Meet Mary!

 

 

Mary Bilecki is a Food Rescue Coordinator who joined our team in November.

 

How did you arrive at Lovin’ Spoonfuls?

After finishing an AmeriCorps year of service in Central Vermont I was looking for job opportunities following a similar thread of the work I had been doing. In Vermont, I worked as a gleaning coordinator for a small non-profit, doing similar work as I do now as a Food Rescue Coordinator for Lovin’ Spoonfuls. I worked directly with small-scale farmers to harvest their surplus produce with volunteers and deliver it to deserving beneficiaries. This experience in Vermont solidified my passion for working towards a food system focused on equal access to nutritional food.

Tell us about your background! How did you become interested in food rescue?

Growing up, my mother helped to start a CSA across the street from my childhood home. Our fridge was always full of beautiful fruits and vegetables, and our family cooked dinner together almost every night. I’ve always known my relationship and experience with food to be meaningful, but learning about the excess of food in our society alongside the staggering rates of hunger…these facts have struck a chord in me to change our nation’s food system.

What passions do you bring to the job?

Growing up as a daughter of two scientists in a household that composted before it was trendy, survived off of leftovers, and never turned the heat above 65, I’ve always tried my best to live a sustainable life. Being able to incorporate these passions into a career with an organization with similar values is really meaningful.

Have there been any surprises for you in the food you rescue? 

Overall, I am constantly astonished by the sheer amount, variety, and quality of food that is rescued. Occasionally we rescue high-end items that can be a fun surprise for our beneficiaries, such as duck leg confit, truffles, fancy cheeses, and filet mignon!

Do your friends and family consider you a good cook? Any signature recipes?

Coming from a family of creative cooks and friends who love delicious food I think most people in my life are really good at cooking and I’d include myself in that statement! I crave salty foods and my homemade Caesar salad dressing usually satiates that craving, I also love making fried chicken because…fried chicken!

What would we find in your refrigerator right now?

Kimchi, leftover eggplant parmesan, and some yummy cheeses to snack on.

What’s your favorite childhood food memory?

Annual Oyster Roasts by the creek with family in Charleston, South Carolina accompanied by Frogmore Stew (kielbasa, corn, and shrimp boil)!

Has this job made you more aware of your own consumption habits? Have you made any significant changes as a result?

I’ve always felt pretty confident about my seasonal eating habits and responsible use of meat, fruits and vegetables. This job has inspired me to be less picky when I go to grocery store and to buy items that might be bruised or close to expiration (since its likely to be donated or tossed anyway).

Who are your heroes?

My parents and sister because they inspire me to think globally and act locally everyday.