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Melanie Lavelle

Founder, Benefit Kitchen

New York City

Melanie's work has focused on helping families move out of poverty for more than fifteen years. When she gets angry at seemingly intractable problems like income inequality, she makes software. Benefit Kitchen won the Grand Prize in Civic Engagement at Big Apps NYC, The Small Business Services "Neighborhood Challenge," and demoed at New York Tech Meetup. Melanie has created hundreds of eligibility algorithms for cities and states across the country and trained over 1,500 caseworkers on issues of poverty, basic needs budgets and benefit access. She is a graduate of American University and a former Peace Corps Volunteer.

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