How did you arrive at Lovin Spoonfuls? How did you become interested in food rescue?
After returning from several months of hiking the Appalachian Trail, I needed to reenter society and find a job. During college, I enjoyed cooking and serving meals every week at the local food shelf. I liked getting to interact with community members through preparing and sharing a meal. After graduating, I served with AmeriCorps St. Louis for two years and found the experience extremely gratifying, and I loved the teamwork and community aspects of it. All of this led me to discover the field of food rescue, and I was instantly interested in seeing how I could get involved.
What passions do you bring to the job?
I bring a passion for serving the community, being a part of a team working towards a common goal, and making sure that good food doesn’t get thrown away and instead gets distributed to those impacted by food insecurity.
Have there been any surprises in the food you rescue?
When I joined Lovin’ Spoonfuls, I heard the number “forty percent” for how much food is wasted daily in the US. Actually seeing what this looks like when we rescue this food from grocery stores is pretty shocking. The many boxes of perfectly safe and fresh food that stores do not sell because they are on or slightly past their sell-by dates, or because they are aesthetically imperfect, would otherwise be thrown out. It is gratifying to be able to rescue that food and deliver it directly to the organizations who distribute it to the people who need it.
Do your friends and family consider you a good cook? Any signature recipes?
I think so. I like to try and recreate some of the dishes from the cafe where I was a line cook. One of my recent favorites to make is an apple butternut squash soup. I also enjoy baking and trying to put as many ingredients into cookies as possible. My latest creation is oatmeal peanut butter coconut chocolate chip cookies.
What would we find in your refrigerator right now?
You would find eggs, salsa, milk, yogurt, butter, some fruits and veggies, and a bar of dark chocolate.
What’s your favorite childhood memory?
One of my favorite food memories from childhood was going to my grandparents’ house and eating huge amounts of what we called my grandmother’s “garbage bread,” which was basically a stromboli.