Odessa Deffenbaugh


Odessa Deffenbaugh is the Director for Shelter, Support and Prevention services at CASPAR Inc. She is long time public health advocate, writer and mom.


Q: How/why did you become involved with Lovin’ Spoonfuls?
I was contacted by a Lovin’ Spoofuls staff person and we set up a meeting!

Q: Why does Boston need Lovin’ Spoonfuls?
Everyone needs Lovin’ Spoonfuls. Restaurants and grocers need it so that they can sleep at night. Throwing away all of that good food makes anyone cringe. Our guests at the homeless shelter need it because most are extremely dependent on shelter kitchens to meet their nutritional needs. More importantly, however, mealtimes offer comfort to people living on the streets and in shelters.

Q: What is your favorite recipe/way to use up leftovers?
My favorite way to use up leftovers is sautéing them and putting in it a wrap or tortilla.

Q: How does Lovin’ Spoonfuls’ help CASPAR?
Mealtimes are an important part of the day at the shelter. Guests look forward to finding out “what’s for dinner” and diversity in the meals helps folks have something to look forward to. Working with Lovin’ Spoonfuls allows us to improve meals, increase fresh fruit and vegetable consumption and help folks feel positively about their meal times.

Q: What drew you to work at CASPAR?
CASPAR Inc is doing cutting edge work in terms of reaching out to men and women living in the street and helping them connect to care that they might never receive otherwise. The work that front line staff do with homeless folks struggling with addiction and mental health issues is tremendous. As the Director of Shelter, Support and Prevention Programs at the agencies, I see staff reaching some of the most neglected members of our community and it is humbling to witness what the power of human connection can do. People don’t just need services, they need committed and compassionate providers to deliver those services to them.

Odessa works at CASPAR, one of the beneficiary agencies we support. Help us support their work by donating here.