Meet Rachel!

Rachel joined our team as a driver in the summer of 2014, get to know her more here!

Rachel Garside

How did you arrive at Lovin’ Spoonfuls?
I have worked for a non profit for the majority of my professional life in the area of animal medical care.  Always being a passionate animal welfare advocate, I learned quickly the current state of our food system and it’s flaws with abundance and need.  Having volunteered with various relevant non profits, my Lovin’ Spoonfuls connection came naturally and was the perfect organization for a career transition and luckily for me, they were hiring.

Describe a typical work day. How does your job differ from the average truck driver?
As you may guess, I do a lot of driving in and outside of Boston.  My day is very unique in that I am regularly interacting with donors and beneficiaries, rewarding on both fronts since all involved have something to gain.  Along with the active connection Lovin’ Spoonfuls literally makes everyday by bringing food to communities in need, there is a daily fulfillment of serving people of Boston in need.  Also, my driving skills have improved immensely since joining the team!

What’s the strangest/most exotic food item you’ve picked up from a vendor?
The most exotic food I found were red bananas, which are a type of banana with reddish skin. They are smaller and plumper than the common banana. They are also softer and sweeter than the yellow varieties, with a slight raspberry flavor. Being a bit of a culinary guru this was the first time I had seen these and was intrigued.

What are some of your favorite tunes/radio stations that you listen to on the road?
Truth be told, I mostly listen to NPR because I am a major nerd, and its easier to listen to current events versus read them. In addition, I love Sugarland and the D-Chicks for some good sing alongs, classic rock bluegrass, and classical if the mood strikes.

Do your friends and family consider you a good cook? Any signature recipes?
Yes, or at least I hope so. Being vegan, I am almost always looking for new exciting recipes that taste great for everyone. Having to make lots of substitutions it has taken much practice to create successful dishes for both vegetarians and carnivores, but I feel as though I have come close to mastering vegan cuisine. I’ve been told I make a killer vegan chili and chocolate chip cookies.

What would we find in your refrigerator right now?
Always kale and arugula along with many other veggies. Homemade hummus, mushroom soup, fresh juice, cashew milk, and some organic white wine.

What’s your favorite childhood food memory?
Growing up in a large family and being the youngest of eight, food was a bit of a competition at home and waste was almost non existent. I loved having spaghetti night, pasta is my weakness. Having a lobsterman for a father, we often had lots of shellfish and seafood, I was lucky in that sense.

Has this job made you more aware of your own consumption habits? Have you made any significant changes as a result?
This job has absolutely changed my consumption habits. Coming into Lovin’ Spoonfuls with general food insecurity and food waste knowledge was certainly a starting point, but actually seeing the excess and working with this issue daily was even more eye opening. I am often thinking of ways to reduce waste in my own life and reducing my carbon footprint. I like to think I have a positive impact on friends and family to motivate similar lifestyle adjustments as I lead by example.

What’s your favorite place/restaurant/neighborhood in Boston?
Growing up and living in Dorchester the majority of my life, I am loyal and have to admit it is my favorite neighborhood. It is a very diverse area of the city bringing together many cultures with lots of great potential and has great neighborhoods and supportive communities. There has also been a lift in the restaurant culture over the past ten years, among my favorites are Dot 2 Dot cafe, and Savin Bar and Kitchen. A shout out to JP is in order, since it is a close second with a great Ethiopian joint called the Blue Nile.

What is your motto?
Dress for the weather, and take it one day at a time. SImple but important for my sanity.

Who are your heroes?
Needless to say my family, in particular my sister Kimberly. I also have great respect for educators, animal and environmental advocates, and active and motivated policy makers who work towards repairing our food system. In addition, anyone willing to open themselves up to learn about our mission and food excess and insecurity.