Meet Lisa!

Lisa Allen joined our team in April 2016 as a Food Rescue Driver

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How did you arrive at Lovin’ Spoonfuls?

I was looking for a non-profit job which might use my areas of expertise on Craigslist.  When I arrived at the job with Lovin’ Spoonfuls I applied with literally no hope that I might be considered.

Describe a typical work day. How does your job differ from the average truck driver?

So far I arrive at the lot, and check out the truck to make sure nothing happened to it overnight.  Myself, and who ever’s training me that day check out the schedule, and make a few phone calls to confirm communication.  We sometimes make pick ups and distributions one at a time, and sometimes we pick up a lot of food at once, and make distributions in the afternoon.  I don’t even consider myself a truck driver.  I know that’s our job title, and it’s an important part of the role, but there is so much more organization, kindness, and customer service involved in what we do.  The people I’ve worked with import upon me how incredibly necessary it is to prepare and think about three strops ahead, always.

What’s the strangest/most exotic food item you’ve picked up from a vendor?

We picked up fiddleheads the other day, and had to express how important it was to boil them before you cook them, or they could make you sick.  I also saw starfruit the other day!

What are some of your favorite tunes/radio stations that you listen to on the road?

I listen to whatever the person I’m with wants to listen to, but I love Jim, and Marjorie on 89.7.  I’m also a huge fan of podcasts in general, like “Stuff You Should Know”, “Filmspotting”, and “Serial.”

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

I’m a great cook.  I pride myself on being able to make something out of anything if it’s handed to me.  I love making a replica of the golden sesame tofu that you can find at Whole Foods.  I also make a sauced shell-in edamame that is so spicy it burns to breathe the air when I’m cooking them.

What would we find in your refrigerator right now?

The corn salsa I made to go with our nachos last night.  A jam that my friend made in Washington and sent to me.  Wannamango beer from Harpoon.

What’s your favorite childhood food memory?

My family’s Italian, so we used to celebrate Christmas Eve with the Feast of the Seven Fishes.  My Grandma would never let me have even one taste before all the dishes were completely prepared.  Also when we used to get ice cream, and I would get bubble gum flavor, inevitably getting gum stuck in my hair.

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

I’ve gotten much better at utilizing leftovers, and using products down to the nub in my fridge.  My fruit, and vegetable intake has been much higher than when I used to work in the food industry, ironically.  Also I’ve been buying my produce from the reduced section of Market Basket whenever I can.  It’s saved me so much money!

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

I love the Mapparium at the Christian Science Plaza.  It’s a globe-shaped stained glass room, with a bridge from one side to the other.  The acoustics are such that two people can stand on either side of the bridge, and be heard with the softest whisper you can manage.  It’s the first place in Boston I brought my now husband.

What is your motto?

Always start the day with hope, try to inject as much kindness into the world as you can, and live genuinely.

Who are your heroes?

My Grandma, the international training manager from Caffe Nero: Giuliana, and anyone who has the guts to do what they think is right.

Welcome Katy!

KatyLovin150We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Katy Jordan to the ‘Spoonfuls team! Katy steps into the role of Communications Director, having a little history with us. A seasoned journalist, producer and digital strategist, Katy has worked on a number of pieces with Lovin’ Spoonfuls – ranging from newspaper articles to videos. We are incredibly lucky to have her, and look forward to everything she will bring to the organization! More to come, and she can be reached at katy@lovinspoonfulsinc.org.

Meet Anthony!

Anthony Summa joined our team in March 2016 as our MetroWest Food Rescue Driver

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How did you arrive at Lovin’ Spoonfuls?

I worked in a few different fields before I began working with Lovin’ Spoonfuls and I didn’t feel that sense of purpose that I wanted to get from my job. So I starting looking for jobs with environmentally-conscious organizations, and was really drawn to the posting for a food rescue driver position.

Describe a typical work day. How does your job differ from the average truck driver?

The typical day, in a broad sense, is similar to any truck driver position: start the truck, make pickups, make deliveries, park the truck and go home. Where this job differs from other driver positions is the sense of purpose and the fact that people are genuinely excited about seeing the truck pull-up and finding out what we have for them that day. I’ve worked in other driver positions briefly and never sensed that excitement before.

What’s the strangest/most exotic food item you’ve picked up from a vendor?

The strangest food I’ve picked up so far is a Chayote which I had never even heard of, let alone seen. A close second would be some orange cauliflower that I picked up recently just because I never knew that color cauliflower existed.

What are some of your favorite tunes/radio stations that you listen to on the road?

I like to start my mornings with a little NPR to catch up on the news of the day. In the afternoons when my day is winding down I’ll switch between Hot 96.9 for some 90’s hip-hop and Country 102.5.

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

My friends would definitely consider me a good cook. In college my roommates had meal plans but a couple nights a week I would make dinner for our apartment and a few of our friends. As far as signature dishes, any party I have my friends ask for buffalo chicken dip. Besides that, my fiancee is a big fan of my creme brûlée and french onion soup.

What would we find in your refrigerator right now?

Pretty much at all times you’ll find some sort of beer or wine, eggs, cheese, a variety of peppers, and if we haven’t eaten it all, hummus.

What’s your favorite childhood food memory?

My favorite childhood food memory is a very simple one. Every weekend I had a soccer game my family went to Duchess, this local fast-food chain across the street from the field, and I would get chicken nuggets or grilled cheese. I don’t know why but that has always stuck out in my mind.

Has this job made you more aware of your own consumption habits?

I have always been very aware of my consumption habits, trying my best to not waste food unnecessarily. This job however does bring more light to the issue as a whole though.

Have you made any significant changes as a result?

Seeing the numbers behind food waste I’ve made more of an effort to inform my friends and family of the need to change consumption habits.

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

I only just recently moved to Massachusetts from Connecticut, but as far as restaurants in Boston I really enjoyed Loco Taqueria in South Boston. I’m a big fan of the Boston Public Garden and really all of the green space throughout the city.

What is your motto?

“Crescit sub pondere virtus”, which roughly translates to “Virtue thrives under oppression”. This is my mom’s family motto, and is something that has really stuck with me. Anyone can be seen in a good light when they aren’t faced with struggles, but when up against it, how is that same person going to react and interact with others?

Who are your heroes?

My parents are my heroes since they worked hard every day to give me the life that I have today and help nurture me to become the person I am today. My one fictional hero is Hans Hubermann from the novel “The Book Thief”. This is a guy who risked everything to save another human being and stand up for what he believed is right and is someone I aim to emulate.

What This Marathon Means to Me…

On Monday, April 18th, our own Lauren Palumbo will line up as one of the 30,000 runners in the 120th Boston Marathon. 

Dear Friends of Lovin’ Spoonfuls,

With only days to go before we toe the starting line in Hopkinton, my mind is on the race pretty much every hour of the day! During one of the 20+ mile training runs we completed on the course, I thought about just how much these 26.2 miles matter to me. These aren’t just any 26.2 miles, this is the route from Hopkinton to Boston. And that route couldn’t be a better symbol for where Lovin’ Spoonfuls has been, and is where it’s going.

The course starts out in Hopkinton, but quickly transitions to Ashland and on into Framingham. Right around the 10K mark, we will pass SMOC, or the Southern Middlesex Opportunity Council. We park our newest truck at SMOC, and it’s the home base of our new MetroWest route that we just launched this month. Framingham is home to many of the new agencies we are serving with this route, including a number of transitional shelters, each home to a handful of homeless families trying to get back on their feet.

At the 15K mark, we’re in Natick, and right down the street from the Natick Service Council and A Place to Turn, two more agencies we’re serving in the MetroWest, both running really impressive food pantries that we’re thrilled to be stocking with fresh, healthy food.

In Wellesley, just past the half-way point, we’ll pass by the Whole Foods Market, one of the largest vendors we work with, and the Wellesley Food Pantry, both wonderful partners of LS!

In Newton, right around the 30K mark, we’ll pass the roads that lead to the Newton Food Pantry and the Centre Street Food Pantry, agencies we’ve been serving on our Greater Boston routes for 1 and 2 years, respectively.

And as we head up Heartbreak Hill, we’ll approach Boston College, where we work with the students to rescue excess food that is prepared but not served from their dining halls. These ready-to-eat meals are a great tool for our partner beneficiaries that have limited resources.

As we head through Brookline, we’ll pass by Trader Joe’s in Coolidge Corner, the 1st vendor Ashley ever collected from in 2010. We’ll also be near the Brookline Senior Center, and the Brookline Food Pantry – two agencies we have been serving heavily for years.

From Brookline, we’ll head into Kenmore Square, where we’ll run right by our current office at 418 Comm Ave – the office we’re preparing to move out of in the coming weeks. Our new office in Brighton marks a significant milestone for LS, moving our offices and trucks to the same location for the 1st time in 6 years!

From there, it’s just a short distance to the finish line, where I look forward to celebrating with my husband, my family, and the incredible team at ‘Spoonfuls. This amazing support group helped me get through the challenges two years ago when I stopped running as a result of undiagnosed Addison’s Disease, and they supported me as I worked my way back to running half marathons, and now a full marathon.

These 26.2 miles represent so much of how far Lovin’ Spoonfuls has come, and how far I have come, and it’s going to be an amazing experience to take it all in. Please consider supporting my run by making a donation here. In doing so, you’ll give me one more boost for race day, and you’ll be supporting the incredible work we’re doing at ‘Spoonfuls, and the work still to come.

Thank you so much for your support!

With gratitude,
Lauren

From the Driver’s Seat: A Day on the Road with Kelsey

What’s one question our drivers hear the most? “What’s a day on the truck like?” For this Driver’s Seat post, Kelsey is here to answer that question!

8:30 AM – I arrive at the lot in South Boston. I do a quick check of the truck (make sure the lights are working and the tires are good to go) and make a quick phone call to Whole Foods Newtonville to let them know I am on the way.

8:40 AM – I hit the road. Set the radio to NPR to get the morning news.

 

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Backing up to the dock at Whole Foods Market in Newtonville

9:00 AM – I arrive at Whole Foods Newtonville. At this store, I enter through the back receiving area and check in with the receiver. Because we called ahead most of the food has already been brought down to the dock and is ready to be loaded. I do a check of the dates and quality of the product to ensure we only take food that is still good to be used. I record the types and weights of all the food collected using our smartphone-based inventory app and pack it into the back of the truck.

9:30 AM – I arrive at Whole Foods Newton on Walnut St. The procedure here is a little different from the previous Whole Foods. I pull up to the loading dock and enter through receiving again. Here they have a designated shelf in the refridgerator that the food for collection is stored on. I find a cart to load the boxes on and pull the food out to the truck. I inspect everything, record all the types and weights in our inventory app and hit the road.

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A portion of the collection at Wegman’s Chestnut Hill

10:15 AM – I arrive at Wegman’s Chestnut Hill. I pull up to the loading dock. I check in with the receiver to call the meat and dairy departments who will bring down any donations they have for the day. In the meantime I head back to the dock to load up the produce which has already been collected and brought out. I record all of the product in our inventory system and load the truck. Here, I also have to record the weights of the food on a paper sheet back in receiving for their tracking purposes. After filling that out I am back on the road.

11:00 AM – I arrive at Stop & Shop in Dedham. I enter through the receiving area and walk through the store to the produce department. Here they prepare the donations each morning and keep it in a cart in the cooler until we arrive to get it. I wheel it back to recieving where the receiver has prepared all the dairy product that is ready to go out. I record all the product in our inventory app and load the truck.

 

 

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Getting ready to load the truck at Hannaford Supermarket in Norwood

 

11:35 AM – I arrive at Hannaford Supermarket in Norwood. I again enter through receiving and walk through the store to the produce department. Similar to Stop & Shop, the food is waiting for me on a cart. I grab the cart from the cooler and head back to receiving. I stop by the freezer and collect any meat. While I collect produce and meat, the receiver gathers the day’s dairy donations. I bring all these donations out to the truck. The back is getting pretty full at this point, so I have to do some rearranging of the boxes to make sure everything fits and I won’t tip over any boxes when going over bumps. (Opening up the back of the truck and finding a box turned over is the worst! Careful stacking and packing is key.) I record all the product and finish loading the truck. This is my last collection of the morning. Now I head out to start distributing the food!

The truck is getting full!

The truck is getting full!

 

 

 

 

12:05 PM – I arrive at Abundant Table in Norwood, a community meal program serving the communities of Norwood, Dedham, Canton, Westwood, and beyond. This is a unique distribution; I pull up to the side of the building and use my key to get into the kitchen. They serve a meal twice a week and we deliver mostly leafy greens and salad toppings for them to use. I put the food in the fridge, record the distribution in our inventory app by type of food and weight and head back out.

12:30 PM – I arrive at Father Bill’s in Quincy. I pull up to the side of the building and find the cook in the kitchen. She comes out and picks out what she will be able to use. They usually take about 300 pounds of food. Father Bill’s is a homeless shelter which serves multiple meals per day. They love the fresh food we deliver – especially the cut fruit that people can grab and take with them. I log the types of food they take and the weights again.

 

Delivering at Interfaith Social Services

12:45 PM – I arrive at Interfaith Social Services, also in Quincy. This is a large food pantry that clients can visit once a month. Interfaith takes a pretty big delivery, they can distribute a lot of food and can accept a wide variety of food types. I almost empty my truck here. I record the types and weights here and leave with about 150 pounds of food left in the truck.

 

1:00 PM – I arrive at Sanger Center for Compassion in Quincy. Sanger Center delivers bags of food to people in their community. We supply most of the bread. I deliver all of the remaining bread on my truck here, which is nice because sometimes it can be difficult to distribute all of the bread we receive. They also take a few boxes of fresh produce. I record what was distributed here and head back towards Boston. But first I make a quick phone call to Whole Foods Jamaica Plain to let them know I am on my way.

Pulling up to the Sanger Center

Pulling up to the Sanger Center

1:45 PM – I arrive at Whole Foods Jamaica Plain. I let the produce department know I am there and they start to bring the food down to receiving, while I head back to the prepared foods department to collect any donations they have. By the time I get back to receiving the other departments have brought down their donations and I am ready to start loading up the truck.  I finish loading up and head out to make my last few stops for the day.

2:10 PM – I arrive at Roxbury Youthworks. Here they serve clients by delivery. I pull up to the front door and find the youth advocate who comes out and picks out what they need to finish up their delivery bags to go out to families they serve for the day. I finish by recording the food that they picked out via our inventory system.

2:30 PM – I arrive at Catholic Charities in Dorchester. This is a very large food pantry. They move a lot of product each day. They can accept any type of product and always find a use for as much food as we drop off. I distribute any remaining food on my truck here, finish recording all weights and head back to the lot.

Delivering at Catholic Charities

Delivering at Catholic Charities

3:00 PM – I arrive back at our lot in South Boston. I sweep out the back of the truck so it’s ready for tomorrow, and lock up.

Meet Emma!

Emma Dismukes joined our team in March 2015 as a Food Rescue Driver

Lovin’ Spoonfuls 2015 Ultimate Tailgate Party

How did you arrive at Lovin’ Spoonfuls?
A very fruitful Internet search led me to a job posting for a food rescue driver. It was so different from anything else I’d seen, and definitely right up my alley of interests, so I just had to apply!

Describe a typical work day. How does your job differ from the average truck driver?
Well, it starts with a lot of coffee! I pretty much bounce back and forth between vendors and beneficiaries all day because I drive our smallest capacity truck. It’s great to be able to tell our vendors that I’m heading straight to the local pantry that is just a few doors down. It tends to kick them into gear a bit more. There’s a more personal connection between everyone I see daily and the typical delivery person.

What’s the strangest/most exotic food item you’ve picked up from a vendor?
If you check out the Lovin’ Spoonfuls Instagram post from about a month ago you’ll see a great picture of my purple-nailed fingers clutching two pretty funky looking fruits! A horned melon and a starfruit. I should probably pick them up myself sometime to try them out.

What are some of your favorite tunes/radio stations that you listen to on the road?
I almost always spend my days listening to WGBH and/or WBUR. It’s one of the best perks of the job – getting to stay extremely on top of the news and really random but fun stories. Sometimes I’ll listen to a podcast here or there…and if it’s been a long day I sometimes put on some music to keep my momentum up!

Do your friends and family consider you a good cook? Any signature recipes?
I cook the turkey at both family Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving. I think that means they trust me! I make a mean lasagna.

What would we find in your refrigerator right now?
I am always packing a ton of produce, hummus, and Greek yogurt, trying to be healthy and whatnot. But I have to admit that I also am a sucker for chips and salsa and I’m just really crazy about cream cheese.

What’s your favorite childhood food memory?
My family takes taco night very seriously. We invite family friends over every week or two. As the years have gone by, the toppings bar has grown more elaborate. Now we bake our own shells and the bowls for the toppings wrap all the way around the table!

Has this job made you more aware of your own consumption habits? Have you made any significant changes as a result?
I think I initially applied for this job because of my consumption habits. I’ve never been a big food waster. It has always been a big pet peeve of mine. Particularly when people don’t check if things have actually spoiled, but just throw them away because the date has passed.

What’s your favorite place/restaurant/neighborhood in Boston?
I really enjoy the food scene around Harvard square. I live up in that area and the restaurants meet every style – from casual/quick grab to high end. And they’re all delicious!

What is your motto?
I live by two sayings; carpe diem and let your passions drive you. I never want to live with regrets and I don’t think there is any sense in not following a lifestyle or work life that you care deeply about.

Who are your heroes?
Uhhh…my brother???

Meet Reggie!

Reggie Nguyen joined our team in September 2015 as a Food Rescue Driver

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How did you arrive at Lovin’ Spoonfuls?
I first learned about Lovin’ Spoonfuls from Rosie’s Place, my former employer. I worked in the pantry there, so I got to know the company and the drivers really well. I have always admired Lovin’ Spoonfuls, so when an opportunity to join the team came up, I jumped, and now here I am!

Describe a typical work day. How does your job differ from the average truck driver?
I think the biggest difference between my job and the average driving job is that there’s a lot of heart involved in what I do.  The day to day routine may be similar, driving from one place to another, picking up food and dropping it off, but the thanks and gratitude I get from both donors and beneficiaries makes each day infinitely rewarding.

What’s the strangest/most exotic food item you’ve picked up from a vendor?
It has to be gefilte fish. It was my first encounter with this dish in my many years of working with donated food!

What are some of your favorite tunes/radio stations that you listen to on the road?
I absolutely love “The World” on WGBH Radio at 3pm. BBC world news at 9am on WBUR is also a must.

Do your friends and family consider you a good cook? Any signature recipes?
Stir fries and omelets is about as far as my culinary skills can go!

What would we find in your refrigerator right now?
Lots of Arizona iced tea and Guiness.

What’s your favorite childhood food memory?
My favorite food memory would have to be going to my grandma’s food stall at the market every morning in Vietnam to get her steamed taro cake with dried shrimp.  She would insist that I eat some before bringing some home to mom!

What’s your favorite place/restaurant/neighborhood in Boston?
It has to be Beat Hotel. They have the best burger hands down. An unobtrusive bun and cooked to a true medium rare.

What is your motto?
“You gonna eat that?”

Who are your heroes?
I am torn between Ben Kingsley and Gandhi. It comes down to Gandhi’s humility and Kingsley’s portrayal of a typical Hollywood jerk in his cameo on the Sopranos.

Meet Kelsey!

Kelsey Moss joined our team in September 2015 as a Food Rescue Driver

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How did you arrive at Lovin’ Spoonfuls?
I was looking to move to Boston, and with a background in social work I was looking into many different social service agencies. I found that many of them partnered with Lovin’. I checked out the Lovin’ website and knew I wanted to work for such a needed organization.

Describe a typical work day. How does your job differ from the average truck driver?
I’m actually writing a Driver’s Seat post about this! I have never been a normal truck driver so I don’t know exactly, but we are kind of the opposite of a driver at grocery stores. We spend our time picking up food, not dropping off. And we get the privilege of delivering to lots of small organizations. I think we probably spend a lot more time on tight neighborhood streets!

What’s the strangest/most exotic food item you’ve picked up from a vendor?
Fuzzy melon. I picked it up just a few weeks in. I had to google it to even be able to tell others what they could make with it.

What are some of your favorite tunes/radio stations that you listen to on the road?
I listen to a LOT of NPR.  A little Adele is also a good afternoon boost.

Do your friends and family consider you a good cook? Any signature recipes?
I wouldn’t say I am a particularly good cook. I have always been friends with fantastic cooks so I get to enjoy their creations and wash the dishes.

What would we find in your refrigerator right now?
Plain Greek yogurt, carrots, cheddar cheese, pepper jack cheese, string cheese, goat cheese (can you tell I am from Wisconsin?), bell peppers, eggs, milk, salsa.

What’s your favorite childhood food memory?
Well there are two things that are pretty weird about my childhood as it relates to food. One, I hated chocolate growing up. In general, I just didn’t enjoy the flavor. I was a bland food kid all the way. I’m so glad that this has not stuck with me forever! Two, we had a weird obsession with ketchup in my family. We LOVED to put it on our mac and cheese. These days, I find that thought repulsive, but I used to love it.

Has this job made you more aware of your own consumption habits? Have you made any significant changes as a result?
Yes! I am now willing to go to the store more frequently instead of stocking up and having food go bad.

What’s your favorite place/restaurant/neighborhood in Boston?
I just moved here about 6 months ago so I have only just begun exploring. I have a general rule to try not to go to the same restaurant frequently. There are so many new great places to try I don’t want to get stuck on one, so I don’t have a current favorite.

What is your motto?
Show up, be present, and try your best to be kind.

Who are your heroes?
There are too many to name. I am inspired by the many people in my life who take risks to pursue their dreams. They take a new job in the field they always wanted to explore but didn’t think they had a chance. They go back to school years later to pursue a new line of work that they thought they had missed the boat on. My heroes are my friends and family who decide to just go for it, as crazy as their life or idea my be. Those people inspire me to take risks in my own life and I always want to be a risk taker.

Meet Cathy!

Cathy Pedtke joined our team in November 2015 as a Food Rescue Driver

How did you arrive at Lovin’ Spoonfuls?
In the usual roundabout way! After working several jobs in the Boston food industry, none of them quite ringing true to my goals, I started working less and volunteering more. Volunteering with the Boston Area Gleaners and with the Medford Community Cupboard, I realized I enjoyed my volunteer work far more than my actual employment. I started asking around and applying to jobs in the realm of food rescue, and found that Lovin’ Spoonfuls came highly recommended. As luck would have it, they were also hiring, so here I am.

Describe a typical work day. 
On a typical workday, I visit 5 or 6 different stores to pick up donated food: I talk to the receivers at most stores, and often to people in each individual department as I collect food from them. I always like to check in, and also check the food that’s being donated to make sure it meets our standards (basically, is it safe and edible). Then I’ll visit 4 or 5 different beneficiaries to drop off the food- these can be shelters, soup kitchens, food pantries, or many other organizations that need food for their clients. While the basic system may be similar to that of an average truck driver, my interactions throughout the day are very different: for the most part, everyone’s always happy to see me. The stores are grateful to have an outlet for food that would’ve been thrown away, and appreciate the idea of reducing waste and helping those in need at the same time. The beneficiaries are also always happy to see me and grateful for what I bring them. I often feel like I get undue credit just for being the middleman, but it’s very satisfying to see both ends of the system and be the one to bridge the gap.

What’s the strangest/most exotic food item you’ve seen out on the road?
I’ve gotten a box of jicama, which I had to explain to the chef at one of our beneficiary kitchens how to use, and the different things she could make with it that people might like. Sometimes we get Cherimoya, which is a fruit I’ve never tasted. I’m going to buy one and try it out so that I can tell people about it next time. I’ve also gotten whole ducks and geese, pigs’ feet and spines, and bison steaks!

What are some of your favorite tunes/radio stations that you listen to on the road?
NPR is always my default, but I also like listening to Gary Clark Jr. it’s great driving music, upbeat but relaxing at the same time, and always puts me in a good mood. If I’m feeling a little sluggish and need energizing, that’s when I turn to a mix of Santigold and M.I.A. For days with longer drives I listen to 99% Invisible podcasts or audio books.

Do your friends and family consider you a good cook? Any signature recipes?
I went to culinary school, so my friends and family tend to get a little intimidated by my cooking skills. Mom still doesn’t believe that I love her cooking the most, but I do. When I cook, I never follow recipes, so if I come up with something really good, it’s hard to replicate exactly. Even the dishes I make often are a little different each time.

What would we find in your refrigerator right now?
Winter vegetables (carrots, parsnips, squash) that were rescued leftovers from local farms, cheeses from Formaggio Kitchen, and lots of homemade condiments- kimchi, beer mustard, cider mustard, orange marmalade, strawberry preserves, pickled radish relish, General Tao’s sauce… All in canning jars. And milk. There’s always milk.

What’s your favorite childhood food memory?
This may seem strange, but my favorite childhood food memory is when my younger sister and I made ourselves sick on strawberries. Our whole family had gone out strawberry picking, and we had quarts and quarts of strawberries. Mom was going to make jam, but she had to go to the store, so my sister and I got left alone with the strawberries. We just ate so many that she got terribly sick, and I had to take care of her until Mom got back, and then I got sick as well. I think it was a real bonding experience, and I felt very grown up for taking care of my sister even when I was sick too. And we both still love strawberries!

Has this job made you more aware of your own consumption habits? Have you made any significant changes as a result?
I’d like to think that the reverse is true: my own consumption habits led me to this job. I’ve always worked in some facet of the food industry, in restaurants or catering or food retail, and I’ve always been the one to rescue food from the garbage and take it home with me. Many times I’d end up eating things I didn’t really want or enjoy, just because I couldn’t bear to see them go to waste (I did enjoy the creative challenge- what do you do with 15lbs of extra rutabaga? Two-day-old bread?). Some of my coworkers would even tease me about the stuff I’d save to take home. I would save the end stubs of salami and other meats that we’d slice at work, and chop them up for soups or stews, and pretty soon my coworkers would be asking me before throwing anything away – “are you sure you don’t want this moldy slice of bread? You couldn’t put it in a soup or something?” Now that I actually work rescuing food, and don’t bring leftovers home with me, I’ve had to start buying more groceries, so I think I eat healthier now than I have before.

What’s your favorite place/restaurant/neighborhood in Boston?
Chinatown! I go to Hing Shing Pastry and buy one of everything, and the total ends up being under $10. I especially love the fried sesame balls with red bean filling, and the flaky beef and curry pies. You can take your snacks out to the park and watch the intense games of mahjong and cards being played. Then you go down the street to My Thai Vegan Café and sit upstairs among the big tropical plants and watch the city bustle by below you while sipping slushy bubble teas. It’s like having a secret jungle treehouse in the middle of the city.

What is your motto?
“Use it up and wear it out, make it do or do without.” It’s something my mom said that my grandfather used to say, and it’s just stuck with me. Whenever I start to get caught up in all the things I “need” that are really just things I want, I remind myself that I’m always happier spending my money on new experiences rather than new stuff.

Who are your heroes?
That’s a tough one. Among modern celebrities, I’ve always admired Alice Waters and Dan Barber for the overall concepts of food that they’ve built and popularized, and how they moved beyond being chefs and restaurateurs to being educators and champions of food on a wider scale. On a personal level, my parents will always be top of the list for the uncommon path they chose for their children (we were all homeschooled), and how great that experience was for me. For a historical role model, Leonardo Da Vinci has always been my hero. He was so far advanced and so creative for the era he lived in, and so self-aware and observant, that part of me has always wanted to be a Renaissance woman and fill notebooks with my discoveries and dreams and wild inventions.

The Ultimate Ultimate Tailgate Party

As we gather with friends and family this week in the spirit of gratitude, I am thrilled to report that the 2015 Ultimate Tailgate Party was our most successful fundraiser yet. Your support helped us raise more than $200,000! Every dollar raised directly funds our most critical needs, allowing us to stay on the road, rescuing and distributing more than 1 million pounds of fresh, healthy food each year. Bravo to EVERYONE!

On Sunday evening the Tailgate was reinvented in the Black Falcon Terminal at Boston’s Cruiseport with incredible music, fabulous food, one of a kind auction items, and the ‘Swoon Booth‘! Our Platinum Sponsor for the event was Whole Foods Market, and we thank them deeply for their support – and our incredible partnership. We also welcomed additional sponsors Dorothy Puhy, The John W. Henry Family Foundation,Rocket Software, KPMG,PwCPeterson Party CenterMS Walker, Bombay Sapphire, and Peak Organic!  We also had a record number of volunteers this year, all of whom were amazing and spirited – we thank you all.

The event was chaired by Andy & Mariann Youniss of Wellesley. Andy is the CEO of Rocket Software, and sits on our Board of Directors – but swears he is best known for being Mariann’s husband. This dynamic duo corralled an absolutely fabulous group of committed and passionate hosts, and we thank them for their absolutely incredible work putting the evening together! Andy welcomed everyone and implored us all to ‘make it personal’ – and get involved. Our COO, Lauren Palumbo, gave an operational update that was both inspiring and truly exciting, as there were many in attendance who have been supporting us since the very beginning. With more than 3 MILLION pounds of food rescued and distributed, there’s much going on here at LS – and much more to come!

Our VIP celebration honored the tremendous Andrew Zimmern for his contributions to our organization, with theThomas M. Menino Award for Leadership. I was honored to present him with this year’s recognition:

“We honor our friend and late Mayor’s life and legacy with this award. It recognizes those who hold the same ideals that he did – ideals that connect service, community and food. Tonight’s winner also sees food as a powerful tool for social justice, one that unites and connects people all over the world. Andrew perhaps has the broadest perspective the global food community has ever seen – having traveled everywhere, he finds the stories that matter, and tells them with honor, dignity and truth.

His incredible platform includes television, books, radio and of course social media – and he uses each channel to promote and champion equality, justice, and humanity. He honors people, and he honors food – and the powerful connection between the two. Along with Joanne & Christopher, he is one of our founding culinary panel members – someone who from the very beginning advised, supported and championed Lovin’ Spoonfuls.” 

It was an absolutely wonderful part of the evening, and AZ (as he’s affectionately called) gave an emotional and extremely personal acceptance speech – spurring all in attendance to congratulate him and learn more about Lovin’ Spoonfuls.

We were lucky enough to have Filmmaker Jon Mercer produce this incredible tribute piece to Andrew, with cameos from Jamie Bissonnette, and our friends at Food & Wine Magazine!

Josh Smith of Moody’s & New England Charcuterie, along with the fabulous Wasik brothers feted VIP guests with an incredible spread of specialty cheese and charcuterie. We were thrilled to welcome Jeremy from MV Spearpoint Oysters, shucking especially for this event! MS Walker outfitted our entire event with bubbles from Brut Dargent, Contour Pinot Noir, and Brandl Gruner Veltliner. Offsite poured the old-favorite Jack Rose cocktail, Bombay Sapphire served up an array of signature gin libations! Our favorite brewery, Peak Organic poured 5 different delicious seasonal brews.

Lovin’ Spoonfuls is fortunate to have had the support of the restaurant community from day one, but looking around our new venue, I was overcome with emotion…25 of the most amazing and generous chefs in the area, came out to support our work and feed our guests – which in turn, keeps us on the road and feeding our community. It’s no secret that chefs and restaurateurs are the unsung heroes of charity – any event, any ’cause’ – these folks are the first to always say yes. And here at LS, we are so proud to be supported by so many incredible people. Longtime supporters Myers + ChangTavern Road, Puritan & Co.Nebo, Mei Mei Street KitchenSweet Cheeks, Toro, Fazenda Coffee, and so many more friends of the organization were joined by many new supporters, making for one delicious evening! Just look at this AMAZING restaurant community!

TJ Connelly kept us moving all night with the perfect Tailgating music! During the live auction, AZ moderated a bidding war over a signed Tom Brady jersey – and in only 20 minutes raised over $50,000!

Each truck we put on the road rescues 350,000 lbs of fresh, healthy food each year – and we keep them on the road with your support. Follow along on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook as we post photos from the party in the coming days. If you couldn’t attend, or would like to support our work and learn more about what we do and why, visit us here.

I wish you all a happy, healthy and peaceful Thanksgiving!

Ashley Stanley & the team at Lovin’ Spoonfuls

from the driver’s seat: emma’s environmental impact

This Driver’s Seat post is from Emma Dismukes, a driver who joined our team in March 2015.

I joined the Lovin’ Spoonfuls team almost 8 months ago in an effort to help alleviate and spread awareness of the effects of food waste on the environment. The food that I help reroute to people in need would have otherwise been tossed into a dumpster and sent to a landfill or waste combustion facility, resulting in avoidable and excessive greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Every day I spend on the road makes an impact!


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Look at that beautiful produce! Who would want to throw that in a dumpster?

I decided to look into some of the details of the environmental benefits of food rescue and want to share my results with you! I used an average day on the road to glean some fun facts.

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Hi Latoya! This is the truck I drive.

This particular day I stopped at seven of our vender locations to make collections and hauled a total of 1,084 pounds of fresh fruits, vegetables, and other produce and an additional 195 pounds of fresh breads. Thanks to the EPA Waste Reduction Model (WARM) I learned some great things about my ONE day on the road. My small effort deferred 1 Ton of CO2 equivalent Greenhouse Gas emissions; comparable amounts incurred from burning 78 gallons of gasoline. I also helped save 3 million British thermal units of energy; the same as using 26 gallons of gasoline.  That’s a total of 104 gallons – and I drive our smallest capacity truck! Four Trucks on the road five days of the week adds up to some pretty amazing benefits for the environment.

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Happy apple season! These boxes of apples will find a home much better than the landfill now.

Calculations done using – http://www3.epa.gov/warm/index.html

Meet Angela!

Angela Haynes joined our team in late 2014 as Development Director. 

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How did you arrive at Lovin’ Spoonfuls?
Several years ago, I had the opportunity to work with a nonprofit focused on nutrition and healthy food preparation for children who were food-insecure. It was a huge awakening for me – prior to that experience I hadn’t truly realized the connection between those struggling with food insecurity, and the ability to have access to healthy, fresh food. When I was introduced to Lovin’ Spoonfuls, the concept seemed like a perfect solution to an incredible problem and I knew that I wanted to help the team in whatever capacity I could.

Describe a typical work day. 
Our work is amazing, we have the ability to impact so many people’s lives, but that does not come without costs. It is my job to find and secure funding to allow us to be able to rescue more food, and impact even more food-insecure families. On an average day I am researching and writing grants, planning our fundraising events, and working with donors. I am proud because I know that everything I do is furthering our ability to make a bigger impact.

What’s the strangest/most exotic food item you’ve seen out on the road?
My first week on the job, I had the opportunity to haul with each of our drivers. It was truly eye-opening in the fact that I had not realized just how MUCH healthy, beautiful food would simply being going to waste if we were not picking it up and delivering it to those who need it. The most interesting piece we picked up was a Cherimoya from Trader Joe’s. I had never seen one before, but it caused me to research it post haul. It’s a great source of vitamin B6, C & dietary fiber, is eaten raw, in salsas and can be cooked in a variety of ways.

Do your friends and family consider you a good cook? Any signature recipes?
I’m not a great cook, but I am learning. The items I cook best tend to be Italian dishes. My signature recipes are lasagna and homemade tomato sauce, which have been passed down for generations. People also enjoy my chili recipe, veggie mac & cheese, and lemon spinach soup.

What would we find in your refrigerator right now?
Right now my fridge is pretty empty, but the basics that I always have on hand are eggs, feta cheese, spinach, apples, cucumbers and sparkling water.

What’s your favorite childhood food memory?
Every fall we would go apple picking, and we would get one bag of apples from trees, but we would also get a bushel of “drops.” These are apples that fell off the tree, or people dropped. My mom would always say, “They are just as good as what is on the tree – why let them go to waste?” When we would get home, my Gram and aunt would be waiting for us. Together the whole family would start an apple pie assembly line, and make apple pies to give to neighbors, friends, family, and of course freeze several for the holidays. It was a time where we could catch up and cook together.

Has this job made you more aware of your own consumption habits? Have you made any significant changes as a result?
After working at Loivn’ Spoonfuls , I’ve realized that my experience with a variety of foods is actually quite limited. Since I have started working here, I have been trying new foods, and enjoying it. I no longer avoid something because it looks different or I don’t know how to cook it. Now I find myself looking up recipes, and finding new ways to cook food and leftovers. This past fall I made spaghetti squash for the first time and it was delicious!

What’s your favorite place/restaurant/neighborhood in Boston?
My favorite spot of all time in Boston is the Charles River, but I also enjoy the Elizabeth Kennedy Greenway, the Emerald Necklace and the Public Gardens. There are so many wonderful places to eat in Boston, I can’t pick just one.

What is your motto?
I don’t have a single motto, but I really appreciate Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi’s quote “We must become the change we wish to see in the world.”

Who are your heroes?
There are so many people who inspire me, but my mom and grandmother are two of the strongest women I know. Both have faced incredible life challenges, head on with a smile and gratitude.

from the driver’s seat: my top 5 moments!

Hi Folks! Spencer here, and now that I’ve been at Lovin’ Spoonfuls nearly two years, I want to share with you some of my best moments so far!

1 – “The Charlestown Turkey Toss”

Back in 2013, a few days before my first Thanksgiving with Spoonfuls, my fellow driver Bob Burton and I got to deliver 125 turkeys Whole Foods had donated to Harvest on Vine, a wonderful Charlestown food pantry. But we had to get them all on and off the truck somehow, so we decided that tossing the turkeys was the best (and most fun) way. Knowing that hundreds of people in need were going to be able to have turkey dinners that holiday gave us all a wonderful feeling, and we got a good workout doing it!

 

 

Wellesley2 – Celebrating the Marathon with Whole Foods!
Whole Foods in Wellesley has a loading dock that is on the Boston Marathon route, so we weren’t able to make a collection on the day of the race last year. Being the first marathon since 2013, everyone tried to bring as much positivity to the day as they could. And what an amazing day it turned out to be! Adding to what makes our community so awesome, WF had over a ton of food for us to collect the next day! That food went a long way to helping families in need.

 

 

 

48003 – 4800 pounds in twelve hours? RECORD!!
Sarah had been with the company for just a few weeks when she and I hit the road together for the first time. For some reason, everyone had huge collections that day, and we had to do a night haul at the Dewey Square Farmer’s Market as well. I really was hoping she wouldn’t get scared away by having to haul that much in one day, and I’m happy to say that we pulled it off just fine! She’s been on the team over a year now, and we’re so grateful to have her.

 

 

 

pru4 – The Prudential Center lights up in blue and red in honor of Lovin’ Spoonfuls as part of “31 Nights of Light”
Each December, The Prudential Center honors non-profits in the area by lighting up in their colors for one night during the holiday season. We were lucky to be on that list, and I was able to spend a few hours at The Pru with the team, talking to shoppers and passers-by about what we do, alongside our pals from SWEET who brought delicious cupcakes for everyone! As I was walking home, I got to see that staple of the Boston skyline lit up in honor of an organization that I believe in, and of which I’m proud to be a part. What a beautiful sight! Also, I love cupcakes.

 

 

spencer5 – I have the best job in the world.
While I was trying to put together this list, it kept occurring to me that the individual instances are great, but the really wonderful thing is being able to bring healthy, nutritious food to those in need on a daily basis, while working with some of the most wonderful people in the world; in other words, just doing my job. So many people, not only at Lovin’ Spoonfuls, but at all of the agencies we work with have become a beautiful part of my life. There are the people at Trader Joe’s in Needham, Whole Foods in Wellesley, Hannaford in Waltham, Catholic Charities in Dorchester, The Boston Rescue Mission, The Sojourner House in Roxbury… the list goes on and on. I get to see these people every week and thank them for their involvement in this cause! I’m blessed to do what I do.

Lovin’ launches the Young Friends of Lovin’ Spoonfuls!

 

The Young Friends of Lovin’ Spoonfuls is an accessible, dynamic, membership-based philanthropy group for professionals in their 20s, 30s and early 40s committed to supporting the Lovin’ Spoonfuls mission.

Lovin’ Spoonfuls is committed to facilitating the rescue and distribution of healthy, fresh food that would otherwise be discarded. Lovin’ Spoonfuls works efficiently to deliver this food directly to the community organizations and resources where it can have the greatest impact. Lovin’ Spoonfuls is committed to addressing the health, environmental, and economic impact that food waste has on our community.

Young Friends of Lovin’ Spoonfuls members are invited to attend a variety of exclusive Young Friends of Lovin’ Spoonfuls events throughout the year. Additionally, YFLS members are entitled to the following privileges:

  • Pre-sale access and specially priced ticketing for signature events
  • Lovin’ Spoonfuls will assist members who wish to host fundraisers and plan their own networking events
  • Recognition through various channels for contributions, including event programs and on Lovin’s website
  • Young Friends of Lovin’ Spoonfuls enjoy multiple opportunities to connect with other philanthropically-minded young people who are passionate about food justice

For more information on membership levels, the leadership committee or sponsoring Young Friends of Lovin’ Spoonfuls, please contact Angela Haynes, Development Director at angela@lovinspoonfulsinc.org.

Lovin’ Spoonfuls Joins the EPA Food Recovery Challenge!

As a food rescue agency, Lovin’ Spoonfuls is pleased to join the EPA in supporting the Food Recovery Challenge as an Endorser. The Food Recovery Challenge (FRC) is part of EPA’s Sustainable Materials Management Program, which seeks to reduce the environmental impact of materials through their entire life cycle, including how they are extracted, manufactured, distributed, used, reused, recycled, and disposed. Through the FRC, the EPA is partnering with organizations and businesses to prevent and reduce wasted food. Challenge participants save money, help communities, and protect the environment by purchasing less, donating extra food, and composting.

Many of our vendor partners – where we collect excess food – are already participants, including Hannaford Supermarkets and Whole Foods Market locations. By participating, they are able to track data on their food recovery efforts, receive a potential cost savings (via waste removal costs, tax deductions), make a positive impact on the local environment (by reducing methane in landfills), make a positive impact on the community, and provide a positive staff motivator.

As an Endorser, we are encouraging our other vendor partners to join the EPA’s efforts by participating in the Food Recovery Challenge. Participants receive national & regional recognition, as well as technical assistance from the EPA.

For more information about the Food Recovery Challenge, click here.

From the Driver’s Seat: 10 Incredible Foods You See on the Road

From the Driver’s Seat is a new series of posts from our team on the road. This first post is from Sarah.

Food rescue is like a box of… PRODUCE. You never know what you’re going to get. And every day on the road is different!

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10. “Buddha’s Hand”  this slightly intimidating citrus is native to Japan. It can be used for decoration, fragrance, and religious ritual, but is also edible and very lemon-like! You might have seen it when it has shown up in the Chopped mystery baskets!

When I collected these last fall, I wasn’t sure what to make of them. But I knew that the clients at the East End House in Cambridge would know what to do with it. I heard back later from Elizabeth, the pantry manager, that several clients knew exactly what it was, what to do with it, and were thrilled to see it at their weekly pantry distribution.

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9. So. Many. Peppers. (Taste the rainbow!)

photoPurple peppers, these beautiful peppers with minor cosmetic imperfections were collected at day’s end at the Dewey Square Farmer’s Market.

 

 

 

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Jalapeños

 

 

 

 

 

photo (1)Bell peppers: because of the way our food system is globalized, peppers are available in grocery stores year-round, even during New England winter storms

 

 

 

 

 

photo (2) Tomatillos: not technically a “pepper”, but they ARE part of the nightshade family (like peppers, tomatoes, and potatoes).  They are a key ingredient in Mexican cuisine (used for green sauces), and the papery husk that surrounds them is edible!


 

 

 

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8. Mushrooms

Sure, you could say we’re a different kind of forager. It’s sometimes surprising to see vegetables swimming together in a box haphazardly, instead of neatly encased in shrink wrapped containers. YEAH RIGHT! Actually, pretty much all fruits and vegetables are stored this way, from the time they leave the earth until they reach the store.

Although many recipes call for very particular varieties of whole foods, substitutions of same type foods can put a creative spin on old favorites. These aren’t your typical button mushrooms or shiitakes, but I bet they would taste great in a pasta sauce or salad all the same!

 

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7. Other fungus

We do NOT recommend these for sauces.

I know some of you think what’s considered excess is rotten, moldy food. But actually, this is a rare sight on the road. Our system encourages and trains produce managers to plan a step ahead, AVOIDING food turning too quickly. We rescue according to a daily, consistent schedule and work with store departments to ensure that all usable food gets culled, rescued and up-cycled. Rescue arrived just a little too late to save this coconut from compost.

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6. Kale

Kale and other leafy greens are usually deemed unsaleable when they’ve lost a little bit of of their firm crunch. This kale might not be the right texture for a salad, but it would still be a delicious and nutritious addition to any hot dish. Like mushrooms, kale and other leafy greens are easy to substitute for one another in basic, whole food recipes.

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5. Produce grown in Immokalee, FL.

Immokalee, an unincorporated area near Tampa, Florida, is a major agricultural center for US produce. Immokalee is famous for the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) …”a worker-based human rights organization internationally recognized for its achievements in the fields of social responsibility, human trafficking, and gender-based violence at work.” These cucumbers came to us through one of our distribution center partners, and were possibly grown and harvested by pickers involved with the Clinton-Initiative recognized organization. Read more about Immokalee here. The food that we eat passes through so many hands, and so many of us, from pickers to rescuers, are doing the work to create direct access.

 

photo 2 (2)4. Corn

This corn (rescued after the Farmer’s Market at Dewey Square, Summer ‘14) was grown so close to home, it probably never left New England in all of its travels, from field to market to our truck. We could bend your ear all day long about New England corn… so sweet and delicious! Yup, we so corny.

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3. Donuts with bacon

While our focus is on whole ingredients like produce, we sometimes rescue prepared foods and desserts, too! These treats from our partners at artisan bakers Union Square Donuts were picked up and distributed, without ANY of our drivers sneaking one…because, donuts and bacon.

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2. Heirloom tomatoes

Tomatoes like this are highly seasonal, and widely revered for their taste and unique appearance. Because of the growing patterns and so many different varieties available, we rescue literally tons of tomatoes during the season. “Heirloom” alludes to their status as breed cultivars , but does not suggest that these tomatoes are any less specifically bred for consumption and sale. Regardless of the mysterious evolutionary history about these tomatoes, as long as they are edible, there will be creative cooks who know how to prepare them, and endless options for different preparations. Even the squishiest, most bruised fruits find their way into juicy sauces, soups and stews. Is it summer yet?

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1. Produce so farm fresh it still has slugs on it!

Food doesn’t necessarily need to be nearing the end of its shelf life to get slated for the compost bin. These peppers were offered for rescue because there were more than could be sold. Judging by their appearance and the company they keep, these vegetables were in the ground a few hours before this photo was taken.

 

 

Meet Rachel!

Rachel joined our team as a driver in the summer of 2014, get to know her more here!

Rachel Garside

How did you arrive at Lovin’ Spoonfuls?
I have worked for a non profit for the majority of my professional life in the area of animal medical care.  Always being a passionate animal welfare advocate, I learned quickly the current state of our food system and it’s flaws with abundance and need.  Having volunteered with various relevant non profits, my Lovin’ Spoonfuls connection came naturally and was the perfect organization for a career transition and luckily for me, they were hiring.

Describe a typical work day. How does your job differ from the average truck driver?
As you may guess, I do a lot of driving in and outside of Boston.  My day is very unique in that I am regularly interacting with donors and beneficiaries, rewarding on both fronts since all involved have something to gain.  Along with the active connection Lovin’ Spoonfuls literally makes everyday by bringing food to communities in need, there is a daily fulfillment of serving people of Boston in need.  Also, my driving skills have improved immensely since joining the team!

What’s the strangest/most exotic food item you’ve picked up from a vendor?
The most exotic food I found were red bananas, which are a type of banana with reddish skin. They are smaller and plumper than the common banana. They are also softer and sweeter than the yellow varieties, with a slight raspberry flavor. Being a bit of a culinary guru this was the first time I had seen these and was intrigued.

What are some of your favorite tunes/radio stations that you listen to on the road?
Truth be told, I mostly listen to NPR because I am a major nerd, and its easier to listen to current events versus read them. In addition, I love Sugarland and the D-Chicks for some good sing alongs, classic rock bluegrass, and classical if the mood strikes.

Do your friends and family consider you a good cook? Any signature recipes?
Yes, or at least I hope so. Being vegan, I am almost always looking for new exciting recipes that taste great for everyone. Having to make lots of substitutions it has taken much practice to create successful dishes for both vegetarians and carnivores, but I feel as though I have come close to mastering vegan cuisine. I’ve been told I make a killer vegan chili and chocolate chip cookies.

What would we find in your refrigerator right now?
Always kale and arugula along with many other veggies. Homemade hummus, mushroom soup, fresh juice, cashew milk, and some organic white wine.

What’s your favorite childhood food memory?
Growing up in a large family and being the youngest of eight, food was a bit of a competition at home and waste was almost non existent. I loved having spaghetti night, pasta is my weakness. Having a lobsterman for a father, we often had lots of shellfish and seafood, I was lucky in that sense.

Has this job made you more aware of your own consumption habits? Have you made any significant changes as a result?
This job has absolutely changed my consumption habits. Coming into Lovin’ Spoonfuls with general food insecurity and food waste knowledge was certainly a starting point, but actually seeing the excess and working with this issue daily was even more eye opening. I am often thinking of ways to reduce waste in my own life and reducing my carbon footprint. I like to think I have a positive impact on friends and family to motivate similar lifestyle adjustments as I lead by example.

What’s your favorite place/restaurant/neighborhood in Boston?
Growing up and living in Dorchester the majority of my life, I am loyal and have to admit it is my favorite neighborhood. It is a very diverse area of the city bringing together many cultures with lots of great potential and has great neighborhoods and supportive communities. There has also been a lift in the restaurant culture over the past ten years, among my favorites are Dot 2 Dot cafe, and Savin Bar and Kitchen. A shout out to JP is in order, since it is a close second with a great Ethiopian joint called the Blue Nile.

What is your motto?
Dress for the weather, and take it one day at a time. SImple but important for my sanity.

Who are your heroes?
Needless to say my family, in particular my sister Kimberly. I also have great respect for educators, animal and environmental advocates, and active and motivated policy makers who work towards repairing our food system. In addition, anyone willing to open themselves up to learn about our mission and food excess and insecurity.

Whole Foods South End Joins the Lovin’ Spoonfuls Network!

We are so excited for this Friday! Not because it’s Friday, but because it’s the day Whole Foods Market South End opens! We are thrilled to welcome this new location of Whole Foods to our network of vendors donating fresh, healthy, perishable foods to Lovin’ Spoonfuls. The new South End location is close to many agencies we already support, like Pine Street Inn, Paraclete, and others, and the additional product from the store will allow us to add even more beneficiary agencies to our network. We look forward to a long-lasting partnership with the newest Whole Foods location! Pay them a visit this weekend, they open Friday morning!

 

All the ways you can support Lovin’ Spoonfuls this holiday season!

The holiday season is here! This year, there are a number of ways you can support Lovin’ Spoonfuls as you get in the holiday spirit. You can cast a vote for Lovin’ Spoonfuls in Eventbrite’s “Do Right, Be Brite” campaign, which could help us win up to $2,500.

Or join us on Sunday, December 7th at the Prudential Center as we flip the switch for 31 Nights of Light! The building will light up red and blue in support of Lovin’ Spoonfuls at 5pm. We’ll be inside the Prudential Center from 4-6pm with treats for kids and adults alike! Join us!

As you do your holiday shopping, don’t forget to use AmazonSmile for any Amazon.com orders. By following this link, a portion of all purchases made will be donated to Lovin’ Spoonfuls!

Of course, a donation in someone’s name is always a great holiday gift. You can donate to Lovin’ Spoonfuls at any time of the year here.

Best wishes to you from the Lovin’ Spoonfuls team for a joyful holiday season!

thanksGIVING at Merrill & Co.

Last night, Lovin’ Spoonfuls and Merrill & Co. presented ThanksGIVING, a holiday themed event which raised funds for our turkey distribution to support Boston Medical Center’s food pantry. As our community partners’ needs continue to skyrocket each year, unfortunately their resources and aid continues to shrink – and we at Lovin’ Spoonfuls find ourselves in a unique position to help facilitate direct distribution of holiday turkeys to families who utilize BMC’s food assistance. Along with the support of Boston’s incredible restaurant industry, and our wonderful hosts at Merrill & Co., over $2,500 was raised over a southern-tinged Thanksgiving style meal, with all of the fixin’s! Peak Organic brewery offered delicious Pale Ale, and bar manager Kevin Mabry created a sherry cobbler cocktail, perfect for the season. Thanks to all for such a fun evening!

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