fbpx

Welcome, Becca!

Becca Handford joined our team as a Food Rescue Coordinator in September 2018.

How did you arrive at Lovin’ Spoonfuls?

While attending UMass Amherst I was able to take a course called “Other Economies Are Possible” where we studied, amongst other things, solidarity economies. Within this unit we had learned about community outreach initiatives in the Greater Boston area, so when it came to write my final paper concerning any topic we had covered that year I chose to research food access; during my research I came across Lovin’ Spoonfuls and a few months later after I had graduated and was searching for a job I emailed Lauren asking if they were hiring.

 

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

I grew up in an affluent suburban town in Massachusetts, so for much of my life issues such as hunger and homelessness were not very visible to me until I began to better educate myself. During my time at UMass I joined a student-organized Food Access Coalition which worked to combat food insecurity on our campus and within our local communities. Some of my co-collaborators included food rescue coordinators who collected food from our dining halls and distributed it to graduate students, and a fellow student who operated a dining hall meal swipe ask/donation platform via Facebook for food sharing purposes. I immediately became very invested in all of this work, and when it came time to apply for jobs after graduation I started with food rescue organizations!

 

What passions do you bring to the job?

I have a very strong belief that food is a basic human right and that every person, regardless of their social location, is entitled to access it. Throughout my life I have built up a very strong will when it comes to making sure my fellow community members are able to not only survive, but thrive in their surroundings. I carry these convictions with me every day and am constantly grateful for the fact that the work I do goes hand in hand with what I believe.

 

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

I feel as though I come across new and exciting unknown food every day with this job. Both of my parents, as well as myself and my siblings, come from England so the type of cooking I grew up with was very traditional in the sense of Shepherd’s Pies and beef stews; coming across things like fresh tomatillos, yucca root, and rambutan for the first time was bizarre in a very awesome way. I feel like I am constantly learning not only about food systems and how they benefit communities, but also the food itself! I’ve become quite adventurous with my cooking along the way as well.

 

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

I love cooking for my friends and family, and haven’t had a bad review yet! My old housemate used to love when I would make stuffed chicken parmigiana, and I’ve been told my very basic version of shrimp etouffee is quite enjoyable.

 

What would we find in your refrigerator right now?

Certainly a lot of leftovers. I cook for myself so when I experiment with new recipes I often end up making far more than one portion, so I keep a good deal of leftovers in my refrigerator and freezer at all times. Also a lot of different hot sauces! Some of the labels I can’t even read because of the different languages but whenever I have hot sauces/chili sauces given to me or recommended to me I always have to try them – and there hasn’t been a hot sauce I haven’t liked yet!

 

What’s your favorite childhood food memory?

Being English means that I started eating curry at a very young age. Every year after Thanksgiving and Christmas had passed and we still had turkey leftovers my parents would take all of the scraps and dark meat and turn it into almost like a Turkey Tikka Masala. It became a family tradition of ours and to this day I still look forward each year to currying the turkey leftovers post-Thanksgiving and Christmas.

 

Who are your heroes?

I look up to a lot of people in my life. I have personal heroes such as my sister who has always been and will always be a guiding strength for me. I have everyday heroes such as the people I work with and see everyday at the non-profits who dedicate themselves to empowering and uplifting others. And I have grand heroes such as the political activists and revolutionaries who stand in defiance of oppression and demand dignity and respect for each and every human being.

2018 Ultimate Tailgate Recap: $375k Raised for Food Rescue & Hunger Relief!

Our MVP chefs!

Our 8th Annual Ultimate Tailgate Party happened this past Sunday, bringing together dozens of New England’s best chefs and hundreds of generous Lovin’ Spoonfuls supporters for a delicious evening of fundraising.

We’re thrilled to share that we raised a grand total of $375,000 which will help us expand our programs, rescue more food, and serve more people in need! It was a spectacular end to a record-breaking week in which we rescued our 11 millionth pound of food.

 

This event would not have been possible without the support of more 20 generous sponsors, including Platinum Sponsor Bain Capital Community Partnership, and Gold Sponsors Credit SuisseElizabeth & James Eisenstein, and Tito’s Handmade Vodka. We also had an amazing, enthusiastic team of volunteers who helped set up and kept the event running smoothly all evening long.

 

Board Member Andy Youniss (and 2017 Thomas M. Menino award honoree) kicked off the evening with a spirited welcome, followed by a presentation of the 5th annual Thomas M Menino Award to Senator Elizabeth Warren. Senator Warren graciously accepted the award via a thoughtful video message.

Maria Flores, client of beneficiary agency Roxbury Youthworks

Later in the evening, Culinary Board Member Andrew Zimmern kicked off our speaking program – reminding us all how food connects communities and how the work we do is needed, not only to feed people, but to connect people. Vinny Vassallo, one of our 9 Food Rescue Coordinators, followed with a speech illustrating the day to day impacts of our work. Following Vinny, Maria Flores, a client of our beneficiary agency Roxbury Youthworks, spoke about her experience receiving food from our deliveries, and the incredible impact the food we provide has had on her family. Following Maria’s heartfelt speech, Andrew Zimmern led an enthusiastic appeal for support of our work!

Team ‘Spoonfuls at Tailgate!

We are so grateful to the chefs, beverage teams, sponsors, speakers, volunteers, and everyone who made the evening a resounding success! Each truck we put on the road rescues more than 500,000 pounds of fresh, healthy food each year — and we keep them on the road with your support.
Follow along on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook as we post photos from the party in the coming days.

 

Cooking as Confidence

Cathy teaching a Plenty workshop at Cambridge Family and Children’s Services Center

“If everyone wants to gather around, we’ll get started!’ I announce in my friendliest voice, trying not to sound too excited. Nobody moves. The families that have come to my workshop at the Cambridge Family and Children’s Services Center (CFCS) huddle in the very back of the room, looking tired, stressed, and somewhat uninterested in what I have to offer. I cannot blame them; most are young families, some recently immigrated, and all are probably exhausted just trying to make ends meet, care for their children, find work, and maybe carve out some sense of community in their new home. Do I really expect them to be cooking meals from scratch with fresh, whole ingredients? It sounds like a lot to ask, but my goal is to show them that it is easier than they think. That’s what the Plenty program is all about: not just teaching cooking skills, but teaching home cooks how to work with what they have, use up everything they buy, and make good, nutritious food fit into their life.

With every workshop I teach, I also always learn something. One of the first hard lessons was that restaurant work is very common in low-income households, so many participants already knew all about cooking: I was given advice on how to cut an onion, when to add salt, and often overruled on my seasoning choices. Rather than being frustrated by this, I’m always encouraged by participants who get involved and want to make the recipe come out their way. Caring about what you eat is the most important step towards a healthy diet. With some persistent encouragement, the families at CFCS slowly started to get involved as well: one moved closer to peer into a bowl as I mixed a dressing, another followed her two children up when they wanted to touch the brightly colored peppers and see the inside of the red cabbage I’ve cut in half. Little by little, they start to interact with me, but more importantly, with each other.

By the time we sit down to eat together, they are laughing and talking. One has never tried lentils before, and another asks if she could add cilantro instead of basil to the salad? Regardless of the recipes and facts I’ve tried to teach, they’ve started a conversation about food, and they’re sharing their own knowledge with one another. Trying a new dish has gotten them thinking about how to make it their own, and the creativity slowly emerges.

“I like to think of cooking as confidence,” Noreen, Deputy Director at CFCS, told me during a recent visit. Confidence and permanency, she explains, are the two things most often in short supply for the people we serve. CFCS helps many different groups, from adolescents in foster care, to struggling families, to individuals with developmental disabilities. Cooking can be a great way to build confidence and a sense of community throughout their programs. “If you have something you can cook and share with your family, or invite your friends over for, that really gives you some confidence and is a great tool to use to strengthen connections with those important to you,” says Noreen. Individuals or families can learn to function better as a group through cooking and sharing a meal together.

At a recent workshop with the CFCS teen boys, most of them unaccompanied minor refugees, we were making shakshuka and hummus together. As I talked through the recipes, I realized many participants did not speak much English. But as I cooked, they watched, pointed, asked questions, and helped each other translate from English to Spanish to Eritrean and Arabic. Half-way through the workshop, they had a chosen spokesperson who asked the questions, and by the end, they were offering suggestions and sharing their favorite seasonings (they introduced me to the wonders of Goya Adobo – I let them keep my shaker of red pepper flakes). I learned afterwards that the young man who had led the group in asking questions had not participated in any group activities for months, and did not normally get along well with the other residents. Cooking a meal together, it seemed, had brought him out of his shell, and changed the dynamic.

Beneficiary Summit Success!

Earlier this week, we hosted our inaugural beneficiary summit, bringing together dozens of partners who receive food from Lovin’ Spoonfuls each week. Gathered at Salvation Army in Waltham, the group of attendees started the day by sharing how their organizations work with ‘Spoonfuls, and inciting a little competition among whose Food Rescue Coordinator is the best!  (Hint: they all are!)

Chief Operating Officer Lauren Palumbo provided a brief snapshot of the organization: sharing statistics about our work and the scope of the network of our partner organizations. Following some general questions about the organization, we reviewed a set of new procedures, rolled out over the past few months following our work with MIT’s Leading with Impact program. The new procedures include our new partnership agreement, our annual beneficiary data audit, upcoming check-in calls with partner organizations, and annual reporting coming in 2019. Being able to share this information in person provided the necessary context and clarification which can be hard to do electronically, and we were so pleased a number of our beneficiary partners joined us today for this important session!

Food Rescue and Plenty Program Coordinator Cathy Pedtke led an overview of our educational & nutrition programming, including information on our recipe cards, educational website content, and workshops. Lots of great questions followed, and we expect Cathy will have a long list of potential workshop hosts soon!

Following a short break, we broke into three discussion groups to share information and brainstorm on areas of interest to our beneficiary agencies: client education, best practices for food pantries, and working with close-dated food. All of the conversations were spirited and yielded some great feedback and ideas which we will be sharing in our upcoming October partner update. The conversations were facilitated by Operations Manager Sean Ahern, Food Rescue and Beneficiary Coordinator Jacob Matz, and Cathy Pedtke.

Finally, we shared conversation over an incredible lunch provided by Moody’s Deli. Long-term supporters of Lovin’ Spoonfuls, the team at Moody’s brought their best for our partners!

Conversations throughout the day were engaging and informative, and we hope everyone who attended found the time to be valuable. We hope to make this an annual event and we look forward to hearing feedback from those who joined us today so we can create great programming for 2019!

 

Q&A with Steph Moran of Allandale Farm

A winter pickup from Allandale Farm

Allandale Farm is a Brookline-based farm that connects Boston to its roots through sustainable growing practices. They were our first ever farm partner, and today we rescue more than 5,000 pounds of farm fresh food from them annually. We recently chatted with Farm Co-Manager Steph Moran about her role at the farm and why food rescue is important to farmers.

Describe your role at Allandale Farm; what’s a typical day like?

At Allandale Farm I act as one of two farm managers. The role of a farm manager can vary greatly between farms, but at Allandale, my co-manager Will and I act as complimentary pieces that fulfill a very large role. Together we manage everything from greenhouse seedings and daily harvests to planting, cultivating, and pest management schedules.

We work hard to provide vegetables for our farmstand daily, as well as for our 250 member CSA and for over 60 local restaurants, stores, and distributors. Working alongside our crew, we work hard to grow vegetables that are delicious, but also sustainably grown and mindfully managed.

On a given day I’ll wake up around 4:45 or 5:00 am to assess wholesale and farmstand orders, and either Will or I will construct our daily harvest list from those orders. At 7am we and our crew load up the trucks and start harvest, wash, and pack. We’ll then deliver produce to our partners in Boston, Somerville, and Cambridge. From there, we get to tackle the day’s field work which can range from hand weeding (carrots right now!), mechanically cultivating, field prep, irrigating, seeding in the greenhouse or field, picking bulk crops, tying tomatoes, etc.

In the Spring most of our time is devoted to caring for fields, planting seedlings, and weeding while in the dog days of August, much more of our time is spent picking tomatoes, organizing our cover crop schedule and weeding the farm. No two days are ever the same, which can be a great and daunting challenge. No day is typical, and yet there are familiar tasks and seasonal rhythms which help you find a sense of normalcy.

 

What’s unique about Allandale Farm?

Allandale is special for a great number of reasons — ranging from its location and heritage, to the diversity of its offerings — all of which are critical to its character. We feel humbled to steward the farm, knowing that it was carefully preserved for generations from the possibility of the city’s expansion and we’re reminded daily that we are both a farm in the city and a respite from the city’s bustle. Deer roam free (to our indignation), hawks and coyotes hunt, and rabbits, squirrels, turkeys, and geese live fairly freely, as if we weren’t in the city of Boston.

Meanwhile, our farmstand and garden center remain busy all year long helping people with their farm staples (think tomatoes, pumpkins, Christmas trees, firewood, hayrides and even a huge offering of nursery plants grown right on the farm and through the help of other farms and nurseries). In short, Allandale is special because we get to offer our community a slew of experiences that wouldn’t normally exist within city limits.

 

What do you love most about farming? What’s your favorite time of year on the farm?

I love farming for many reasons, but primarily I love that I will always have room to learn in this profession. In farming, much of your education is reactive to whichever problem plagues you at any given moment. I love to learn about crop evolution and natural history, but you can spend an entire lifetime learning about plant biology, entomology, plant nutrient uptake, sustainable advancements in farming, welding, mechanics, business management, marketing, etc. Each year we try to make our education a priority in some way.

 

What’s your favorite vegetable?

My favorite vegetable to grow and eat is unequivocally potatoes. I think they’re satisfying to grow, they have beautiful foliage, and they come in SO many varieties. I’m also extremely fascinated by the history of the cultivation of potatoes and their role in world history. I could also happily eat potatoes for every single meal. In other words, they’re the full package.

 

Allandale Farm was the first farm partner for Lovin’ Spoonfuls; how do you work with ‘Spoonfuls?

We’re proud to have such a long standing relationship with Lovin’ Spoonfuls. Like many farmers, I’m concerned about food waste and food access, and partnering with Lovin’ Spoonfuls allows me to know that every single moment of our collective effort to grow this food goes to good use.

We like to believe that every crop we pick is destined to be a small and modest piece of someone’s life, and maybe in some ways can be the backdrop to their anniversary dinner, their birthday celebration, their summer cookout, or even the weeknight dinner that inspires someone’s kid to eat (insert vegetable here, we’ve heard it all) for the first time. Knowing that Lovin’ has expanded the possibility for all of our food is inspiring.

 

Why is food rescue important to farmers?

Food rescue should be a critical piece of any agricultural system. By nature of our business we pick and grow food all year round that never makes its way off the retail shelves. We love to support our community and the important mission of Lovin’ Spoonfuls AND we love that our CSA members and customers can trust that we’re careful with our food waste and output. We also work other great organizations like the Boston Area Gleaners to make sure that the produce that never makes it out of the field finds a good home.

From the Driver’s Seat: CAB Health and Recovery Center

Reggie Nguyen is a Food Rescue Coordinator for Lovin’ Spoonfuls. Below, he recalls a recent visit to CAB Health and Recovery Center.

It’s 12:58 and I’m on time, once again, as I reverse into the CAB loading dock. As usual, Chef Lotfi, who oversees the meal program, and his assistant, Wong, are standing by with carts like longshoremen waiting for me to dock.

CAB is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center primarily focused on substance abuse treatment. CAB provides a bed and meals as clients take their crucial first step towards rehabilitation. Chef has been in charge of their kitchen since we began working with them in 2016.  His rough exterior is abrasive at times though a tough skin is required in his line of work. Like a stereotypical chef, his demands can be absurd but I have grown to appreciate it. It shows that he cares.

CAB clients prefer sugary products because of withdrawal. Most beneficiaries we work with would rather avoid “bad” food but CAB just can’t get enough of it. Rescued pastries and snacks need a home, too.

“I’ve got all the bake and sweets you can imagine today, chef!” I say, as I approach.

“Wait, wait, I want those men to leave first”, pointing of a group of men smoking and bantering right next to dock.

Wait? Chef knows that I can’t just wait around. I have already bent to his will by delivering only after 1 pm and no later than 1:30. And those men — why am I waiting for them?  Then I made the connection, Chef wanted to wait because of safety concern. But wanting to enjoy the first wonderful, glorious spring day of the year, I pulled down my sunglass and told chef “sure thing.”

I couldn’t help but reflect on the neighborhood as I waited for his signal to begin. Known as the “Methadone Mile”, the area of Massachusetts Avenue and Melnea Cass where CAB is located, is where the brutal truth of Boston’s opioid epidemic is most apparent. It’s is one of the city’s toughest areas. Homelessness, drug abuse, and mental illness are all out in the open. My 4 years working at a nearby women’s shelter only confirmed its harshness.

“How long have you worked here, Chef?”

“8 years.” he said as we he watched the men smoke. “I just don’t want them to cause any trouble for me.”

Some of these men are recent inmates from the nearby county jail. Most of them are seeking help for drug abuse. He has to take precautions; it’s understandable. It is very hard to face despair without succumbing to it, so I’m impressed with his 8 year tenure.

Eventually, the men dispersed and Chef give the signal to start unloading. He takes all the pastries in sight while Wong mischievously tests his boss’s temper by checking out the sandwiches.

“Put that down Wong! They won’t eat it!” Chef yelled.

“Just looking, just looking, geez!”

“Sorry about not having milk, chef. I’ll give you a call if I have some later in the week.” I said as we finished up.

“It is what it is. Thank you, my friend.”

We shook hands and I gave a quick stern talk to Wong about the importance of not touching the sandwiches. Wong smirked and shook my hand. It was time to depart as I was already late for my next stop.

10 Million Pounds and counting


Dear Friends & Supporters,

 

Yesterday marked a significant milestone for Lovin’ Spoonfuls — we rescued and distributed our 10,000,000th pound of fresh, healthy food. I’m incredibly proud that we were joined by Mayor Martin J. Walsh, members of our Board of Directors, and City Officials as we gathered at Rosie’s Place, where our Food Rescue Coordinator Reggie made the handoff. Rosie’s Place was one of our earliest beneficiaries in our first year in operation, and today we came full circle.

Lovin’ Spoonfuls began in 2010 as a simple response to the tremendous amounts of food going to waste. As we slowly began to grow, we held our founding principles close. To serve with intent and purpose, without duplicating efforts, to inspire larger output and outcomes from our partners in the space. At its core, Lovin’ Spoonfuls has always been about relationships. Even with sophisticated technology, strategic logistics and a practical approach to distribution — everything comes back to our partners. Our vendors and beneficiaries work within our program, creating a streamlined, efficient and capable network. As we celebrate 10 million pounds, we are grateful for the deep partnerships we have, and the ones we continue to cultivate.

Lovin’ Spoonfuls continues to grow with a dedicated staff that shows up in 100-degree heat, and 0-degree windchill. As a team, we believe that what we cultivate within the organization allows us to serve our community with integrity and commitment. You can learn about our team and what ‘drives’ them here, along with news and updates throughout the year.

You, our donors, are truly an invaluable part of this effort. Your support in any amount goes directly to our mission, and we recognize you as a part of the Spoonfuls family. Our partners in hospitality, led by our esteemed Culinary Panel, continue to show generosity beyond measure through events like The Ultimate Tailgate, Season and so many other efforts throughout each year. Our Board of Directors inspires leadership, creativity and excellence. The Friends of Lovin’ Spoonfuls, led by the Friends Advisory Board are energetic, passionate and committed to volunteer work on our behalf.

Now that we’ve celebrated this momentous occasion, it’s time to get back to work. We have a list of agencies waiting for our services and the food we provide, but we need to grow in order to reach them. Please, consider taking part in our $10 for 10 Campaign to Fight Hunger, which marks our 10 million pound milestone, by making a donation and sharing with your network.

We continue to be humbled by our supporters and partners — thank you for helping make yesterday’s milestone a reality.

Very Sincerely,

Ashley Stanley

Lovin’ Spoonfuls $10 for 10 Tiki Party!

We’re counting down to 10 MILLION!

Join us in celebration of our 10 millionth pound of food rescued! We’re throwing a party at Tiger Mama on July 23rd as part of our month-long $10 for 10 Campaign — help us reach our $50K goal by attending our party! The fun will go 6 p.m.-9 p.m.

Meet us at Tiger Mama’s Tiki Bar (back of the restaurant) for some tiki cocktails featuring our preferred beverage sponsor Tito’s Handmade Vodka! Each $10 donation made on-site will get you a ticket for a specialty cocktail AND an entry to win one of Tito’s copper bar kits. If that doesn’t make you feel good, then the fact that each $10 donation feeds 10 people in our community will!

Admission to this event is FREE and delicious food will be available for purchase. RSVP to joel@lovinspoonfulsin.org. We hope to see you there to celebrate 10 million pounds!

The Grateful Bread is here!

 

Calling all beer lovers! Get it while it lasts!

Right now and for a limited time, The Grateful Bread, a delicious collaboration between Lovin’ Spoonfuls, Cambridge Brewing Company and Eataly Boston is available! The refreshingly-tart session beer is available at Eataly and CBC this summer (stay tuned as it’s released at other locations!), and proceeds from each beer sold benefits Lovin’ Spoonfuls.

On brew day, the CBC Brew Team gathered with members of Lovin’ Spoonfuls and Eataly Boston to break up the bread, helm the mash and stir in the excess bread, making this batch a true collaboration.

Operations Manager Sean Ahern stirs in the mash

“CBC’s history as a ground-breaking brewery has also been one of community support and social awareness. We are proud to work with our friends at Eataly Boston and Lovin’ Spoonfuls to raise awareness of food waste through this collaboration beer brewed with rescued bread,” said CBC Brewmaster Will Myers. “In doing so, we are also proud to raise funds for and awareness of the non-profit organizations in our city like Lovin’ Spoonfuls, who work to redirect our food systems and end hunger in our city,” Myers said.

The beer is made from a single type of bread made at Eataly – l’otto tondo – which has its roots in the northern Italian region of Piemonte.  There, the head baker’s mill, Mulino Marino, crafts the finest flour for house-made breads. The 100% Italian, germ-intact, stone-ground, and organic bread rises from a 35 year old mother yeast and has a pleasant sourdough finish.  The bread used to make “The Grateful Bread” is the same served daily table-side at Eataly’s restaurant.

“This is what a local food community is all about,” said Lovin’ Spoonfuls founder and executive director Ashley Stanley. “At Lovin’ Spoonfuls we’re focused on keeping value in food. This project is exciting because it’s an opportunity to showcase food rescue in a really relevant way, all while working with a fantastic local producer, as well as a partner that’s right here in Boston, yet has global reach,” said Stanley.  

 

 

 

Welcome Will!

Will Marmorine joined Lovin’ Spoonfuls in April as a Food Rescue Coordinator

How did you arrive at Lovin’ Spoonfuls?

My wife and I recently moved to Boston from Minneapolis after she got accepted into Harvard Business School. I was looking to continue my work in hunger relief and Lovin’ Spoonfuls was one of the premier organization in the Boston area in that regard.

Tell us about your background! How did you become interested in food rescue?
I worked in operations for a number of years but always had an interest in a more service-oriented role. If you look at where operations and service intersect, you will find a food bank and fortunately for me I was able to work at Second Harvest Heartland, one of the country’s top food banks, for a few years. While there I volunteered with a number of other hunger relief organizations to broaden my knowledge and experience and I eventually went to work for one, ICA Food Shelf, a pantry that distributes over 1.5 million pounds of food annually. It was there I took over the food rescue operation for a couple years.

What passions do you bring to the job?
I am very passionate about serving others. I feel like I have the opportunity to make things a little better for other people and I’m willing to work hard and work collaboratively to make that happen.

Have there been any surprises for you in the food you rescue?
The biggest surprise to me has been the variety and quality of the food we rescue. Yes, more often than not, it’s food that stores don’t believe they can sell. But it’s still good, nutritious food that can and should find a home if the system is in place to get it to that home. With the work Lovin’ Spoonfuls and our partners do, we collectively find a lot of good homes for a lot of good food.

Do your friends and family consider you a good cook? Any signature recipes?
They should probably not consider me a good cook but they are too Minnesotan to tell me that. Instead they would probably call me an…interesting cook.

What would we find in your refrigerator right now?
Enough fruit to feed a small elephant.

What’s your favorite childhood food memory?
Every year my grandparents would host our Christmas get together and my grandfather would make his beef stroganoff. Christmas has never felt the same since he passed.

Who are your heroes?

My grandfather piloted a bomber in World War II and then settled down after the war and married an incredible woman and raised a family. When his wife passed away late in life, he married another incredible woman. He was a fixture at the local minor league baseball park and even took his 10-year-old grandson on his first road trip following that team around the midwest. He was the glue that held our family together and I will be lucky to be half the man he was.

Beneficiary Spotlight: IINE helps refugees and immigrant families

Introducing a new segment we’re calling Beneficiary Spotlight, whereby we highlight one of our amazing partners and tell you about the work that they’re doing.

 

FRC Reggie distributes fresh fruit and prepared meals to IINE in Chinatown.

 

When you support Lovin’ Spoonfuls, you are supporting the International Institute of New England, which works hard each day to get thousands of immigrants and refugees the resources that they need. We spoke with Andrea Spake this month, who said the Lovin’ Spoonfuls gives IINE’s clients a chance to eat in between work and English classes. Spake, IINE’s Community Relations Manager, talks about the 100-year-old agency’s work.

 

Q: What is IINE?

The International Institute of New England was founded in Lowell in 1918 by the YWCA. We have since expanded to three sites Boston, MA, Lowell, MA, and Manchester, NH. For 100 years we have been creating opportunities for refugees and immigrants to succeed through resettlement, education, career advancement and pathways to citizenship.

Q: What types of programming do you provide?

We provide a variety of services based on the needs of our clients. We provide everything from Refugee resettlement services, to English classes at a variety of levels, as well as skills training programs that help to train our clients for job upgrades. This past year we even expanded our services to provide more English classes as a part of our Adult Continuing Education program as well as added legal forms services. These two programs were added after an assessment was done to determine gaps in services provided across New England.

Q: Can you tell us a little about the people you serve?

In 2017 IINE helped nearly 2,000 refugees and immigrants from 66 countries including Syria, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Somalia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Our community is made of men, women, and children of all ages, ethnic backgrounds, and religions. We also have two staff members who have dedicated their careers to helping unaccompanied minors from Central America reunite with family members in the U.S. all across the East Coast. IINE is working to expand our services to double our reach to 4,000 individuals by 2025.

 

Marie Ishimwe and Ange Cyuzuzo, two refugees from Rwanda, attend classes at IINE and have been living in the U.S. for 4 months.

 

Q: Why is your work important right now?

According to a United Nations report, there are currently 65.6 million people around the world who have been forced from their homes, of these 22.5 million are refugees. This is the highest level of displacement that has been recorded in human history. Over the generations, our response has remained consistent and constant: we provide an authentic welcome, orientation to U.S. culture, and support in obtaining the earliest and most basic needs of food, shelter, and clothing. Are services are offered through a continuum of support that meet our clients’ needs at every level.

Q: How did you learn about Lovin’ Spoonfuls?

When I entered this role the partnership between IINE and Lovin’ Spoonfuls had already been established. The first week of orientation I was informed of the fantastic support and quality of food that Lovin’ Spoonfuls provides our clients each week.

Q: How has the partnership been helpful to your community?

Often times our clients are splitting their time between work and English classes. This doesn’t leave a lot of time to go home a get a healthy meal or snack. When Lovin’ Spoonfuls makes their drop off it gives our clients a chance to grab a bite to eat. Working and studying as hard as they do takes a toll on their energy levels, so it is great to be able to offer a healthy option mid-day.

Q: How can people support IINE?

We would like to invite you to help us grow, expand, and continue to welcome the most vulnerable people on the planet. IINE depends on the support of our donors and volunteers to offer a high level of programming to our clients. We also encourage you to use your voice to advocate for new Americans. If you are interested in helping us please reach out to Andrea Spake at aspake@iine.org to hear about our current volunteer roles and opportunities to get involved.

There’s Still Time for Negroni Week!

We have been blown away by the #NegroniWeek love this year! There are still plenty of events this week if you’ve missed out on some of the fun. Follow Negroni Week Boston on Facebook for daily updates (tonight you can get free pizza with your Negroni at Puritan & Co., then head across the river to JM Curley for After Hours Negronis!)

(Spoonfuls celebrating Campari Day of Service with some of Boston’s favorite bartenders, who donated their time to make us lunch!)

Huge thanks to the 80+ restaurants around the world who have chosen Spoonfuls as their charity this week! Head to negroniweek.com to search a full list of partners and stay tuned for updates throughout the week!

Gin not your thing? Order a Rose Negroni instead!

Recipe:

1 ½ oz. still rosé
¾ oz. Cocchi Rosa
¾ oz. Campari
2 oz. sparkling rosé
2 dashes grapefruit bitters
Tools: barspoon, strainer
Glass: rocks
Garnish: grapefruit peel

Tyler Fry, Spilt Milk, Chicago

See more Negroni recipes here to try this week!

 

Here’s the complete list of restaurants supporting us — help Spoonfuls by visiting these fantastic spots!

The Indo Pub

The Gaff Bar

RENKU LOUNGE

The Middle Spoon

Hojoko

The Cultivator

Shoals

The Hourly Oyster House

Trina’s Starlite Lounge

Ginspiration Bar

Tiger Mama

Tiki Rock

Michael’s on Naples

Highball Lounge

H Tasting Lounge

Brass Union

Eastern Standard Kitchen and Drinks

Covina

Schileen’s Irish Pub

Deuxave Restaurant & Bar

River Bar

Explorateur

Renegades Pub

The International Bar

Little Donkey

Coppa

Toro Boston

Shays Grill Pub

State Street Provisions

Temple Bar

db Bistro & Oyster Bar

Harper’s Garden

Eataly Boston

ADRFIT By Chef David Myers

Russell House Tavern

SRV

Nicli Antica Pizzeria

La Brasa Boston

Southern Proper

Capo

Privateer Rum

Club 55

Sweet Cheeks BBQ

Spoke Wine Bar

The Independent

Wink & Nod

Noir Bar

Earls Kitchen & Bar

The Publican

Spago by Wolfgang Puck

The Bar at Waku Ghin

Grafton Street Pub & Grill

Benedetto

Parla

Cut by Wolfgang Puck

Sherwood’s Bistro

Menton

Drink

The Butcher Shop

Sportello

No. 9 Park

jm Curley

Puritan & Company

Bar Mezzana

Killarneys

Nooks Pour House

NEBO Cucina & Enoteca

Area Four South End

Alden & Harlow

Waypoint

Armsby Abbey

Volturno

The Pint

Bar Boulud Boston

Grassona’s Italian Avvio Ristorante

Papa Razzi Concord

Papa Razzi Boston

Casa B Tapas and Cocktail & Rum Bar

BOND Restaurant | Lounge

The Reserve

Bread Street Kitchen & Bar Singapore

 

 

help us expand to springfield: contact your state senators today!

 

CALL TO ACTION: Lovin’ Spoonfuls needs your help!

We’re at it again — please help us make it into the Senate budget! All this week, the Massachusetts Senate will be debating the FY2019 budget for the Commonwealth. State Sen. Eric Lesser (1st Hampden and Hampshire Counties) is filing an amendment on behalf of Lovin’ Spoonfuls for $100,000 in state funding to support our expansion into Springfield and surrounding communities. Springfield has long been a priority for us, as it is home to the highest rate of childhood food insecurity in Massachusetts. State support will ensure our successful launch, leading to service to the region for years to come, much like our current operations in the Greater Boston and MetroWest communities.

Please call or email your State Senators this week to ask them to support Sen. Lesser’s amendment by co-sponsoring. You can find your State Senator by visiting this website , and when you click on their name, you can see their email address and phone number.

Sample script:

Hi, my name is [your name] and I’m a constituent from [your town], and I’m calling to urgently request that you co-sponsor Sen. Eric Lesser’s Amendment #970, supporting Lovin’ Spoonfuls’ expansion into Springfield. Springfield is home to the highest rate of childhood food insecurity in the state, and this Amendment will help the region get the services it so desperately needs. Please support Lovin’ Spoonfuls expansion to serve this community. Thank you.”

 

Sample email:

 Copy and paste:

Subject: Please Co-Sponsor Sen. Eric Lesser’s amendment to bring Lovin’ Spoonfuls to Springfield!

Dear Senator  ________ ,

My name is _____________ and I am a constituent in _____________.  I am writing in support of Lovin’ Spoonfuls expansion into Springfield, Massachusetts.

Lovin’ Spoonfuls connects food which would otherwise be discarded to the people that need it most. The agency currently serves Eastern Massachusetts, feeding 35,000 people each week. Springfield is home to the highest rate of childhood food insecurity in Massachusetts. The region desperately needs the services and support that Lovin’ Spoonfuls provides.

I respectfully request that you co-sponsor Sen. Eric Lesser’s Amendment #970 to secure $100,000 to fund of Lovin’ Spoonfuls’ expansion to Springfield.

Thank you for your consideration and the work you do on our behalf.

Sincerely,

Name and Address

 

Thank you for taking the time to support our work with this effort. Stay tuned for updates on our progress!

 

The Lovin’ Spoonfuls Team

Meet Amber!

 

Amber Tillson joined Lovin’ Spoonfuls in February as our new Development Director!

 

How did you arrive at Lovin’ Spoonfuls?

At age 5 my mom and I would make sandwiches to take down to the local shelter. As a kid, it was hard to imagine that some people didn’t have food, and that stuck with me. At this point my mom was a single mother of 3, and at times struggled to put food on the table for us. As I grew up, I continued volunteering for hunger relief organizations. In high school and through college I volunteered at a local shelter 3 times a week, which deepened my passion for food justice.

Needless to say, these experiences cemented my core beliefs regarding hunger– that healthy, delicious food is not a privilege, it’s a right. Over the past 6 yrs I’ve held leadership roles within nonprofit organizations focused on hunger relief and youth work. A few years ago I learned of Lovin’ Spoonfuls and fell in love with the mission. It’s so simple– take wasted food and put it in the hands of folks who are struggling to secure their next meal. I kept an eye on their job postings, and… Here I am today!

 

What things have stood out to you since joining Lovin’ Spoonfuls?

I’m really impressed with the sense of hospitality that’s infused in to our work, and in turn the overwhelming support we receive from local chefs and restaurants to drive our mission forward. We are incredibly (let me repeat, INCREDIBLY) fortunate to have so many amazing partners throughout Greater Boston who rally behind our mission, and come together in the name of food. It’s a beautiful thing.

 

Part of starting the job was to ride-along with several of the FRCs. What was that experience like for you?

It was my “WOW” moment– where I got to see just how much care has been put in to developing a food rescue model that doesn’t feel transactional, but relational. I was so impressed with the detail and care put in to our entire operations– from the savvy, efficient procedures orchestrated by our Operations Manager and COO, to the relationships our FRCs form with beneficiary organizations.  I was also struck by how much beautiful, yummy food we picked up. It really got me thinking about how much food is out there to be rescued…

 

Tell us about being on the Development team at Lovin’ Spoonfuls!

We’re a small team setting out to do big things! We definitely have our work cut out for us, but Lovin’ Spoonfuls isn’t about setting the bar low, so it’s fitting. Right now we are looking to the future, and I’m excited to join the team at such an imperative time.

 

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

I’m not sure if they consider me a good cook, but it’s definitely a passion of mine! My family usually gives me a hard time for sneaking vegetables into things, like my kale pesto. My husband and I love rummaging through our cookbooks on the weekends to find new recipes to make, and one of our most favorite things in the world is to cook for friends and family– there’s something quite special about sharing a home cooked meal at a table full of people you love!

 

What would we find in your refrigerator right now?

Homemade cauliflower romesco, seltzer, peanut butter, yogurt, spinach, my sourdough starter and a sad kombucha mother that’s been forgotten in the back.

 

What’s your favorite childhood food memory?

My mom used to make our favorite dinners on our birthdays or for special occasions, and she served it on this red plate that said “You Are Special Today”. It was a tradition in our house, and my siblings and I always looked forward to it. I’m the oldest of 5 in my family, so sometimes it became a competition!

 

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

I’ve had the privilege of being close friends with some zero waste people (ie, people who make it a goal to create NO trash or waste in their life) so I feel like food waste wasn’t unfamiliar when I joined the team. However, I definitely spend more time thinking about it now, particularly how I might be able to share some tips on reducing food waste. A lot of people don’t understand the magnitude of how much good food is wasted, or creative ways to use scraps in the kitchen.

 

What’s your favorite place/restaurant/neighborhood in Boston?

I lived in Central Square in Cambridge for over 6 years, and I just absolutely love its character.  My husband and I are in love with Pammy’s right now.

 

Who are your heroes?

Oh, what a question! I can’t think of any one person right now, but I am always really inspired by people who share their personal struggles. I think vulnerability and openness is something that we take for granted– it takes a lot of courage! I also think it can be a huge connector, and can help others feel like they aren’t alone in whatever they’re going through.

From the Driver’s Seat: a food rescue family

 

Mary Bilecki joined the Lovin’ Spoonfuls team as a Food Rescue Coordinator in November 2017.

When Lovin’ Spoonfuls hired me six months ago I was brought on as a ‘floater’ — one of two Food Rescue Coordinators (FRC’s) who rotates across all seven truck routes including the greater Boston area and Metrowest. As a floater, I drive every truck, rescue food from all of our 70+ vendors, get to know all of our 150+ beneficiary partners, and work alongside each of our seven outstanding food rescue coordinators. To say I was initially intimidated would be an understatement. Thankfully, today I know that I never have to face a situation alone and that I can always rely on my fellow FRC’s for support.

Our team is always working on optimizing routes for efficiency, and scheduling a clear plan for each day. However, the best days in food rescue are the days where there are surprises when we work together to find the best home for the food we rescue. Food rescue happens fast, food rescue is unpredictable, and food rescue cannot happen without a foundation of passionate, hardworking individuals.

As FRCs, it’s our job to be constantly thinking about where the nutritious, perishable food will wind up. We each have our own toolkit filled with the skills we use to deal with the uncertainty associated with food rescue. As a floater I’ve got the hookup — I get to observe each of my teammates and learn all the best techniques. From how to load the truck to ensure the boxes don’t topple over while merging onto the expressway, to learning that clear communication with beneficiaries and each other is paramount.

Our text thread is full of updates, “Running light today on produce in Marge” “Rose is heavy on dairy and prepared” “Tess has a ton of produce, we can bring some extra to Marge’s beneficiaries” (yes, our trucks are named after the Golden Girls). While I was initially overwhelmed by the logistical details and the sheer amount of how much food the Lovin’ Spoonfuls trucks move each day, these anxieties have eased solely because I know no matter what situation I may face on any given day I have a support system there to help me problem-solve.

It’s a privilege to work alongside such passionate and experienced team members. Between the food rescue coordinators there are decades of experience working for both nonprofits and corporate organizations; in food systems, community development, management and art therapy with a variety of degrees in gastronomy, sociology, anthropology… the list goes on. What we all share is a commitment to fighting food insecurity driven by the knowledge that hunger can be solved by redirecting food waste.  

When I first moved to Boston, it was to start this position working for Lovin’ Spoonfuls. I knew only four people in the area, I didn’t have an apartment and I had no understanding of the city’s layout or New England culture. Lovin’ Spoonfuls welcomed me with open arms and has since taught me so much about Boston, food insecurity, food waste, communication, logistics, and teamwork in an incredibly short amount of time.

 

Help Us Expand to Springfield: Contact your State Reps TODAY!

 

CALL TO ACTION: Lovin’ Spoonfuls needs your help!

Over the coming weeks, the Massachusetts House of Representatives will be debating the FY2019 budget for the Commonwealth. Representative Jose Tosado of Springfield is filing an amendment on behalf of Lovin’ Spoonfuls for $100,000 in state funding to support our expansion into Springfield and surrounding communities. Springfield has long been a priority for us, as it is home to the highest rate of childhood food insecurity in Massachusetts. State support will ensure our successful launch, leading to service to the region for years to come, much like our current operations in the Greater Boston and MetroWest communities.

Please call or email your State Representative before Friday to ask them to support Representative Tosado’s amendment by co-sponsoring. You can find your State Representative by visiting this website, and when you click on their name, you can see their email address and phone number.

Sample script:

Hi, my name is [your name] and I’m a constituent from [your town], and I’m calling to urgently request that you co-sponsor Rep. Jose Tosado’s Amendment to line item#2511-0105 , supporting Lovin’ Spoonfuls’ expansion into Springfield. Springfield is home to the highest rate of childhood food insecurity in the state, and this Amendment will help the region get the services it so desperately needs. Please support Lovin’ Spoonfuls expansion to serve this community. Thank you.”

 

Sample email:

 Copy and paste:

Subject: Please Co-Sponsor Rep. Tosado’s amendment to bring Lovin’ Spoonfuls to Springfield!

Dear Representative ________ ,

My name is _____________ and I am a constituent in _____________.  I am writing in support of Lovin’ Spoonfuls expansion into Springfield, Massachusetts.

Lovin’ Spoonfuls connects food which would otherwise be discarded to the people that need it most. The agency currently serves Eastern Massachusetts, feeding 35,000 people each week. Springfield is home to the highest rate of childhood food insecurity in Massachusetts. The region desperately needs the services and support that Lovin’ Spoonfuls provides.

I respectfully request that you co-sponsor Rep. Jose Tosado’s amendment to line item # 2511-0105 for $100,000 in support of Lovin’ Spoonfuls’ expansion to Springfield.

Thank you for your consideration and the work you do on our behalf.

Sincerely,

Name and Address

 

Thank you for taking the time to support our work with this effort; stay tuned for updates in the coming weeks on our progress and more ways to assist!

The Lovin’ Spoonfuls Team

From Food Rescue to Fundraising: Joel Simonson on switching roles

Joel Simonson joined Lovin’ Spoonfuls as a Food Rescue Coordinator in 2016. In 2017, he became our Development Coordinator. Joel talks about how both jobs “do something positive.” 

 

What is your role at Lovin’ Spoonfuls?

I am the Development Coordinator at Lovin’ Spoonfuls.

 

Tell us about your background.

I am passionate about the mission and work of Lovin’ Spoonfuls through a health perspective. I studied Biology as an undergraduate at Clark University and for a majority of my studies I was on a Pre-Med track. However, I realized during my junior year that I was more interested in public health and did not want to pursue medical school. I decided I wanted to continue my education at Clark and I enrolled in a graduate program for Environmental Science and Policy, where I focused on the relationships between public health and access to nutritious food.   

 

How does your prior role influence your current work?

My prior role as a Food Rescue Coordinator has a significant influence over my current work. Through writing grants and having conversations with individuals who support our work, I am able to share my experiences with our vendor and beneficiary partners. Personally, I like to tell stories, and now I have the chance to share the impact of our work through a variety of channels.

 

You’re the first person in our agency history that has worked across both Operations and Development. What was the biggest adjustment?

I think the biggest adjustment is the perspective in which I view our work. To me, every day as a Food Rescue Coordinator was like a puzzle. I needed to determine how to best fit the boxes of fresh food in the truck, but also how to appropriately distribute the food amongst the beneficiary agencies. In addition, it was an opportunity to physically see our work in action. On the Development team, I view our work through the metrics of our impact, such as the amount of food we rescue and the number of people we can serve per every dollar raised, but also how we have increased our capacity over the last few years.     

 

What is your favorite part of the job?

My favorite part of the job, and really my favorite part about being at Lovin’ Spoonfuls, is the unique opportunity to do something positive. I think there are two sides to this feeling. On one hand, supporting our fundraising efforts allows our team to rescue and distribute more fresh food to those who need it the most. That alone is an incredible feeling. However, I have also been able to share our work with friends, family, and friends of my family who had no idea that food rescue was even a thing. Both make me thrilled to be a part of Lovin’ Spoonfuls and the Development team.    

 

Who are your heroes?

I know it sounds cliche, but my grandparents are definitely my heroes. Hands down. Through their own experiences, they taught me what it means to work hard, love your family, and enjoy life. They always supported me in my endeavors and were always present, both physically and emotionally, during my upbringing. I would not be the person I am today if it were not for them. 

From the Driver’s Seat: Our Unsung Heroes

By Deb Hicks

It’s Monday morning and Reggie and I have just completed our first delivery. As we pull away, I’m already on the phone with our next stop.

“Receiving.”

“Good morning, Dave. It’s Deb with Lovin’ Spoonfuls.”

“All right. I’ll let ‘em know!”

Deb Hicks, an FRC with Lovin’ Spoonfuls since 2016, with Dave Gerry

Within minutes we are backing up to the dock at Roche Bros. in Needham. Inside, Dave Gerry, the lead receiver, greets us and gives us the lowdown, checklist style. “OK. So here you’ve got your meals; two bags of bread; produce is right there on the cart. Dairy is on its way, and there’s a lot of meat today. It’s gonna feed a lot of people.”

We respond with gratitude as we quickly get to work. This day is no exception to the average day; the cornucopia in front of us easily amounts to over 600 pounds of healthy, fresh food. Dave’s comment, “it’s gonna feed a lot of people,” could not be more true. It’s not only a welcome reminder of just how important every pear and potato is, but it’s also a declaration of his commitment to our work.

Dave is not our only supporter — the contributions come from every department. As we cull the produce and begin loading the truck, other employees stop to say hello and exchange a few friendly words. Over the 2+ years that fellow FRC Reggie has been going to the Needham Roche Bros. on a near-daily basis, it is clear that he is as much a part of their community as they are. And they are, without a doubt, an integral part of the Lovin’ Spoonfuls family.

Conversations and our loading process wrap-up, and we are ready to head off to our next stop. We roll the carts back inside, with a few items left on board (a punctured tomato, a leaky gallon of milk). If Dave isn’t busy, we won’t make it far before he hollers, “leave it there! I’ll take care of it.” We shout our appreciation and goodbyes, and a few moments later we’re back on the road.

Around the same time that we are leaving Roche Bros Needham, Food Rescue Coordinators Jacob and Mary are heading to the Westwood location. Things work like clockwork at this store as well. A call in advance is all it takes, and our friends in the produce department put out the word. Upon arrival, the FRC’s find the entrance barricaded with rescued food. Carts piled with boxes, and stacks of crates are just inside the vinyl strip curtain, as easily accessible as possible without being exposed to the elements. All aboard, and they’re off.


Westwood is a relatively quick stop for Jacob and Mary, thanks to the time that has already been put into preparing for the pickup. If it weren’t for the collaboration of team members from each and every department, our stopping there would not be so fruitful. In Westwood, Tina Walty, who, like Dave, has been working with Lovin Spoonfuls since day one of our partnership with Roche Bros., confirms that “everyone is involved.” Food that is donated does not just go from a store shelf to a box; rather, it must pass a quality-check, and be scanned out. In the past, good food would often go into an organic waste dumpster or the trash. “Throwing things in the trash when it’s still edible was heartbreaking,” says Tina.

These stores are just two examples of food rescue at its best. Given our 70+ vendor partners, you can imagine that there are dozens of extraordinary individuals working and advocating for us everyday. There’s Patti at Trader Joe’s in Brookline who will cut open a bag of oranges to pull out the one that’s rotten before setting the others aside for us. And Joe at Whole Foods in Charlestown who, upon our arrival, stops what he’s doing to retrieve prepared foods from a different part of the store.

There’s Charlie at Star Market in Brighton who helped convince the produce and dairy departments to start donating (what is now hundreds of pounds each day!). The record-breaking numbers we have been reaching are a clear testament to the dedication of these individuals. The 60,000+ pounds we have been averaging each week is not made up of pallets of pumpkins; rather, it adds up slowly, one apple, one orange, one onion at a time, each picked off the shelf, each scanned out as to be accounted for, and each boxed and stored properly. All of this is done by the incredible men and women who work at these stores.

Dave, Tina, and all the others are the unsung heroes of what we do – the humble helpers who make our job possible. They don’t necessarily get to see the smiles or hear the heartwarming stories when handing out the food, but they understand the importance of their role in it, even on the busiest of days of the year.

“It’s gonna feed a lot of people!”

“It sure is!” I reply to Dave, who proudly dons a Lovin’ Spoonfuls hat. In fact, it’s gonna help feed 35,000 people this week.

“Thanks for everything, Dave. And you have a Spoonfuls sweatshirt too, don’t you?” I asked as an afterthought, just to confirm.

“No. I haven’t got it.”

“Double XL,” he adds a moment later, a sparkle in his eye.

 

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.

8 Million and Growing!

 

This week, Lovin’ Spoonfuls reached another milestone — we rescued our 8 MILLIONTH pound of food! That’s over a billion more calories since August that our team has picked up and distributed to hungry people across Eastern Massachusetts. We’re so proud of our amazing food rescue coordinators who make it all happen!

Vinny started towards Monday’s milestone by rescuing 512 pounds from Costco in Everett, while Cathy rescued 305 pounds of food from Target in Watertown.

Meanwhile, Anthony, who runs our MetroWest route, rescued 211 pounds from Hannaford Supermarket in Marlborough.

Lisa picked up a whopping 700 pounds at Whole Foods South End, and Reggie rescued 647 pounds from Roche Bros. Wellesley. And let’s not forget Vinny, whose pick-up at Wegman’s Burlington topped 930 pounds! Finally, Jacob and our newest FRC Mary collected over 400 pounds of fresh produce and proteins from Big Y in Norwood, putting us over the 8 million mark (and over 17,000 pounds for the day!)

We are rescuing more food than ever, thanks to our dedicated partners, allowing us to reach more communities and feed more people. Here’s to the next million!

 

Page 1 of 712345...Last »