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By Project Open Hand Team

Project Open Hand’s Nutrition Services team is at the heart of our organization’s mission to improve the health outcomes and quality of life of our clients who are living with critical illnesses and older adults in our community.

Providing an array of support for everyone that we serve, the team oversees consultations, the creation of nutritious meals, nutrition education, and support for our clients’ health needs, individual goals, and preferences.

RDs and Nutrition Assistants Support Nutrition Quality and Education

Located in both our San Francisco and Oakland grocery centers, Registered Dietitians (RDs) play a huge role in planning the menus at Project Open Hand. Working in close collaboration with our chefs, RDs use nutrition standards to build out a meal plan that adheres to the specific nutrient and energy needs of our clients. They oversee the nutrition quality and guidelines of our medically tailored meals, as well as the fresh produce and groceries that we provide in our grocery centers.

In addition to overseeing the quality and nutrition standards of the meals Project Open Hand provides, RDs provide one-on-one assessments and counseling sessions for our clients, as well as lead our group nutrition classes, to help them reach their health and nutrition goals. Since they are located on-site at our grocery centers, clients also have access to our RDs as they come for their regular grocery and meal pick-ups throughout the week.

Our nutrition assistants teach nutrition classes and provide cooking demonstrations to showcase healthy, nutrition-focused recipes that can be made at home. These cooking demonstrations are available in-person, as well as on Project Open Hand’s Nutrition Kitchen YouTube channel.

Meet the Team

Our team is constantly striving to innovate, expand our efforts, and seek out opportunities to improve our programs, sustainability, and impact on the community. It’s the combination of the unique skills that each of our team members bring that make them so critical to our operations.

The Project Open Hand Nutrition Team is well-known for their expertise, kindness, and deep love of vegetables (and vegetable-related puns). Currently, our team collectively speaks five different languages to support our clients: English, Spanish, Cantonese, Tagalog, and Portuguese.

Kristi, Senior Manager of Nutrition Services and Registered Dietitian

Kristi oversees the entire nutrition team, as well as the development and execution of Project Open Hand’s menus, nutrition education, and assessments. After graduating from Bastyr University in Seattle, Kristi completed her dietetic internship at San Francisco State University, and served as a dietitian in the Alameda Health System and at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. She joined Project Open Hand in 2014. 

Gloria, Food Quality and Innovation Program Manager

Gloria plays a pivotal role in connecting the Nutrition Team with our kitchen production, bringing new flavors, recipes, and nutritionally-focused products to our clients. Prior to working at Project Hand, Gloria led production management at a number of manufacturing and retail organizations. She holds degrees in Culinary Management from the College of Culinary Arts in San Francisco and Business Management from De La Salle University in Manila. She joined Project Open Hand in 2008.

Erika, Program Design Manager 

Erika leads teams across Project Open Hand to implement strategies that put our clients at the center of nutrition care, including deepening client feedback and engagement, and strengthening partnerships with local food systems, healthcare, and community resources. She holds her MPH in Public Health Nutrition from UC Berkeley and a B.S. in Biology. Prior to joining Project Open Hand in 2021, Erika worked as a program manager and health educator at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Yessica, Nutrition Assistant

As the Nutrition Assistant, Yessica provides bilingual services, supports nutrition assessments, and create nutritional educational materials for our clients. Yessica holds her degree in Communication Sciences from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, and her Nutrition Assistant certification from the City College of San Francisco. She joined Project Open Hand in 2018. 

Cecilia, Lead Bilingual Registered Dietitian

As the Lead Bilingual Registered Dietitian at Project Open Hand, Cecilia teaches nutrition classes and empowers clients to make informed nutrition choices that align with their culture and unique needs. Cecilia holds a B.S. in Nutrition and Food Sciences from CSU Chico, and completed her dietetic internship at San Francisco State University. She joined Project Open Hand in 2019.

Jenny, Registered Dietitian

Jenny is a Registered Dietitian based in our San Francisco Grocery Center. She studied Dietetics and Nutrition Science at San Francisco State University, and completed her dietetic internship in the Bay Area at the Golden Gate Dietetic Internship Program. She enjoys connecting with clients, and helping them to find small, impactful nutrition interventions that emphasize balanced eating and managing chronic conditions. 

Fernanda, Bilingual Registered Dietitian

Fernanda is a Bilingual Registered Dietitian based in our Oakland Grocery Center. After receiving her degree in Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University, Fernanda completed her dietetic internship at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Fernanda loves helping clients to learn about nutrition recommendations for their health conditions. In addition to her work as an RD, Fernanda leads the Sustainability Working Group at Project Open Hand.

Ryan, Registered Dietitian

Ryan is a Registered Dietitian based in our Oakland Grocery Center. He holds an MPH in Public Health Nutrition, a Graduate Certificate in Food Systems, as well as a B.S. in Molecular Environmental Biology and a B.S. in Physiology and Metabolism, from UC Berkeley. He completed his dietetic internship at Kaiser Oakland. Ryan enjoys working with clients and helping them to find the best ways for them to manage their chronic conditions. 


In honor of National Nutrition Month in March, Project Open Hand is highlighting our services and programming that reach “Beyond the Table” throughout the month. Stay tuned for more articles and educational resources to help you make healthy choices.


1921 San Pablo Avenue
Oakland, CA 94612
(510) 622-0221
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San Francisco

730 Polk Street
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 447-2300
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