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SPOON-FED:

In the Driver’s Seat: Reggie Nguyen

Reggie Nguyen is a Food Rescue Coordinator at Lovin’ Spoonfuls. He works with vendor and non-profit partners in the Boston area.

How long have you been in your current role?

I have been with Lovin’ Spoonfuls as a Food Rescue Coordinator since 2015.

What’s the most gratifying part of your job?

My favorite part of the job has to be the interactions I have with both vendors and beneficiaries. Once in a while, I would talk to vendors about the people and organizations I deliver to. If a particular kitchen department donates something that I know is a favorite to a particular beneficiary, I let them know. It always brings a smile to their faces.

What’s a myth about food rescue (or rescued food) that you’d like to bust?

One question I often get, especially from vendors, is, ‘Where do you store products that you pick up?’ I explain that we don’t have storage facilities – everything we pick up goes to our beneficiaries the same day to ensure quality. People are always surprised because they assume we function as a food bank.

What’s a strategy you use to stay safe (or patient) behind the wheel?

One aspect of my job that I personally love is driving. Roads are less congested now since the pandemic but before it could be very stressful navigating Boston roads. I try to have fun and make light of stressful situations. Constant patience also helps.

Tell us about one partner – vendor or non-profit – that inspires you. How come? 

One of my favorite beneficiaries is Epiphany School, which happens to be my neighbor. A nearby partner had to close permanently when lockdown began, but Epiphany stepped up and took over the role to provide food to the community. They have made a commitment to continue that work until the pandemic subsides. They are one of our partners who actually rely exclusively on our deliveries.

If you weren’t a Food Rescue Coordinator, what would you be doing instead? 

If I wasn’t doing this job I would probably do something with driving. I just love being behind the wheel, especially for traveling. For a dream job, however, getting paid to play video games would be incredible!

Tell us one little known fact about you.

A little-known fact about me is that I once traveled around the world solo, after high school. It was incredibly ambitious and fun. Seeing the world at such a young age deeply shaped my perspective. 

Cover photo by Edward Boches