Deb Hicks joined our team as a Food Rescue Driver in July
How did you arrive at Lovin’ Spoonfuls?
I first learned about LS when I saw their job posting on Idealist.org. I was immediately intrigued by the work they did and impressed by their team’s very informed perspectives on food-related issues. For me the most important thing about a job is being part of a strong, supportive, forward-thinking community, as well as feeling like the work itself is making a positive impact on this world. I’m so glad I found Lovin’ Spoonfuls!
Describe a typical work day. How does your job differ from the average truck driver?
A typical work day starts with a nice bike ride through Harvard and across the Charles to LS headquarters. There I meet with whichever colleague I’m riding or driving with for the day, usually sometime between 8 and 8:30am. Since most of us arrive around the same time, we enjoy a few minutes of friendly banter while making coffee or preparing our bags for the day’s haul. Once we’ve checked our respective vehicles, we’re off! Each day is unique, as our partners vary according to scheduling, availability of or need for product, etc. It’s nice to ride or drive with a different colleague almost every day, as I get to spend time with not only each of them, but I also get to interact with many different partners!
I would say that the biggest difference between my job and the average truck driver (without having ever been one…) is likely the culture and attitude around well-being that is cultivated at LS. The work of a truck driver can be taxing, given time spent sitting and driving, heavy lifting, and (ofttimes) long hours that could lead to poor diet habits. I’ve only been with LS for a month, but have already seen that they continuously strive to avoid and counteract each of these potential hazards of the job.
What’s the strangest/most exotic food item you’ve picked up from a vendor?
The other week Reggie and I did a pickup at Volante Farms, and on top of a box of produce was a branch of lychees. I have eaten lychees before, but never seen them on a branch! They were beautiful!
What are some of your favorite tunes/radio stations that you listen to on the road?
I’m new to the Boston area and typically travel on two wheels, so I don’t know stations too well yet. However, I do like to listen to Democracy Now! at noon on WZBC 90.3, and who could leave out Jacob’s CDs!
Do your friends and family consider you a good cook? Any signature recipes?
I guess so. It would be pretty bad if I didn’t know a thing or two after living in Italy for years!
What would we find in your refrigerator right now?
Some produce from my most recent visit to Haymarket, a few different types of olives and cheese, eggs, butter…and then there’s Ben and Jerry’s and When Pigs Fly in the freezer!
What’s your favorite childhood food memory?
I used to love making submarine sandwiches with my dad. He would buy at least half a dozen loaves of Italian bread, a bunch of deli meats and cheeses, and toppings. We would set up a type of assembly line to make the subs, layering ingredient after ingredient. All the while our dog, Lucy, would hang around in the kitchen. Every now and then dad would “accidentally” throw a piece of meat over his shoulder for Lucy…a gesture I thoroughly enjoyed because it was so blatantly against house rules. Only he could bend them. Most of the subs would end up at his work the following day, but we would enjoy our personal subs for dinner those evenings!
Has this job made you more aware of your own consumption habits? Have you made any significant changes as a result?
Definitely. I have been thinking a lot about my own aesthetic pickiness when purchasing produce. Despite avoiding some “perfect” looking produce like the plague (Red Delicious apples, for example), I’m certainly guilty of denying food a place in my basket, and hence, plate. Since we “vote” with our purchases at the supermarket, by avoiding “bad-looking” good food, we are essentially abetting a culture of food waste.
What’s your favorite place/restaurant/neighborhood in Boston?
The North End. But I’m partial. There are so many great places in Boston I have yet to explore! (However, I do really like to buy olives and cheeses and the occasional loaf of bread at Salumeria Italiana on Richmond St.)
What is your motto?
“Live simply so that others may simply live.” -Gandhi. It’s something I aspire to.
Who are your heroes?
My Gran. She has such a good heart. Not a day passes that she dedicates to herself. Not to mention she’s an amazing cook…at Christmas alone she literally makes thousands of cookies!
Amy Goodman is also one of my heroes. This world could benefit from more impartial and more in-depth journalism. She is an inspiration!