Meet Bob & Spencer, Lovin’ Spoonfuls Drivers

In 2013, we welcomed two new drivers to the team: Bob Burton and Spencer Meibos. Learn more about them both here!

Spencer Meibos

How did you arrive at Lovin’ Spoonfuls?
My fiancée had seen a post online about the position. I had taken some time off upon moving to Boston in 2010, and had started looking for work again at the end of 2012. I had been a chemical analyst for 13 years prior to moving here, so I had only been looking for positions in that field. Danielle (my beloved fiancée) suggested I try something new, so just for the fun of it, I looked into the company and what they were all about. Immediately, I was interested. I have always been of the belief that food is a right, not a privilege; and when I saw that Lovin’ Spoonfuls was of the same ethos, I knew I would fit right in. I applied, interviewed, trained, and here I am now; as excited as ever to be involved in such a great cause.

Describe a typical work day. How does your job differ from the average truck driver?
Each day consists of first collecting all of the product from the vendors, then distributing it to the beneficiaries. There are currently three of us driving now, so we’ve divided the stops up geographically (which makes sense, of course). We each have between about six to twelve total stops throughout the day, split between the vendors and the beneficiaries. So, basically, I drive around Eastern Massachusetts picking up nutritious food, and giving it to people who can see that it doesn’t go to waste. I’m not really sure what the term “average truck driver” means. I’ve never been any other kind of truck driver, so I can’t really say for sure how my job differs from anyone else’s. I can say that my work is very spiritually rewarding, and that is something I hope I never take for granted.

What’s the strangest/most exotic food item you’ve picked up from a vendor?
The first time I saw daikon radishes, I thought they were giant carrots that Bunnicula had gotten a hold of. I was happy to learn I was mistaken.

What are some of your favorite tunes/radio stations that you listen to on the road?
My truck, Big Bertha, has a CD player in it, so I get to burn myself new CDs every week to jam on the road. Frank Zappa is a staple of every week. I’ve been on a Marilyn Manson / Nine Inch Nails kick as of late as well. The new Justin Timberlake double album has also been heard coming from my truck lately. Music is the best.

Do your friends and family consider you a good cook? Any signature recipes?
Uh, no and no, unfortunately. So sad.

What would we find in your refrigerator right now?
Well, my better half has been out of town for 10 days, so I’m going to politely decline to answer that question.

What’s your favorite childhood food memory?
As far back as I can remember, my mom always made the most amazing spaghetti, with chicken and, what I now know to be a massive amount of garlic. I grew up thinking that was how all spaghetti tasted. I was so disappointed the first time I had spaghetti and it didn’t make my breath smell like garlic bread.

Has this job made you more aware of your own consumption habits? Have you made any significant changes as a result?
Absolutely. I don’t think I really wasted a lot of food before, but I definitely do everything I can now to make sure that the food we buy gets eaten.

What’s your favorite place/restaurant/neighborhood in Boston?
I’m a JP guy, all the way. Where else in Boston can you get the kind of diversity, cultural and terrestrial, that you can in Jamaica Plain? Jamaica Pond, The Arboretum, Franklin Park, Forest Hills Cemetery, JP Center, Hyde Square, Egleston Square… I love it all. It makes me feel at home.

What is your motto?
Do the next right thing.

Who are your heroes?
William Griffith Wilson, Robert Holbrook Smith

Robert Burton

How did you arrive at Lovin’ Spoonfuls?
Most of my career has been spent working with warehousing and freight companies. My mom, who volunteers at a food pantry, had asked me to help her one day with the pantry. I thoroughly enjoyed it and met a lot of nice people who had many stories to tell about where the food comes from and to whom it gets distributed. I became very interested in this kind of work so I started researching. I received information about Lovin’ Spoonfuls and what their organization did. I called and it was my lucky day; they invited me in for an interview. Greatest day of my life when I was offered a position to join the team!

Describe a typical work day. How does your job differ from the average truck driver?
A typical work day is anything but typical. Every day is different. You start your day getting into a vehicle that is clean and well equipped to do the job that is expected of you. It’s ‘people helping people’, as you collect and distribute, you meet and get to be on a first name basis with everyone. You enjoy talking about what you do, and why.

What’s the strangest/most exotic food item you’ve picked up from a vendor?
There are a lot of strange & exotic foods that I have never seen or even heard of before! I’m always asking people in the supermarkets what a product is, and I’ve learned a lot about different foods. Strangest item was a fruit called papaya.

What are some of your favorite tunes/radio stations that you listen to on the road?
I listen to the radio – mostly sports radio and country music.

Do your friends and family consider you a good cook? Any signature recipes?
The only cooking that I do is on the backyard grill. I do this year-round and love it.

What would we find in your refrigerator right now?
The refrigerator is full of variety of beverages (juice, milk, cream, eggnog), lots of fruit (apples, oranges, pears), breads (bagels, sliced bread), plenty of condiments (mustard, relish, ketchup), homemade tuna salad, and lots of leftovers (6 family members!).

What’s your favorite childhood food memory?
Raisin French toast with bananas & Vermont maple syrup

Has this job made you more aware of your own consumption habits? Have you made any significant changes as a result?
Yes, I’ve become more aware of healthier eating habits based on all the new foods which I was unaware of or unsure of how they tasted. Slow changes being made, slow!

What’s your favorite place/restaurant/neighborhood in Boston?
My favorite place in the Boston area is Boston Common. There are so many different activities going on there every day; whether it’s eating a hot dog from a cart, or a musician playing his guitar, or skating on the Frog Pond, or feeding pigeons. Any day you visit Boston Common, there will always be something you did not see the day before!

What is your motto?
No person should ever go hungry with all the food available to us.

Who are your heroes?
My family members. They are always there for me, without question.