Lisa Allen joined our team in April 2016 as a Food Rescue Driver
How did you arrive at Lovin’ Spoonfuls?
I was looking for a non-profit job which might use my areas of expertise on Craigslist. When I arrived at the job with Lovin’ Spoonfuls I applied with literally no hope that I might be considered.
Describe a typical work day. How does your job differ from the average truck driver?
So far I arrive at the lot, and check out the truck to make sure nothing happened to it overnight. Myself, and who ever’s training me that day check out the schedule, and make a few phone calls to confirm communication. We sometimes make pick ups and distributions one at a time, and sometimes we pick up a lot of food at once, and make distributions in the afternoon. I don’t even consider myself a truck driver. I know that’s our job title, and it’s an important part of the role, but there is so much more organization, kindness, and customer service involved in what we do. The people I’ve worked with import upon me how incredibly necessary it is to prepare and think about three strops ahead, always.
What’s the strangest/most exotic food item you’ve picked up from a vendor?
We picked up fiddleheads the other day, and had to express how important it was to boil them before you cook them, or they could make you sick. I also saw starfruit the other day!
What are some of your favorite tunes/radio stations that you listen to on the road?
I listen to whatever the person I’m with wants to listen to, but I love Jim, and Marjorie on 89.7. I’m also a huge fan of podcasts in general, like “Stuff You Should Know”, “Filmspotting”, and “Serial.”
Do your friends and family consider you a good cook? Any signature recipes?
I’m a great cook. I pride myself on being able to make something out of anything if it’s handed to me. I love making a replica of the golden sesame tofu that you can find at Whole Foods. I also make a sauced shell-in edamame that is so spicy it burns to breathe the air when I’m cooking them.
What would we find in your refrigerator right now?
The corn salsa I made to go with our nachos last night. A jam that my friend made in Washington and sent to me. Wannamango beer from Harpoon.
What’s your favorite childhood food memory?
My family’s Italian, so we used to celebrate Christmas Eve with the Feast of the Seven Fishes. My Grandma would never let me have even one taste before all the dishes were completely prepared. Also when we used to get ice cream, and I would get bubble gum flavor, inevitably getting gum stuck in my hair.
Has this job made you more aware of your own consumption habits? Have you made any significant changes as a result?
I’ve gotten much better at utilizing leftovers, and using products down to the nub in my fridge. My fruit, and vegetable intake has been much higher than when I used to work in the food industry, ironically. Also I’ve been buying my produce from the reduced section of Market Basket whenever I can. It’s saved me so much money!
What’s your favorite place/restaurant/neighborhood in Boston?
I love the Mapparium at the Christian Science Plaza. It’s a globe-shaped stained glass room, with a bridge from one side to the other. The acoustics are such that two people can stand on either side of the bridge, and be heard with the softest whisper you can manage. It’s the first place in Boston I brought my now husband.
What is your motto?
Always start the day with hope, try to inject as much kindness into the world as you can, and live genuinely.
Who are your heroes?
My Grandma, the international training manager from Caffe Nero: Giuliana, and anyone who has the guts to do what they think is right.