Healthy Habits Team

Our Healthy Habits Nutrition Education Team focuses on sharing healthful recipes and nutrition education with communities around Rhode Island. They’ve gone virtual – so now you can have access to all of the resources this team of trained educators and nutritionists has to offer, all geared toward anyone looking for tips and advice in developing a healthy life. Meet the team, below!


Melissa Furtado

Melissa is the Community Nutrition Manager at the RI Community Food Bank and manages the Healthy Habits, Eating Well on a Budget Program. Melissa has over 11 years of experience in community nutrition, working in community health centers and in schools with children, families and adults on improving their dietary lifestyles.  In addition, she is a Certified ServSafe Instructor and Proctor and facilitates food safety courses at the food bank for agency members and staff. Melissa holds a B.S. in Culinary Nutrition from Johnson & Wales University. Part of Melissa’s role at the Food Bank is to help build a healthier food environment in RI food pantries and meal sites.  Melissa is trilingual and teaches classes and works with families in English, Portuguese and Spanish.


Flannery Sullivan

Flannery is a Community Nutrition Coordinator at the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. She moved to Rhode Island from Maryland in 2016 to study Culinary Nutrition at Johnson & Wales University. While at JWU, Flannery studied nutrition needs across the lifespan and for many different medical conditions.  She also has experience cooking for different dietary needs.  Flannery completed her nutrition internship with the Food Bank in the summer of 2019. Shortly after graduating, Flannery became a full-time member of the Healthy Habits team and plays an integral part in the program. Flannery is a certified Food Safety Manager.


Yesenia Barnier

Yesenia is a Community Nutrition Coordinator at the Rhode Island Community Food Bank.  Yesenia started at the Food Bank as an intern for the healthy Habits program and then became a full-time member of the team.  She is bilingual and teaches classes in English and Spanish, making her a fundamental part of the team.  She comes to us from Rhode Island College with a background in Community Health and Wellness with a concentration in Public Health. Her degree integrates the fields of education, wellness, and public health. Yesenia is also a certified Food Safety Manager.


Theresa Beeley

Theresa Beeley is a Community Nutrition Coordinator at the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. She was born and raised in Rhode Island, and graduated Johnson & Wales University in May of 2021 with a Bachelor’s in Culinary Nutrition. While at JWU, Theresa also got her degree in Baking and Pastry Arts, and has been working in the food industry since she was 16. Theresa did her senior internship in the Nutrition department at Miriam Hospital, and loves to work with people and their individualized nutrition needs. She is also a certified Food Safety Manager.