worker asked him to volunteer to help give out food in Bayonne, NJ. After seeing the amazing work that Hunger Free did (and still does!) Rich could not even think about not coming back. The feeling of accomplishment and fulfillment after each day of giving out food to people who need the help truly makes all the hard work worth it. Not only does HFUIC provide people and families with basic food necessities, the organization also focuses on supplying as much nutritional value in the foods as possible. Making sure the funds are available to keep Hunger Free going each week can be challenging, but with all the help received from the executive board members and the volunteers, it always seems to be pulled off.
Fun fact about Rich: He loves learning about the origins of words and phrases and enjoys knowing how popular idioms came to be!
Christian Cooper: (Co-) VP of Distribution
Christian Cooper is a VP of Distribution for Hunger Free UIC. He started his journey with HFUIC upon returning home from a deployment to the Horn of Africa back in 2020. After coming home, he noticed his family’s involvement in the organization and started to volunteer every Saturday as well. Despite working and attending school full-time, Christian continued increasing his involvement and ultimately became a crucial figure in helping distribute the large quantities of food that were received each distribution day. Everyone at Hunger Free was so proud to see Christian graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Supply Chain Logistics & Maritime Port Management. Now, Christian is a Distribution Supervisor at a supplement company, which, along with his degree, has provided him with so much experience that assists HFUIC in its mission every Saturday. He plans on continuing his volunteer work in hopes of helping more families and more communities, and the organization is so grateful for his involvement.
Fun fact about Christian: He participates in obstacle courses throughout the year!
Jason Cooper: (Co-) VP of Distribution
Jason Cooper serves on the Hunger Free board alongside his brother as a VP of Distribution. The Cooper brothers help to ensure that there is an efficient flow of distribution every Saturday for the hundreds of individuals in need that come out. Similar to Christian, Jason has experience in distribution work, as he works as an Operations Supervisor for a liquor distribution service. This experience gives Jason a knack for thinking outside of the box and quickly solving any issues that arise during distribution days. Jason is an avid volunteer who takes a lot of pride in his work and loves what he does. When he found Mrs. Glover-Wilson’s organization, he knew he had to help it grow, and to this day, he regards his work with HFUIC as one of his greatest achievements.
Fun fact about Jason: Jason’s black cat is named Binx after the cat from the movie Hocus Pocus!
Cristina Garay: Financial Advisor
Cristina serves as the financial advisor for the Hunger Free board; in her role, she has been tasked with creating budgets for funding proposals and creating and maintaining financial statements for Hunger Free, which aids in the acquiring of grants. Cristina has been serving on the board for approximately a year, but prior to becoming a board member she assisted behind the scenes in other ways. She had seen the positive impact that HFUIC had on the community, so when a need for her skillset came around, she jumped on the opportunity. Outside of her volunteer work, Cristina currently works as an Invoice/Data Entry Clerk and is pursuing a Masters in Accounting so that she can obtain her CPA license. Hunger Free UIC is so grateful to have board members like Cristina with experience and skill sets that help it run smoothly and continue growing in its mission to feed Hudson County’s residents.
Fun fact about Cristina: There is not a single genre of music she does not listen to!
Anson Zhu: Volunteer Coordinator
Anson Zhu has been volunteering with Hunger Free—Unity in the Community for 3 years and is HFUIC’s Volunteer Coordinator. In his role, Anson receives and goes over all new volunteer applications, works with local high schools to help students receive their Service Learning hours, and is the liaison for any volunteer issues. He has also managed HFUIC’s social media accounts at times, predominantly for the purpose of being the first point of contact for prospective volunteers or people/families in need of food assistance. Outside of his work with Hunger Free, he is a supervisor at Kedem, a local liquor distributor and is pursuing a degree in Finance at New Jersey City University. Anson’s passion for volunteer work and for Hunger Free’s mission comes from his understanding of the value of a helping hand, and how it can so quickly change someone’s life.
Fun fact about Anson: He is our resident adrenaline junkie, enjoying any and all activities that get his heart pumping!
Charles Kuczynski: Board Member
Charles Kuczynski is a board member for Hunger Free—Unity in the Community. Coming from a World War II-era family of ten, he grew up with a deep sense of compassion and support for everyone around him, both loved ones and strangers alike. This foundation deepened during his early career as a New Jersey funeral director, and shaped his commitment to helping others in times of need. Over the course of more than three decades in executive roles in marketing, sales, public relations, and administrative work, he has had the opportunity to cultivate a versatile skill set that helps Hunger Free in so many ways. As a volunteer, he calls upon these skills to address food insecurities, with a focus on maintaining dignity and self-worth in the community. His personal experiences give him a profound understanding of the challenges associated with food insecurity and his assistance in HFUIC’s mission meaningfully align with his values and purpose.
Fun fact about Charles: He is lovingly called Uncle Charley by everyone in the Hunger Free UIC family!
Gertruda Ramos: Board Member
Gertruda Ramos, better known to everyone at the Hunger Free family as Trudy, is a board member for Hunger Free—Unity in the Community. She works as a registered nurse at Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, New Jersey and has been there for 25 years. Trudy lives in Bayonne, and it has been her hometown since emigrating from Poland over 30 years ago. Trudy started volunteering with Hunger Free at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic; she sees it as a way to give back to a city that welcomed her and strengthen her ties to the community as well. Trudy’s goal with her volunteer work is to play a part in making her community a better place, which includes improving the health and welfare of the people that are served by Hunger Free. As a nurse, Trudy is an expert on just how important eating nutritious food is and how greatly it influences our current and future health. Trudy is immensely grateful to Hunger Free for providing her with an opportunity to be a part of something so fulfilling and rewarding, and something that nourishes both the body and soul of the people we serve.
Fun fact about Trudy: Before becoming a nurse, Trudy was a teacher of English as a Second Language!
Virginia Petrucci: Board Member
Virginia Petrucci has been a volunteer and board member for Hunger Free—Unity in the Community since 2021. You may have seen the word “family” frequently used in the board members’ bios, but the volunteers truly are one big, happy family. Virginia recognizes that every volunteer is different culturally, spiritually, and professionally, but are all connected by our passions and hearts to feed all those that are hungry. The need is overwhelming, but week after week, HFUIC makes a dent in the problem of food insecurities across Hudson County. As a long-time resident of Hudson County, Virginia feels extremely connected to Hunger Free’s mission. Virginia is a Licensed Massage Therapist as well as a Licensed Realtor. She lives with her husband, a musician, and her 2 fur babies. She loves to cook, entertain, and put her loved ones at the forefront of her life. For Virginia, service is love in action.
Fun fact about Virginia: She is a longtime volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, where over the course of 12 years she has helped build 25 homes, including 1 in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina!