On July 8th, Lovin’ Spoonfuls launched a new route serving Hampden County, the region with the highest rate of childhood food insecurity in Massachusetts. Springfield native Tyler Crawford was hired as Food Rescue Coordinator, and the truck is affectionately named ‘Annie,’ to honor the region’s own Annie Sullivan.
Operating in Chicopee, East Longmeadow, Holyoke, Longmeadow, South Hadley, Springfield, and West Springfield, Lovin’ Spoonfuls’ Hampden County route is expected to rescue an estimated 10,000 pounds of fresh produce, dairy, proteins, and prepared foods from grocery stores in the region each week, including inaugural retail partner Big Y. The food is then distributed to 17 nonprofit organizations, including Gray House, Springfield Family Resource Center, Margaret’s Pantry, A Family Place, and others.
Lovin’ Spoonfuls was welcomed into Hampden County by local leaders, who joined Executive Director Ashley Stanley and Chief Operating Officer Lauren Palumbo at Longmeadow Open Pantry at the Greenwood Center on July 22. Speakers included: State Representative Brian M. Ashe; James Leyden, President of Longmeadow Council on Aging; Andrew Morehouse, Executive Director of the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts; Charles D’Amour, President and CEO of Big Y Foods; and Jodi Falk, Director of Rachel’s Table.
Lauren says, “We are so thrilled to be serving Hampden County; it has been a goal for ‘Spoonfuls to expand to this area for well over a year now, and we have been welcomed to this community by businesses, partner organizations, and social service agencies alike. We look forward to working within the communities of Hampden County for years to come!”
Charles D’Amour, President of Big Y Foods, adds “They call it rescue for a reason. It just seems to be a natural fit. We are thrilled to be the inaugural retail partner for Lovin’ Spoonfuls out here.”
This route ensures critical access to fresh, healthy food for thousands of clients served by the recipient organizations.