nrdc blog

Check out the latest post on the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) staff blog, Switchboard. NRDC Project Scientist, Dana Gunders, analyzes Massachusetts’ recent food waste regulation efforts and features Lovin’ Spoonfuls Founder/Executive Director, Ashley Stanley. The full blog post is available here.

instagram

Are you following Lovin’ Spoonfuls on instagram? Check out our instagram page to stay up to date with our team on the road!

 

“Patrick Administration Announces Plan to Ban Disposal of Commercial Food Waste”

Today, the Governor’s office announced an ambitious state-wide plan to ban commercial food waste in Massachusetts by July 2014. Spearheaded by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, the proposed ban would require all businesses that dispose of at least one ton of organic waste per week to donate or re-purpose the useable food. Any remaining waste would be shipped to an anaerobic digestion facility. Check out the full press release for more details!

2013 Fall Internship at Lovin’ Spoonfuls

While we don’t have regular volunteer opportunities, we are looking to bring on an intern this fall to help with planning for our annual Tailgate fundraiser. Please take a look at the description below and let us know if you’re interested or if you know someone who might be!

 

Lovin’ Spoonfuls is an organization that facilitates the recovery and distribution of healthy, perishable food that would otherwise be discarded. Lovin’ Spoonfuls works efficiently to deliver this food directly to the community organizations and resources where it can have the greatest impact. Lovin’ Spoonfuls is committed to addressing the health, environmental and economic impact that food waste has on our community. Headquartered in Boston, MA, Lovin’ Spoonfuls is a 501c3, non-profit organization.

Each year, Lovin’ Spoonfuls hosts an annual fundraiser, the Tailgate party.  The event is scheduled to take place this year in early November.  Planning and execution of the event involves a huge amount of time and energy on behalf of the Lovin’ Spoonfuls staff.  As such, we are seeking an intern with flexible availability to assist the staff in the weeks leading up to the event.

Lovin’ Spoonfuls seeks a dedicated individual for approximately 10 hours per week.  The schedule of those hours can be flexible dependent upon the intern’s availability, and do not necessarily need to be completed at the Lovin’ Spoonfuls office.  The intern will work with the current Operations Director and Lead Development Officer to assist with the following projects associated with the event:

  • Signage and other printed material production
  • Registration tracking and management
  • Logistics management, including chef needs, AV needs, rental needs, etc.
  • Permitting
  • Volunteer coordination
  • Silent auction & live ask support
  • Other tasks as needed

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree preferred
  • Experience in nonprofit (preferred) or small business operations
  • Experience with event planning and coordination preferred
  • Organized, detail-oriented, and self-motivated
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • Ability to work independently
  • Willing and able to use public transportation or own means of transportation to get around Boston for various permitting and administrative tasks

This is an unpaid internship starting September 1 but academic credit can be arranged for graduate students.

To Apply:

Please send resume and cover letter indicating qualifications and interest in the position to info@lovinspoonfulsinc.org. In the subject line of your email, please type “2013 Tailgate Intern”.

Intern’s Corner: It’s a Shrimp Scampi Kind of Night

I was always familiar with the name “Rosie’s Place”, located on the border of the South End and Roxbury, but was unsure of what exactly happens at this busy women’s shelter.  Last night, I was given the opportunity to work with Lovin’ Spoonfuls volunteers at Rosie’s Place for a dinner service from 4pm-7:30pm. On Tuesday nights, a Lovin’ Spoonfuls driver delivers a great haul of fresh produce to Rosie’s Place.  Community members always reach out to our team and want to volunteer in some way. What better way to help out a local beneficiary than including our volunteers and Lovin’ Spoonfuls staff?

     We had a great turnout of 11 volunteers to prep and cook a delicious meal of shrimp scampi and a mixed green salad with honey mustard dressing. When we arrived at 4pm, we were instructed to tie our hair back and put an apron on. Andy, head of the kitchen put our group right to work and prepared us to serve soup, bread, bananas (which were very popular), coffee, tea, and sugar/sweetener. This small meal would hold the ladies over before a delicious dinner. As I passed out exactly four sugars to each woman, I noticed the diversity of the group.

     Rosie’s Place was founded in the early 70’s and has helped numerous homeless women; they provide them with healthy meals (lunch and dinner), clothing, housing, medical services, transportation, educational programs, and employment opportunities. Currently, Rosie’s Place houses up to 600 guests in their emergency and short-term housing, while finding permanent housing for their clients.

Lovin’ Spoonfuls Operations Director, Lauren, was given the task of serving each woman a plate of shrimp scampi and salad. We were directed to take out 100 plates and assemble the meals. These plates would be placed on trays and carried to Lauren. After each plate was served and eaten, it was time for seconds. I was in charge of giving out extra shrimp, as I spooned the shrimp over the pasta the ladies nodded and asked for more. Many came for seconds and we made up extra plates for late guests, which were greatly appreciated.  All the food we cooked was almost gone except for the salad, which would be used for lunch the next day. As we consolidated the salad and started to clean up, the dessert of apple crisp was handed out which I could tell the guests and especially their young children fully enjoyed. Guests left the dining room with full bellies and smiles on their faces, nodding a farewell and a thank you.

Lauren Palumbo, Operations Director

Our new operations director, Lauren, joined the Spoonfuls team in March. We sat down with Lauren to learn about her background and food interests…

How did you arrive at Lovin’ Spoonfuls?
It was a winding road, but it involved 4+ years as a Marketing & Events Manager for two non-profits, 3+ years as Marketing Director for a local restaurant group, a lifetime commitment to giving back to the community, and a deep interest in food, local farming, cooking, eating and food policy.

Do your friends and family consider you a good cook? Any signature recipes?
I love to cook, though my husband is probably the biggest beneficiary of that.  Friends and family don’t seem to complain though!  I work with what other people teach me – through recipes, cookbooks, and learning from actual chefs; I’m not coming up with many recipes on my own.  I rarely cook the same thing twice because I love to try new things, so the only signature recipes would be my grandmother’s marinara sauce (I refuse to call it gravy) and  Italian almond cookies which we make at Christmas.  Both are recipes my mom has been making forever and taught me how to make.  Oh, and apple pie.  I grew up in Stow, home of many apple orchards, and bake pies each fall.

What would we find in your refrigerator right now?
Veggies and eggs from our Red Fire Farm CSA.  Local milk and cheeses picked up at City Feed & Supply.  Local bacon from a farm in central MA, picked up through the Mass Local Food Co-Op.  Lots of Grillo’s hot pickles.  A million condiments like curry paste and fish sauce and fermented bean paste that I cook with.  And kefir, which we feed to our dogs.

What’s your favorite childhood food memory?
Carbonara.  It was my favorite pasta dish growing up (we ate a lot of pasta, being Italian).  It was the dish I broke 8 years of not eating red meat with and it’s a dish I can’t resist ordering.

Has this job made you more aware of your own consumption habits? Have you made any significant changes as a result?
For years I have been a meal planner, a grocery list maker, and a leftovers eater.  So I feel like I’ve got part of it down.  But we don’t compost, and since we cook so much, I now feel guilty with the food scraps we generate.  I try to use all of a product when possible or save scraps to make veggie stock, but I’m looking into getting a compost bin from Bootstrap Compost, so I won’t have to worry about it!

What’s your favorite place/restaurant/neighborhood in Boston?
There is no way I could pick a favorite restaurant, this is just too good of a town for eating out now, but if you want my list of favorites, feel free to ask!  I love living in Jamaica Plain.  The community is incredible and the support for local food and farmers is palpable.  It’s not just people talking about it, they are actually doing it.  And the access to Jamaica Pond, the Arboretum, and Franklin Park is great for getting out and enjoying the green spaces in our city.

What is your motto?
It’s maybe a little silly to quote a song here, but one of my favorite lyrics (from Dave Matthews) is “I can’t believe that we would lie in our graves, wondering if we had spent our living days well…”.  And that’s why I do what I love in all aspects of life.

Who are your heroes in real life?
My mom – because she went back to classes in her 40’s to start a new career and has run her own business for almost 25 years.  My dad – because he taught me that if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.  My sister – who somehow got me to run my first marathon, and the persistence required to train for and run a marathon stays with me in everything I do!

“Zoning changes could produce new farms in Boston”

We’re excited about the zoning law updates Mayor Menino and his team are spearheading to encourage and facilitate urban agriculture in Boston. Check out this recent Boston Globe article for more details!

Intern’s Corner: Let’s Haul

Our new summer intern, Olivia, recently spent a few days hauling with our drivers. Here, she reflects on her time on the road…

It was my third day on the job working as the summer intern here at Lovin’ Spoonfuls. Spoonfuls works with vendors such as Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Hannaford Supermarkets, and other small vendors. Produce that is not up to retail standards is usually thrown away by many of these large supermarkets. This is where Lovin’ Spoonfuls comes in. Working with our vendors we receive the leftovers as a donation to our organization. Not only do we help vendors reduce their carbon footprint, but vendors also save money that would be spent on throwing the food away. I would describe Lovin’ Spoonfuls as the liaison, a food rescue non-profit that works with vendors to collect leftover food and distribute to beneficiaries. The many beneficiaries that we work with, such as Haley House and Pine Street Inn, look forward to receiving a variety of fresh produce to serve to the Boston community.

This week I was on the road with Jeremy, listening to his favorite Bluegrass music as we rode in Bertha, the Lovin’ Spoonfuls box truck. Our first stop was at Trader Joe’s in Brookline. The staff was very friendly and directed us toward the leftover food. I was amazed by the quality and variety of the produce. Many boxes of fresh produce and fruit were stacked high. Other boxes included muffins, cookies, and bags of sliced bread. There was even two boxes full of pears. I was very tempted to bite into one of those pears but, I restrained myself. These leftovers were considered trash because they were not up to customer standards. I could not wrap my head around this because this produce was completely usable and edible. If Lovin’ Spoonfuls had not been there to pick up these leftovers, then who would? The next step for this food would be the dumpster, when it could be used right away to feed many homeless people.

Our next stop was to our new pilot program, Hannaford Supermarket in Waltham, MA. When we arrived I could not believe how large the store was. I figured this supermarket had a large donation for us and I was prepared to weigh the produce and load it into Bertha. At the Waltham Hannaford Supermarket, we walked straight into the store and headed to the back. Boxes of bananas, apples, and assorted vegetables filled an entire wheeling tray. An employee directed us to behind the meat department. We were handed a box of meat, which included burgers and lean steaks. Also, we were given a box of fresh sausages that were mislabeled. The quality of the meat was pristine and I was so excited to donate the meat to one of our lucky beneficiaries.

We left Hannaford Supermarket with a box truck full of fresh produce and were on our way to our beneficiaries of the day, Haley House and Pine Street Inn. At Haley House, we were greeted by Linda, the volunteer coordinator. Linda chose to take a couple boxes of muffins, a variety of produce including fresh tomatoes, and the box of sausages. Bertha was still filled with many boxes of produce and I wanted Linda to take more food. Linda took only as much as the organization could handle. Linda thought consciously about what produce she needed for upcoming meals served at Haley house. I knew next week we would be back and Linda would be ready for us.

May Events Recap

On May 4th, Lovin’ Spoonfuls participated in the 4th annual Boston Bacon & Beer Festival hosted by Eat Boston at the House of Blues.  Guests were treated to an array of tasty bacon-centric dishes paired with beer samples from some of the area’s finest breweries. The long list of participating restaurants and breweries included our friends at JM Curley, Puritan & Co., Trina’s Starlite Lounge, Whole Foods Symphony, Peak Organic, Slumbrew, and many more! Thanks to all of the chefs, attendees, volunteers and EAT Boston for making the event possible and supporting our cause!

On May 18th, Lovin’ Spoonfuls participated in Radio 92.9’s 20th annual EarthFest, an all day outdoor event at the Esplanade featuring live music from Vertical Horizon, Cracker, Gentlemen Hall and Fastball. Vendors including Whole Foods, Applegate Farms, Organic Valley, Sabra, Odwalla and many others provided food samples for the attendees. The Lovin’ Spoonfuls team had a table during the event and also helped at the end of the day to recover and donate any leftover food.

Thanks to everyone who has come out to support us at an event this Spring!

 
   

Join Our Team

Lovin’ Spoonfuls is hiring! We’re looking for full-time and part-time drivers to join our dynamic and growing team. For more details and instructions on how to apply, check out the full job post here.

Spring Events

Join us at an upcoming event this spring, and keep checking back- we’re constantly updating the page with more exciting events!

 

April

We are excited to be included in an upcoming ramen battle, Paper Chase: Yen Ramen Battle II.  Local culinary vets Mark O’Leary and Wheeler del Torro will throw down in this head-to-head battle at the Kitchn Table at 3 Scoops Cafe on Sunday, April 28th, 2013. No matter the outcome, Lovin’ Spoonfuls will benefit from this tasty event. To find out what’s at stake for the two competitors in this ramen showdown and to purchase tickets for the event, check out the event page here.

 

May

Eat Boston’s highly anticipated Bacon and Beer Festival is back! The 2013 Bacon and Beer Festival will be held on Saturday, May 4th, 2013 from 2:30pm to 5:00pm at House of Blues Boston. We are excited to once again be included along with Community Servings as charitable benefactors of the event. Festival tickets are sold out, but there’s an entire line-up of bacon and beer themed events throughout the weekend that should satisfy any craving. The 2013 Bacon and Beer Festival event page has all the details, including the full list of participating restaurants and breweries. While you’re there, don’t forget to check out the amazing event merch – t-shirts, koozies, and much more!

Mark your calendars for the 20th annual Radio 92.9 EarthFest, returning to The DCR Hatch Memorial Shell on Saturday May 18th, 2013. This family-friendly outdoor festival features a variety of local and regional non-profit organizations in addition to live music and local food vendors. Make sure to visit the EarthFest event page for all the event details and check back for upcoming announcements about this year’s bands. We hope to see you there!

Cochon 555 Tickets for Lovin’ Spoonfuls

This just in: we’re auctioning off two General Admission tickets to the Cochon 555 Boston event this Sunday, March 24th at the Revere Hotel. This one-of-a-kind traveling culinary competition and tasting event features five local chefs, five pigs and five winemakers to promote the sustainable farming of heritage breed pigs. This is Cochon 555’s 5th anniversary tour, and the event is sure to be a knockout. Read more about the event here.

We’ve opened up the bidding on twitter (@lovinfoodrescue) with a starting price of $250- face value for the pair of General Admission tickets. Bidding will remain open until Friday March 22nd at 4PM. Please submit bids via email to info@lovinspoonfulsinc.org with the subject line “Cochon 555 Tickets.” Only bids submitted via email greater than the starting price of $250 and increasing in $10 increments will be considered. We will keep our twitter feed updated with the latest bids using #lovincochon, so make sure to follow along with the conversation! All proceeds from the auction will go directly to Lovin’ Spoonfuls.

Blizzard Bash and Boston Lamb Jam

Even though the holidays are behind us and the temperatures continue to drop, join us at an upcoming event to beat your winter blues and eat some tasty food for a good cause!

On February 7th & 8th, 2013 one of our community partners, The Barbara Lynch Foundation, will host the First Annual Blizzard Bash. Over 30 celebrated chefs and bartenders from around the country will gather at the Boston Children’s Museum for an evening of spectacular food, drinks and entertainment. Party-goers and chefs alike are invited to change venues for the official event after-party, “The Industry Thing,” at Villa Victoria. All proceeds from The Industry Thing event will benefit Lovin’ Spoonfuls.

For more information about the First Annual Blizzard Bash, please click here.

Buy your tickets for The Industry Thing here!

Mark your calendars for another event in February- the Lamb Jam is returning to Boston! BostonChefs.com and the American Lamb Board are joining forces once again to host the 2013 Boston Lamb Jam and Lovin’ Spoonfuls is very excited to be involved in the event as a community partner. Join us at the Charles Hotel on Sunday, February 17th to sample creations from an amazing line-up of chefs hailing from Boston, Providence, RI and Portland, ME.

Purchase your tickets here before they sell out!

Holiday Food Drive

On Saturday & Sunday, December 22 & 23, 2012, Whole Foods Market River Street will open its doors and host a holiday food drive encouraging guests to donate select non-perishable food items to Lovin’ Spoonfuls. While holiday shoppers plan their annual feast, Whole Foods is asking guests to peruse their aisles and pick up an extra item, or two, that the Lovin’ Spoonfuls team will deliver to multiple organizations and non-profits around the city to help feed, healthy and hearty holiday meals to those that need it the most!

Throughout the weekend Whole Foods will display “shelf talkers” next to specific food items that shoppers are encouraged to donate including pantry staples such as soup base, stocks, and tomato paste. By simply perusing the aisles, shoppers will be able to pick up a wide range of products as they do their routine shopping. Simply add a few extra items to your cart, and then drop them in a collection bin at the checkout to help make someone’s holiday meal one to remember! 

Whole Foods Market River Street is located at 340 River St. in Cambridge. Donations will be accepted on both Saturday, December 22nd and Sunday, December 23rd 2012 during normal business hours (8:00am to 10:00pm). For additional information please call 617.876.6694.

 

December Events

The holidays are in full swing and we have a couple events coming up that shouldn’t be missed!

First up is a meaty brunch battle between sister restaurants The Salty Pig and Coda Bar & Kitchen on Sunday December 9th. The restaurants will be vying for the coveted Crown of Pork, a crown made entirely of bacon awarded to the restaurant that serves the most bacon during the Benevolent Brunch Battle. A portion of the proceeds from brunch service at The Salty Pig will be donated to Lovin’ Spoonfuls while Coda will be raising funds for Room to Grow, a local non-profit that supports babies born into poverty. For menus and additional information, please visit the websites of the individual restaurants, www.thesaltypig.com and www.codaboston.com.

If bacon-filled brunch isn’t tempting enough, perhaps an opportunity to volunteer with Lovin’ Spoonfuls will satisfy your cravings this holiday season. We have a holiday-themed event coming up and we need your help! On December 16th Lovin’ Spoonfuls will host a gift wrapping table outside of the Barnes & Noble bookstore at the Prudential Center. We will be wrapping purchases from any store in the mall and all donations from the shoppers will go directly to Lovin’ Spoonfuls. If you are interested in volunteering at the Lovin’ Spoonfuls gift wrapping table, please email Emma at Emma@lovinspoonfulsinc.org for more information. We hope to see you there!

November Events Roundup

November has been a busy month for Lovin’ Spoonfuls, and we have so much to be thankful for! After an extremely successful Ultimate Tailgate Party at the end of October, November brought a series of exciting culinary events around town that we were honored to be involved in…

On November 4th, Mike O’Connell of Upper Falls Liquors, also known as the Rooftop Gourmet, hosted the Grilled Cheese Battle at Seapoint Bar and Grill in South Boston. Home cooks, local chefs and cheesemongers competed in the epic battle judged by Lovin’ Spoonfuls founder and executive director Ashley Stanley and long-time ‘Spoonfuls supporter Louis DiBiccari of Storyville and Chef Louie Nights. Even though Wasik’s Cheese Shop’s Brad Wasik came out on top, a great time was had by all and proceeds from the event went directly to Lovin’ Spoonfuls.

On November 12th, Church restaurant in Fenway hosted the Supper Y’all Meat and Three Dinner organized by Toro’s Jason Cheek and Island Creek Oyster Bar’s Jade Taylor and benefiting Lovin’ Spoonfuls. Guests enjoyed live music by local bands Ten Foot Polecats and Naughty Water and sampled a variety Southern comfort foods including cast iron cornbread, BBQ braised beef ribs, and pimento mac and cheese. Fantastic food and funky entertainment proved to be a winning combination at this fun event!

On November 14th, the Farm to Post VIP Event took place at Post 390 restaurant in Back Bay. The event brought together some of Post 390’s local purveyors, farmers and fisherman to celebrate New England’s bounty of fresh produce and seafood. Lovin’ Spoonfuls benefited from the evening’s raffle proceeds, which included gift certificates for Post 390 as well as Patriots and Red Sox tickets.

Finally, on November 21st, The Hawthorne in Kenmore Square celebrated its first anniversary with a cocktail reception and fundraiser for Lovin’ Spoonfuls. The event was a fitting celebration for Thanksgiving Eve as guests came together to share delicious drinks and food in commemoration of The Hawthorne owner Jackson Cannon and his stellar team and in support of the Lovin’ Spoonfuls mission. The Lovin’ Spoonfuls team had a great time raffling off bottles of wine that the Hawthorne team had skillfully disguised, and we are so grateful to The Hawthorne and their extended family at Island Creek Oyster Bar, Eastern Standard and the Hotel Commonwealth for their ongoing support of Lovin’ Spoonfuls.

Many thanks to all of the event organizers and hosts for their gracious hospitality and to our community of supporters who came out to make these events so successful…stay tuned for more info on events coming up in December!

meet the ‘spoonfuls team

Have you spotted a Lovin’ Spoonfuls vehicle driving around town recently? Ever wondered about the person sitting in the drivers seat? Here’s your chance to learn all about the Lovin’ Spoonfuls team! Meet Jeremy and Meg, our faithful drivers carrying out the Lovin’ Spoonfuls mission on the road each day, and Emma, who’s holding down the fort in the office. Don’t be afraid to say hello if you ever cross paths with Jeremy or Meg on the road!

Jeremy Zeitlin, Haul Manager

How did you arrive at Lovin’ Spoonfuls?
Having worked in many different jobs since I was young, I’d scoured the non-profit game for openings for years every time I was between work.  When I saw that Spoonfuls was looking for help, I jumped at the chance to be a part of such a worthy cause.

Describe a typical work day. How does your job differ from the average truck driver?
As Haul Manager, I spend a lot of hours coordinating schedules and working with current and prospective partners— both vendors and beneficiaries— in order to better ensure that the food which might otherwise go to waste in Boston finds a good, grateful home.  As far as the actual hauling goes, there is an interpersonal dimension that goes far beyond simple collection and distribution.  On a daily basis, I interact directly with many of the people who benefit from what we do.  Part of Lovin’ Spoonfuls’ mission is to be more than just a delivery service; we don’t want to just be a faceless donor, our drivers strive to demonstrate that they care about what they’re doing— and that starts with making our work a human interaction.  It’s about People Helping People.

What’s the strangest/most exotic food item you’ve picked up from a vendor?
Probably the most exotic thing I’ve picked up was a case of Rambutan.  Rambutan is a fruit that’s seen a bit more regularly in Southeast Asia and Caribbean cuisine— it’s commonly used to make jam, but I’d never seen one around these parts before.  They’re pretty cool looking, they have a spiny outer shell… they look kind of like a doggie chew toy. Tasty.

What are some of your favorite tunes/radio stations that you listen to on the road?
A nearly impossible question for me.  I don’t listen to the radio much, but music is a big part of my day.  Bluegrass is probably the most common thing you’ll hear coming out of the cockpit, but I’m a sucker for ‘70s funk and some good jazz.  My favorite Pandora stations are a great, young bluegrass band called The Infamous Stringdusters and a jazz/funk outfit named Stuff.  My taste is pretty eclectic, though, ranging from Doc Watson to The Kinks to The Band to Frank Zappa.  That said, the most common band you’d hear when my vehicle drives by is The Grateful Dead, my all-time favorite band— and I even named both of our trucks after Dead tunes.

Do your friends and family consider you a good cook? Any signature recipes?
I like to think they consider me a good cook.  My mother is one of the best cooks I’ve ever known, so I spend as much time as I can learning from her.  When I was a kid, I either wanted to be a filmmaker or a chef, so even from a young age I was obsessed with every detail of cooking, down to meticulous presentation.  I’m a big fan of craft beer, so I like to pair food and drink.  Whether my friends would say I’m a good cook or not probably depends on how adventurous of a meal I’m trying out on them; I think experimentation is crucial to the advancement of Home Cooking Skills.  I have yet to make anyone sick, if that’s what you’re asking.

Signature dishes:  Fish tacos with Cotija and mango salsa; Grilled lamb chops with herb-roasted potatoes and grilled asparagus; Strawberry-rhubarb pie; the Traditional New England Lobster Bake (lobsters, steamers, sweet corn, good beer, pie… and cooked over a beach bonfire, when possible); I also make a MEAN lobster roll.

What would we find in your refrigerator right now?
Pretty sparse at the moment; lots of quinoa/bean salad, some picked lobster meat, hummus, and a couple bottles of Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project’s “Jack D’Or”. Hmmm— maybe it’s time to go to the grocery store…

What’s your favorite childhood food memory?
Growing up in a home with so much good cooking, this makes for a tough question.  On my birthdays, we used to go to Sunday Jazz Brunches at Bob the Chef’s (now Darryl’s) and the House of Blues (the original one in Harvard Square)… I’d say those memories would probably be right up there, as they combine two of my biggest passions: good food and good music.  My first beach lobster bake up in Maine deserves a mention.

Has this job made you more aware of your own consumption habits? Have you made any significant changes as a result?
I’ve always been pretty conscious of my own habits (I rarely left food on my plate as a kid…)— that was a big reason why I fell in love with this work so easily.  I probably buy groceries less in bulk now than I used to, sacrificing convenience to eliminate the risk of things going bad.  Also, I’m much more conscious of it on a larger scale from seeing it firsthand and being constantly approached by vendors who want to donate extra food to Lovin’ Spoonfuls.

What’s your favorite place/restaurant/neighborhood in Boston?
Another impossible question.  You wouldn’t ask a parent to choose a favorite child, would you?  Some good ones, though—
Restos/bars: Cambridge Brewing Company, Island Creek Oyster Bar, Stoddard’s, The Helmand, The King & I, The Sevens Pub.  Beacon Hill Bistro makes the best Steak Frites I’ve ever had in my life.

Neighborhoods/entertainment spots: The South End, Beacon Hill, Kendall/Central Square, Fort Point, The Fens.  Fenway Park, the ICA, Wally’s, The Middle East, The Paradise, Harper’s Ferry, Harbor Lights, The Orpheum, The Wang Theater, Symphony Hall… anything near the water.

What is your motto?
I wouldn’t want to be reduced to a single motto.  I’ve always liked Thoreau’s philosophy, though: “Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.”

Who are your heroes in real life?
Let me begin with the cliché answer, my family.  It’s really true, though— I’m very proud of my family, and they inspire and motivate me on a daily basis.  Beyond that, my biggest heroes are the pioneers of the Direct Cinema movement, filmmakers like D.A. Pennebaker and Richard Leacock, who strove to document their subjects with objectivity and truthfulness.  They paved the way for films that would really expose issues in this world that may have otherwise gone unnoticed, allowing cinema to transcend art and become a form of activism.

 

Meg Kiley, Driver

How did you arrive at Lovin’ Spoonfuls?
For a time, before working for Spoonfuls, I waited tables.  Food waste was a part of the job.  It was frustrating to see so many customers leave half the food on their plates to be thrown away.  I knew it was only one symptom of the inefficiencies and poor cultural standards that exist around food sustainability in this country.  When I read about Spoonfuls I was so relieved to see that an organization existed that was doing something to fix the problem of wasted food and hunger. A year later when I saw the job posting, applying was a no-brainer.

Describe a typical work day. How does your job differ from the average truck driver?
Every day the contents of the truck are a surprise.  Our beneficiaries are consistently delighted by the variety of each haul.  A typical truck driver doesn’t get the gratification of seeing that delight, and probably isn’t regularly thanked by strangers either.

What’s the strangest/most exotic food item you’ve picked up from a vendor?
Purple beans and white eggplants.

What are some of your favorite tunes/radio stations that you listen to on the road?
I’m an NPR dork.  But when I get sick of the news, which is usually right about when the caffeine wears off, I like to listen to a whole host of tunes.  What I listen to depends on my mood.  Sometimes Ray Charles, sometimes John Lennon, sometimes the latest new band I’ve discovered, sometimes Talking Heads, sometimes guilty pleasures which I won’t admit to here.

Do your friends and family consider you a good cook? Any signature recipes?
You’d have to ask my friends and family.  I’m of the mind that no one ever tells you the real truth about your cooking.  When I cook I tend to make it up as I go along, except when I am making what I consider my signature recipes.  I make a mean butternut squash soup and I can churn out a pretty decent chicken cordon bleu.

What would we find in your refrigerator right now?
Left over Thai curry, left over homemade fried rice (my everyday specialty), berries, yogurt, beer.

What’s your favorite childhood food memory?
Tacos were my favorite.  I’d always request them for my birthday dinner.  Also, my grandpa is a great cook.  He used to make amazing Swedish meatballs for holidays.

Has this job made you more aware of your own consumption habits? Have you made any significant changes as a result?
Definitely.  I try to use whatever I already have before I go out to buy other ingredients.  Its not easy, but I force myself to eat leftovers, even when I’m craving something else entirely.  I also go to the grocery store almost every day (it helps that it is a block from my house).  This way I only buy for two or three meals at a time.  I don’t like to rope myself into cooking a particular meal five days before the fact.

What’s your favorite place/restaurant/neighborhood in Boston?
I don’t know if I can pick a favorite, but I do love Blue Ribbon.  I love being along the Charles. I recently moved to East Cambridge, so at the moment it is my favorite place to explore and therefore my favorite neighborhood.

What is your motto?
Food rescue is the bees knees.

Who are your heroes in real life?
Certain teachers I’ve had stand out in my mind as heroes.

 

Emma McCarthy, Operations Coordinator

How did you arrive at Lovin’ Spoonfuls?
Prior to joining the Lovin’ Spoonfuls team, I worked at Flour Bakery. Flour donates leftover bread and pastries to Lovin’ Spoonfuls, so I had seen the ‘Spoonfuls team in action for quite some time. When a position opened up in the summer of 2012, I applied immediately. Food rescue just makes too much sense to ignore and it’s amazing to be on a small team that’s committed to constantly improving and taking on more for the sake of getting food to people who need it.

What spoke to you about the Lovin’ Spoonfuls mission?
While Lovin’ Spoonfuls’ direct contribution to the community was what initially caught my attention, I was really taken by the multifaceted nature of the problems that Lovin’ Spoonfuls was tackling. I had an academic interest in the culture of food and the evolution of America’s food system, especially when viewed through the lens of the ongoing environmental issues we face both nationally and globally. Food waste is overflowing our landfills, depleting our natural resources and causing a huge financial toll on our economy. On the other end of the spectrum, food insecurity rates are increasing around the country and more and more people are struggling to make ends meet. There are so many undeniable benefits to food rescue that go beyond the dinner table, and I was drawn in by Lovin’ Spoonfuls’ straightforward, local approach.

You’ve lived all over the world – what have you observed about the way other countries value / treat food?
Food is a common denominator between people around the globe, and because of that it has a unique ability to connect individuals both within and across their own cultural boundaries. Traveling to different countries, I have seen how food is viewed not just as a commodity or basic necessity but as a sacred thread in the culture of a community. One of the best ways to experience a new place is through sampling the local cuisine, it really forces you out of your comfort zone.

Do your friends and family consider you a good cook? Any signature recipes?
I do like to cook, although it is definitely just a hobby. Lately I’ve been baking more than usual, trying to perfect my family’s scone recipe.  

What would we find in your refrigerator right now?
Some basic staples that I almost always have on hand- eggs, cheese, hummus, a few vegetables. Also some leftover butternut squash, kale and white bean stew- one of my favorite winter meals!

So really, you moved from one area of food service to another…
Yes. There’s a lot of crossover between my old job at Flour and my position at Lovin’ Spoonfuls, especially because of the ongoing partnership between the two, but my day-to-day couldn’t be more different. Both have been rewarding in different ways but I’m really happy to be in a role where I can consistently see the direct impact of my contribution in the community.

What’s your favorite childhood food memory?
My mom’s spaghetti bolognese. It was my favorite meal when I was younger, which is ironic because I haven’t eaten beef in almost 10 years. I was pretty obsessed with pasta growing up.

Has this job made you more aware of your own consumption habits? Have you made any significant changes as a result?
I have always tried to be a conscious consumer, but this job definitely makes me think twice about throwing food away. Since college I’ve also learned to love leftovers, and repurposing them into new meals keeps things interesting.

What’s your favorite place/restaurant/neighborhood in Boston?
Place: Anywhere along the Charles River/Esplanade
Restaurant:
Highland Kitchen in Somerville
Neighborhood:
Bay Village- a tiny neighborhood jammed in between Chinatown, Back Bay and the South End

What is your motto?
Keep it simple.

Who are some of your heroes in real life?
Definitely my parents. They have always encouraged me to pursue my interests, no matter how obscure or varied they have been over the years. And I can’t thank them enough for exposing me to different cultures through traveling.

 

The Ultimate Tailgate Party 2012

On October 28th, Sam’s hosted the second annual Ultimate Tailgate Party benefiting Lovin’ Spoonfuls. Even though Hurricane Sandy was on its way, over 350 guests braved the storm to sample food from our amazing line-up of MVP chefs and enjoy cocktails shaken by local mixologists Jon Parsons and Josh Childs. Despite the weather, spirits remained high throughout the evening thanks to entertainment provided by DJ TJ Connelly, a football themed photo booth, and a festive live auction led by emcee Jenny Johnson of NECN’s “TV Diner.”

Guests enjoyed lobster tacos from Jeremy Sewall of Lineage and Island Creek Oyster Bar, Koren BBQ Sloppy Jo’s from Myers + Chang’s Joanne Chang and Karen Akunowicz, beer and cheddar soup from Alex Crabb of Asta, ribs and cornbread from Andy Husbands of Tremont 647, ramen seasoned macaroni salad and subs from Toro and Coppa’s Jamie Bissonnette, grilled oysters from Will Gilson of the forthcoming Puritan & Co., porchetta sandwiches from Storyville and Chef Louie Night’s Louis DiBiccari, Thai braised ribs from Mary Dumont of Harvest, grilled chicken wings from Colin Lynch of Menton and No. 9 Park, pickled eggs, brisket sliders and kale soup from Douglas Rodrigues of Clio, and crispy mac and cheese squares, fried pickled green tomatoes and grilled haloumi and vegetable skewers from home team chef Asia Mei of Sam’s. After guests had their fill, our team collected the remaining food and delivered it to our friends at Haley House at the conclusion of the event to ensure that no food was wasted.

Through the incredible generosity of our sponsors, guests and community supporters, we raised over $80,000! This money will directly support our goal to put a third truck on the road, allowing us to further increase our reach and deliver tens of thousands of pounds of fresh and healthy food to a greater number of Massachusetts residents. We are so grateful to everyone who contributed to the success of this year’s Tailgate, and we would like to say a special thank you to everyone at Sam’s, Equinox, Peterson Party Center, Proforma Printing, Peak Organic and MS Walker.

 

All photos courtesy of Little Monkeys Photo Co.

 

Lovin’ Spoonfuls is a 2012 masschallenge winner!

On October 23, the MassChallenge Awards Ceremony was held at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in the Seaport District. As the culmination of MassChallenge’s four-month long startup accelerator and global competition, the event included speeches from Governor Deval Patrick and Gerald Chertavian of Year Up, one-minute pitches from the 26 finalist teams, and the announcement of $1.1 million in cash awards. Lovin’ Spoonfuls was honored to be chosen as one of the 26 finalists earlier in October and the awards ceremony brought even more exciting news. Not only was Lovin’ Spoonfuls awarded a $50,000 grant from MassChallenge, but we were also thrilled to receive a $30,000 grant from the John W. Henry Family Foundation, one of the evening’s sidecar prizes for social impact. We are so grateful to have been included in the MassChallenge program, surrounded by so many inspiring and innovative teams. Thanks to MassChallenge, the John W. Henry Family Foundation and our entire community of supporters- we can’t wait to put this money to good use and feed even more Bostonians!

second annual ultimate tailgate

The Tailgate is back! After an incredibly successful event last year, we are excited to announce the return of the Lovin’ Spoonfuls Ultimate Tailgate Party! The second annual Tailgate benefiting Lovin’ Spoonfuls will take place on Sunday evening, October 28, overlooking Boston’s scenic waterfront at Sam’s. The event features 12 of Boston’s “MVP” chefs cooking high-end versions of their favorite tailgate food, as well as signature cocktails, a live auction, entertainment and much more.

The theme of the event resonates with the Lovin’ Spoonfuls mission: combatting hunger is a team sport! Last year’s Tailgate event allowed the ‘Spoonfuls team to put another truck on the road, doubling our ability to pick up and drop off rescued food, and this year’s event aims to do the same.

Buy your tickets here! We hope to see you there!

 

 

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