Team Lovin’ recently added a Development & Marketing Coordinator to our team. Get to know Abbey Nicholson in this Q&A.
How did you arrive at Lovin’ Spoonfuls?
This is actually a return, not an arrival to Lovin’ Spoonfuls for me. I first arrived at Lovin’ Spoonfuls as a Development and Operations Intern back in 2019. At the time, I was looking for a summer internship experience where I could learn more about nonprofit management. When I found an opportunity that also allowed me to engage with food justice, I was sold. I spent three months with the Lovin’ Spoonfuls team learning the ins and outs of grant writing, foundation research and prospecting, and general operational support. After graduating, I decided to continue down the path of development and fundraising and spent a little over a year working as a Development Assistant for the Major Gifts and Foundation Development teams over at GBH. While I enjoyed the people and the work of public media, I was looking to move to a smaller organization that felt a little closer to the community and also allowed me to return to my passion for food justice. I was excited to find Lovin’ Spoonfuls was hiring for a position that was the right fit for me and them!
Tell us about your background! How did you become interested in food rescue?
I have always had a love of food – eating it, cooking it, talking about it. As a sociology major at UMass, I began learning about societal systems, communities, and social constructs – the food system is one of the areas that especially caught my attention. Working as a food pantry volunteer, I also spent a lot of time just talking to people about food and their relationships with it. No matter your background, your family history, your nation of origin, or your socioeconomic status, everyone has a story about food and knows that food connects us and communities. It became clear that despite the fact that each and every person needs food to sustain themselves – not only from a biological standpoint, but also from a level of human/soul connection – that safe and healthy food is not seen as a human right, but rather it is viewed as a privilege within our society. I discovered I wanted to help solve for that disconnect. Food rescue addresses a major issue in our food system, where we have an abundance of food, but simply struggle to get it where it is needed most.
What passions do you bring to the job?
A love for food and connecting with people over food. A strong desire to create a more just and equitable society. And a passion for helping and supporting others, with a can-do attitude.
Do your friends/family consider you a good cook? Any signature recipes?
I think friends and family would consider me a good cook, with the asterisk that I am not the best at cleaning up from my cooking adventures. But that doesn’t stop them from requesting my lemon and chive grilled pork chops, my caramelized onion focaccia bread, or my ever classic rice and beans.
What would we find in your fridge now?
- VT Seriously Sharp Cabot Cheddar Cheese – always.
- Lots of fresh summer fruits and vegetables – berries and nectarines are currently the favorite.
- Franks Red Hot Sauce – I put that $#!t on (almost) everything.
- Chobani Clingstone Peach Yogurt – classic Abbey breakfast with old fashioned oats, craisins, strawberries, and a few dark chocolate chips.
- Gin, fresh mint, lemons, and ginger beer – the ingredients for the summer cocktail I am currently obsessed with.
What’s your favorite childhood food memory?
I would say my favorite childhood food memory is more of a food experience – cooking and baking with my family. From baking Thanksgiving pies the day before Thanksgiving with my mom and enjoying the leftover apples and cinnamon together, to attempting homemade salsa with garden-fresh tomatoes with my dad, to perfecting a classic tomato sauce with my stepmom, to making a delicious mess out of chocolate croissants with my sister: I grew up in the kitchen with my loved ones. Those messes and mistakes and delicious creations will always be my favorite food memories.
Who are your heroes?
I always find this question really hard because I idolize so many people in my life. That said, I am going to say my family members are my heroes. Every day my mom, sister, dad, and stepmom show me what it means to be resilient, strong, kind, hard-working, and principled. They do so much for me and also go out do so much for others in the community. I am grateful to have them as role models.
Learn more about Abbey and the rest of Team Lovin’ on our staff page.