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!

Note from our Executive Director…

Hello Friends & Supporters,

It’s with great pride that we celebrate an incredibly successful Ultimate Tailgate Party, 2014! Your support raised over $135,000! We welcomed over 300 on the waterfront at Sam’s, and gathered in a gorgeous tent with incredible music, fabulous food, one of a kind auction items and the ‘Swoon Booth‘! Dorothy Puhy, The John W. Henry Family Foundation, Bank of America, Peterson Party Center, Winston Flowers, MS Walker, ProForma, and Peak Organic all sponsored our event with generosity, enthusiasm and cheer. Our volunteers were amazing and spirited – we thank you all.

During the sold-out VIP celebration upstairs at Sam’s, we were proud to present the first ever, Thomas M. Menino Award for Service – to legendary restaurateurs, and founding members of our esteemed Culinary Panel – Christopher Myers and Joanne Chang.

“With heavy hearts, we proudly introduce the Thomas M. Menino Award. Our late Mayor was not only a relentless advocate of our work, he was a true friend – and a dependable presence within our organization. As our Guest of Honor last year, he spoke of his affinity for food – and how proud he was of Boston’s incredible restaurant community. He recognized food as a tool for social justice, and believed in access for all. Mayor Menino had supported Lovin’ Spoonfuls since our very first event, our launch party at Myers + Chang. Coincidentally, it was Christopher Myers + Joanne Chang who introduced him to our work. Going forward, we honor both his life and legacy with this award – which will serve to recognize those who hold the same ideals that connect service, community and food. Fittingly, tonight we celebrate the idea that food creates community – and all who cultivate it. We are deeply proud to honor Christopher + Joanne with the first ever Thomas M. Menino Award.”

Josh Smith of Moody’s & New England Charcuterie, along with the fabulous Wasik brothers feted VIP guests with an incredible spread of specialty cheeses and charcuterie. MS Walker outfitted our entire event with bubbles from Simonnet-Febvre, and selections from MSW’s own private label wines, Harbor Town & inspired. Downstairs in the tent, Offsite was shaking incredible Ward 8 cocktails, and serving up a crowd favorite – Negronis on tap. Peak Organic was our featured brewery, not only pouring delicious seasonal brews, but their co-Founder Rob Lucente, also emceed our evening’s program – raising over $30,000 during the live auction!

Lovin’ Spoonfuls is fortunate to have had the support of the restaurant community from day one- but looking around the tent, I was overcome with pride…20 of the most amazing and generous chefs in our city, came out to support our work and fed our guests – which in turn, keeps us on the road and feeding our community. It’s no secret that chefs and restauranteurs 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 Louis DiBiccari, Will Gilson, Asia Mei, Karen Akunowicz, Colin Lynch and Christine & Carla Palotta were back on hand with amazing dishes. We were thrilled to welcome Tiffani Faison, Matthew Gaudet, Steve ‘Nookie” Postal, Daniel Bojorquez (who previewed La Brasa last year!), Mei Mei Street Kitchen, Jason Cheek, Keith Pooler & Jason Albus. And of course, we were proud to have our remarkable Culinary Panel represented – Joanne Chang, Christopher Myers, Jamie Bissonnette & Michael Scelfo.


My deepest thanks to Joe Fallon, Esti + Drew Parsons, TJ Connelly, and to our good friends Marjorie Clapprood and Chris Spinazzola – for their time, support and creative vision for this year’s Tailgate! We had a blast working with everyone, and are proud to have the support of this incredible community. Each truck we put on the road rescues 250,000 lbs of fresh, healthy food each year – and we keep them on the road with your support. This event raised over $135,000 for our work – and we are truly grateful. Follow along on Instagram, Twitter & 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.

With gratitude,

Ashley Stanley & the team at Lovin’ Spoonfuls

Lovin’ Spoonfuls launches Plenty!

Last week was the beginning of a brand new program for Lovin’ Spoonfuls.

We have become quite successful at accomplishing the first part of our mission. We now work with 50+ grocers, wholesalers, and other food vendors to rescue food that would otherwise go to waste. It’s the second part of the equation that we are looking to address now.  Once we make our daily or weekly deliveries, we leave the fate of the food in the hands of our beneficiary partners. The agencies we partner with work tirelessly to make the lives of their neighbors better, and happily work with us to provide these same people, who tend not to have access, with healthy, fresh food.

Suzi’s Kale, Squash, Sweet Potato Gratin

But we can do more! Our new educational programming, funded by BNY Mellon / The Alice P. Chase Trust, sets out to provide those who receive our food with the tools they need to use it effectively. We want to avoid food waste at each step of the process, including its final destination, which we hope, is on someone’s plate.

Last week we kicked off this programming with two cooking workshops with the help of two of our amazing friends. Suzi Maitland, the Executive Chef at Trina’s Starlite Lounge and Audubon, demonstrated a dish using kale, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash at the Brookline Food Pantry. Everyone wanted a second sample!  Guests left with new tips for how to incorporate these nutritious foods into their cooking.

Karen Akunowicz, Chef at Myers + Chang, demonstrated a dish using cauliflower, kabocha squash, and spaghetti squash for culinary training students at Community Servings. The intimate setting allowed the students to try their hand at knife skills and discuss the techniques demonstrated.  The dish was also incredibly delicious!

Karen teaching the students about winter squash varieties

Meet Sarah!

Sarah joined our team as a driver in the late spring of this year, get to know her more here!

Sarah Garrett

How did you arrive at Lovin’ Spoonfuls?
I was educated as an anthropologist, and I’ve always been deeply interested in the material circumstances of life cross-culturally;  how people live and what they make of it. For me, this interest directly translates to improving the material circumstances of life for as many people as possible. I have always wanted to make my life about creating the kind of lives fit for humans to live. This motivation has taken me through various sorts of work, from health delivery research to political organizing. When a friend who works for one of our beneficiaries let me know that LS was hiring for a driver, I was delighted to have the chance to work directly to improve folks’ material realities by rescuing and delivering fresh food.

Describe a typical work day. How does your job differ from the average truck driver?
There is no typical day with Lovin Spoonfuls! That’s one of the most exciting parts of this work. I have my regular collections with our vendors, but I often get the chance to collect and distribute even more food on the fly, from, say, a food pantry distribution that has more food than they can distribute. I never know what kind of interesting people I’ll meet or what sort of food I’ll get to collect! We’re well coordinated, but the spontaneity and go-get-it attitude makes the work all the more fun.

What’s the strangest/most exotic food item you’ve picked up from a vendor?
Definitely Daikon and Vegan Chicken Salad. Enough said!

What are some of your favorite tunes/radio stations that you listen to on the road?
I never miss Democracy Now on 90.3, a hard hitting news program that comes on at noon every day and usually has interviews with fascinating people out organizing and making the world better.

The rest of the time, I alternate Nina Simone and Fleetwood Mac.

Do your friends and family consider you a good cook? Any signature recipes?
I guess you’d have to ask them! I make an excellent vegan blueberry pie (it won a competition!). I think I know about two dozen ways to serve bell peppers.

What would we find in your refrigerator right now?
Bell peppers, asparagus, spinach and maple flavored cream top yogurt are always in my fridge. I usually have some homemade ranch on hand, too. You can take me out of the Plains, but you can’t take the Plains out of me!

What’s your favorite childhood food memory?
I have so many great memories of my mom teaching me to cook. She taught me how to fry green tomatoes, okra and jalepeños before I could do long division. What I revisit most often  is how to make biscuits and pie crust without measuring, very convenient!

Has this job made you more aware of your own consumption habits? Have you made any significant changes as a result?
I like to think that I was always pretty cognizant of the amount of waste produced by our food systems. One of the most shocking things I’ve learned so far is how much work food distribution is – and how far we still have to go.

What’s your favorite place/restaurant/neighborhood in Boston?
My favorite restaurants are so close to our parking spot in Somerville, and I feel quite fortunate whenever I remember that. I love everything at Pujabi Dhabi, the BBQ Seitan sandwich at Clover, and getting sticky fingers from the Njera bread at Fasika. South of the Charles, my vote is always for My Thai Vegan Café in Chinatown.

My favorite neighborhoods are Jamaica Plain, Boston, and Central Square, Cambridge. In the summer I trek out to Revere Beach almost three times a week (say what you will, the first public beach in America is grand!)

What is your motto?
My motto: Educate, agitate, organize!

A few affirmations that I keep close to my heart are (1) do whatever you can, as well as you can, and (2) if you want to be free, then you’ve got to be brave.

Who are your heroes?
Most of my real life heroes don’t have Wikipedia pages. I try to surround myself with people I admire.

Angela Davis, Paul Farmer, Victoria Woodhull, Toni Morrison and Ella Baker are some famous folks whose work and stories have inspired me.

Tickets Now on Sale for the 4th Annual Ultimate Tailgate Party!

On Sunday, November 9th, 2014, Lovin’ Spoonfuls will host the fourth annual Ultimate Tailgate Party and celebrate our upcoming 5th anniversary, all while overlooking Boston’s scenic waterfront at Sam’s. The annual event, sponsored by Bank of America and the John W. Henry Family Foundation, and hosted by Esti & Drew Parsons, co-owners of Sam’s, features 16 of Boston’s “MVP” chefs cooking high-end versions of their favorite tailgate food, a silent auction, entertainment and much more. Beer, wine, and cocktails will be shaken and served by Sam’s own Jon Parsons and Nick Korn of OFFSITE.

This year, we are thrilled to honor founding Culinary Board members Joanne Chang and Christopher Myers during the VIP hour, for their continued support of our work. As Chef + Owner of Flour Bakery & Cafe, Joanne has become a nationally renowned author, and together with her husband, celebrated restauranteur Christopher, they own and operate Myers + Chang, the acclaimed South End restaurant. Christopher and Joanne are beacons for the charities they support and ingrained in the fabric of the Boston community.

The VIP hour also features sparkling wine, cheeses from Wasik’s Cheese Shop, and charcuterie from Josh Smith of New England Charcuterie.  The theme of the event resonates the ‘Spoonfuls mission: combatting hunger is a team sport!

This year an all-star team of Boston’s premiere chefs will once again join the party by cooking their own creative takes on their favorite tailgate food. Guests will be able to enjoy creative comfort food from Lovin’ Spoonfuls culinary board members Jamie Bissonnette (Coppa and Toro), Joanne Chang (Myers + Chang and Flour Bakery), and newest culinary board member Michael Scelfo (Alden & Harlow), as well as Karen Akunowicz (Myers + Chang), Asia Mei (Sam’s at Louis Boston), Colin Lynch (Menton, No. 9 Park),  Louis DiBiccari (Tavern Road), Matthew Gaudet (West Bridge), Will Gilson (Puritan & Co.), Tiffani Faison (Sweet Cheeks), Daniel Bojorquez (La Brasa), Jason Cheek (Merrill & Co.), Steve Postal (Commonwealth), Christine & Carla Pallotta (Nebo), Jason Albus (Fairsted Kitchen), the team from Mei Mei Street Kitchen, and Keith Pooler (Bergamot).

Full details and TICKETS are available here!

Save the Date for the 4th Annual Ultimate Tailgate Party!

Everyone is talking about fall’s arrival, and while we happily enjoy the remaining days of summer, there is something special about the fall here at Lovin’ Spoonfuls. We happen to think it’s because of our signature event, the Ultimate Tailgate Party! This year, as we celebrate our upcoming 5 year anniversary, we are looking to make it our most successful event yet! It will still be on the lawn in front of Sam’s, but this year we’ll be under a larger tent, with a few new surprises! So, save the date, details coming soon and tickets will be on sale in the coming weeks – but mark your calendar now so you’re sure to be there. The party takes place on Sunday, November 9th!



Summer meals support is under way!

Lovin’ Spoonfuls is working with partners Stop & Shop and Whole Foods Market to source fresh fruits and vegetables this summer to provide to the summer meals programs in Framingham, Waltham, and Somerville. Summer meals programs are an essential summertime replacement for students who lose access to healthy meals when school is out. Inadequate nutrition during the summer can set kids back when they return to school in the fall.  Each district we work with is feeding hundreds of kids per day at various sites throughout their cities, trying to reach as many as possible. Because summer meals is a federally funded program, the budgets are slim, and they need to stretch their buying power as much as possible.  We can provide fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy, and breads for the districts to use in the meals.

Each Monday for 9 weeks, we will be making collections from Stop & Shop locations and delivering the product to the meal production facilities in each district. The food services managers at each location can choose from what we have collected to supplement their meals – a recent collection yielded fruit for snacking: apples, bananas, clementines, and vegetables for salads or cooking: peppers, summer squash, lettuce. All of this product might have been wasted, but it’s healthy, fresh food that can be put to great use feeding kids throughout the area this summer!

Project Bread is working with summer meals programs across the region and granted funds to Lovin’ Spoonfuls to operate this program.

Thanks to all who attended the Lovin’ Pop-Up!

Last Tuesday, we were fortunate to host an incredible Pop-Up dinner to benefit Lovin’ Spoonfuls which raised over $20,000 for our work! Joined by some amazing people, we kicked off the evening with a cocktail party featuring delicious bites from Michael Scelfo (Alden & Harlow) and Louis DiBiccari (Tavern Road), as well as an amazing charcuterie display from Josh Smith (Moody’s Delicatessen).  There were great cocktails developed by Nick Korn (Offsite) plus beers from Peak Organic and wines compliments of MS Walker.


And then there was dinner…a four course experience paired with wines selected by Justin Shaw of MS Walker. The four dinner chefs brought their game and served an incredible menu.  Jamie Bissonnette of Coppa, Toro & Toro NYC kicked the meal off with a dish featuring lamb morcilla, octopus, heirloom beans, hummus & tahini.  Andrew Zimmern, of Bizarre Foods fame, followed that with a fiery Bangkok-style crispy poussin with lemongrass and chiles, served with sticky rice.  Matthew Jennings, of the forthcoming Townsman restaurant in Boston, served a soft-shell crab with ramp & pistachio relish and fermented black beans.  Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery + Cafe closed the meal on a sweet note with a delightful spring pavlova with berries and figs.

The support of the restaurant community on this event can not be overstated – they prepped, cooked, set-up, served, bussed, poured, hosted, and did everything above and beyond what we could have asked for, and made the evening a huge success.  So much so, that everyone wants to do it again next year.  So, if you missed the opportunity to join us at this event, don’t worry, because it will be back next year!

Join us for a Pop-Up Dinner with award-winning chefs!

Lovin’ Spoonfuls is thrilled to be hosting an exciting and unique benefit Pop-Up Dinner on June 10th – featuring four courses from:

  • James Beard award winner/Bizarre Foods star, author and food justice advocate Andrew Zimmern
  • James Beard award winner Jamie Bissonnette of Toro Boston, Coppa Enoteca, and Toro NYC
  • James Beard finalist and soon to be Boston-based Matthew Jennings of Farmstead, Inc. and the forthcoming Townsman
  • James Beard finalist and author Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery and Myers + Chang
The event will be at the New England Center for Arts and Technology downtown, and the intimate dinner will be paired with wines presented by MS Walker.
A separately ticketed cocktail party featuring a meet + greet with all the chefs will offer wine + cocktails, seasonal beers from Peak Organic, and hors d’oeuvres from good friends of Lovin’ Spoonfuls: Louis DiBiccari (Tavern Road), Josh Smith (Moody’s Delicatessen), and Michael Scelfo (Alden & Harlow).  Details and tickets can be purchased here!

Whole Foods Hosts a 5% Day for Lovin’ Spoonfuls!

Three Whole Foods Market Boston locations are hosting a 5% Day to support Lovin’ Spoonfuls on 4/29/14!  Save your grocery trip for Tuesday and support our work by shopping at the Charles River Plaza, Jamaica Plain, or Symphony locations.  5% of the sales for that day will be donated to Lovin’ Spoonfuls!


Intermix Event on 4.24

Join Ashley Stanley and Intermix personal stylist Paula Darviris at Intermix Chestnut Hill on Thursday, April 24 from 6-8pm. Discover Intermix’s latest trends and curated collections; enjoy refreshments and light bites while you shop their must-have styles of the season. 10% of the proceeds from the evening’s purchases will support Lovin’ Spoonfuls!


The Lamb Jam Returns!

On Sunday, April 13, the Lamb Jam returns to Boston (or rather, Cambridge) at the Royal Sonesta Hotel.  Lamb Jam Boston is an epic tasting event and competition that brings together 20 chefs from Boston, Portland, Providence, and Portsmouth to compete for your vote and the honor of Best Lamb Dish in New England!

Joining the chefs will be 12 of New England’s top breweries, a couple winemakers and other local food artisans serving up tasty treats. In between bites, attendees can watch butcher demos, experience an interactive photo booth, and meet local shepherds.

The VIP hour features lamb charcuterie by many of our friends: Chef Jamie Bisonette of Toro & Coppa, Chef Louis DiBiccari of Tavern Road, Chef Dante de Magistris of Dante, and Chef Will Gilson of Puritan & Company.

A portion of the proceeds support Lovin’ Spoonfuls.  Visit the website for a full list of chefs and breweries and to buy tickets!

Join us at the WasteWise Commercial Food Waste Vendor Fair!

On June 12, representatives from Lovin’ Spoonfuls will attend the Commercial Food Waste Vendor Fair.  At the event, attendees will have a chance to connect with a wide range of vendors, including haulers, compostable product vendors, food donation and rescue organizations, and onsite organic waste reduction technologies.

We are excited to meet and connect with businesses who may look to utilize food rescue as a solution in their plan for reducing commercial food waste. The event, hosted by RecyclingWorks, will include presentations on the commercial organics waste ban and best management practices for commercial food waste separation offered throughout the day. Please see below for more details about the event!

When:   Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Where:  Sheraton Framingham Hotel & Conference Center, 1657 Worcester Road, Framingham, MA 01701

Time:  Doors will be open from 9:00 AM—2:00 PM.  This is an open door event with no registration fee for attendees.

Who Should Attend: Restaurants, Hospitals, Colleges & Universities, Property Managers, Dining Services Contractors, Food Processors/Manufacturers, Supermarkets, Businesses, Facilities Managers and other organizations who generate large amounts of food waste.

Click here to register as an attendee.  For more information on attending this event, please contact Stephanie Frank at stephanie.frank@cetonline.org

For full information, visit the RecyclingWorks website.

Run Jen Run!

We were so excited to receive one invitational entry to the 2014 Boston Marathon. But then we had to figure out the hard part: who can run for Lovin’ Spoonfuls? With runners on our board, our staff, in our friends & family, we had to find someone passionate about the work we are doing and willing to utilize his/her networks to fund raise on our behalf. We are thrilled to have Jennifer Gove heading our one-woman Boston Marathon team and look forward to cheering for her on April 21st.  Check out her fundraising page here and donate to support her run!

Globe GRANT Program

If you’re a Boston Globe subscriber, please consider granting your Globe GRANT certificate to Lovin’ Spoonfuls. We could gain valuable advertising space in The Boston Globe, reaching beyond our current audience to share what we’re doing. Full information is available here.

partner profile: SheGives Boston

Over the past few months, Lovin’ Spoonfuls has been fortunate enough to be supported by a new, innovative giving platform based in Boston called SheGives. Spearheaded by Founder and President Kirstan Barnett, SheGives is a philanthropic group comprised of passionate women interested in supporting local non-profit organizations. Lovin’ Spoonfuls was selected to be a part of SheGives’ inaugural non-profit slate, one of eight organizations carefully curated by the SheGives board of directors.

In October, SheGives hosted an event in honor of Lovin’ Spoonfuls where Founder and Executive Director Ashley Stanley spoke to a room full of SheGives members about our mission and the importance of food rescue. Fittingly, the event took place at long-time ‘Spoonfuls partner restaurant Myers + Chang. As both a founding member of SheGives and a member of our culinary board, chef Joanne Chang also provided her own unique insight about both SheGives and Lovin’ Spoonfuls to guests at the event. It was a wonderful evening filled with fantastic food and spirited conversation.

In addition to the event at Myers + Chang and financial contributions from individual members, SheGives has continued to support Lovin’ Spoonfuls by attending our own fall fundraising event and showcasing our work through staff profiles on their blog. As we begin another new year, we would like to thank the inspiring ladies of SheGives for their ongoing support and we look forward to continuing our partnership in 2014! For more information about SheGives, please visit their website here.

Meet Bob & Spencer, Lovin’ Spoonfuls Drivers

In 2013, we welcomed two new drivers to the team: Bob Burton and Spencer Meibos. Learn more about them both here!

Spencer Meibos

How did you arrive at Lovin’ Spoonfuls?
My fiancée had seen a post online about the position. I had taken some time off upon moving to Boston in 2010, and had started looking for work again at the end of 2012. I had been a chemical analyst for 13 years prior to moving here, so I had only been looking for positions in that field. Danielle (my beloved fiancée) suggested I try something new, so just for the fun of it, I looked into the company and what they were all about. Immediately, I was interested. I have always been of the belief that food is a right, not a privilege; and when I saw that Lovin’ Spoonfuls was of the same ethos, I knew I would fit right in. I applied, interviewed, trained, and here I am now; as excited as ever to be involved in such a great cause.

Describe a typical work day. How does your job differ from the average truck driver?
Each day consists of first collecting all of the product from the vendors, then distributing it to the beneficiaries. There are currently three of us driving now, so we’ve divided the stops up geographically (which makes sense, of course). We each have between about six to twelve total stops throughout the day, split between the vendors and the beneficiaries. So, basically, I drive around Eastern Massachusetts picking up nutritious food, and giving it to people who can see that it doesn’t go to waste. I’m not really sure what the term “average truck driver” means. I’ve never been any other kind of truck driver, so I can’t really say for sure how my job differs from anyone else’s. I can say that my work is very spiritually rewarding, and that is something I hope I never take for granted.

What’s the strangest/most exotic food item you’ve picked up from a vendor?
The first time I saw daikon radishes, I thought they were giant carrots that Bunnicula had gotten a hold of. I was happy to learn I was mistaken.

What are some of your favorite tunes/radio stations that you listen to on the road?
My truck, Big Bertha, has a CD player in it, so I get to burn myself new CDs every week to jam on the road. Frank Zappa is a staple of every week. I’ve been on a Marilyn Manson / Nine Inch Nails kick as of late as well. The new Justin Timberlake double album has also been heard coming from my truck lately. Music is the best.

Do your friends and family consider you a good cook? Any signature recipes?
Uh, no and no, unfortunately. So sad.

What would we find in your refrigerator right now?
Well, my better half has been out of town for 10 days, so I’m going to politely decline to answer that question.

What’s your favorite childhood food memory?
As far back as I can remember, my mom always made the most amazing spaghetti, with chicken and, what I now know to be a massive amount of garlic. I grew up thinking that was how all spaghetti tasted. I was so disappointed the first time I had spaghetti and it didn’t make my breath smell like garlic bread.

Has this job made you more aware of your own consumption habits? Have you made any significant changes as a result?
Absolutely. I don’t think I really wasted a lot of food before, but I definitely do everything I can now to make sure that the food we buy gets eaten.

What’s your favorite place/restaurant/neighborhood in Boston?
I’m a JP guy, all the way. Where else in Boston can you get the kind of diversity, cultural and terrestrial, that you can in Jamaica Plain? Jamaica Pond, The Arboretum, Franklin Park, Forest Hills Cemetery, JP Center, Hyde Square, Egleston Square… I love it all. It makes me feel at home.

What is your motto?
Do the next right thing.

Who are your heroes?
William Griffith Wilson, Robert Holbrook Smith

Robert Burton

How did you arrive at Lovin’ Spoonfuls?
Most of my career has been spent working with warehousing and freight companies. My mom, who volunteers at a food pantry, had asked me to help her one day with the pantry. I thoroughly enjoyed it and met a lot of nice people who had many stories to tell about where the food comes from and to whom it gets distributed. I became very interested in this kind of work so I started researching. I received information about Lovin’ Spoonfuls and what their organization did. I called and it was my lucky day; they invited me in for an interview. Greatest day of my life when I was offered a position to join the team!

Describe a typical work day. How does your job differ from the average truck driver?
A typical work day is anything but typical. Every day is different. You start your day getting into a vehicle that is clean and well equipped to do the job that is expected of you. It’s ‘people helping people’, as you collect and distribute, you meet and get to be on a first name basis with everyone. You enjoy talking about what you do, and why.

What’s the strangest/most exotic food item you’ve picked up from a vendor?
There are a lot of strange & exotic foods that I have never seen or even heard of before! I’m always asking people in the supermarkets what a product is, and I’ve learned a lot about different foods. Strangest item was a fruit called papaya.

What are some of your favorite tunes/radio stations that you listen to on the road?
I listen to the radio – mostly sports radio and country music.

Do your friends and family consider you a good cook? Any signature recipes?
The only cooking that I do is on the backyard grill. I do this year-round and love it.

What would we find in your refrigerator right now?
The refrigerator is full of variety of beverages (juice, milk, cream, eggnog), lots of fruit (apples, oranges, pears), breads (bagels, sliced bread), plenty of condiments (mustard, relish, ketchup), homemade tuna salad, and lots of leftovers (6 family members!).

What’s your favorite childhood food memory?
Raisin French toast with bananas & Vermont maple syrup

Has this job made you more aware of your own consumption habits? Have you made any significant changes as a result?
Yes, I’ve become more aware of healthier eating habits based on all the new foods which I was unaware of or unsure of how they tasted. Slow changes being made, slow!

What’s your favorite place/restaurant/neighborhood in Boston?
My favorite place in the Boston area is Boston Common. There are so many different activities going on there every day; whether it’s eating a hot dog from a cart, or a musician playing his guitar, or skating on the Frog Pond, or feeding pigeons. Any day you visit Boston Common, there will always be something you did not see the day before!

What is your motto?
No person should ever go hungry with all the food available to us.

Who are your heroes?
My family members. They are always there for me, without question.

third annual ultimate tailgate party

On Sunday, November 10th, Lovin’ Spoonfuls held the 3rd Annual Ultimate Tailgate Party on the waterfront at Sam’s. The evening kicked off with champagne and delicious pulled pork and fried oyster steamed buns from L’Espalier’s Frank McClelland. Guests were then treated to cocktails shaken by local mixologists Jon Parsons and Josh Childs and enjoyed tasty bites from our incredible lineup of chefs, including falafel from Colin Lynch of Menton and No. 9 Park, seafood ceviche from Jeremy Sewall of Lineage, Island Creek Oyster Bar, and the forthcoming Row 34, cassoulet from Toro and Coppa’s Jamie Bissonnette, pizza straight from Posto’s mobile pizza oven, and much more!

We welcomed Mayor Menino as our guest of honor, thanking him for his commitment to both the organization and to healthy food initiatives throughout the city. We even sent the mayor home with his very own oversized spoon! Other highlights from the evening included 11 year New England Patriot Matt Light posing for pictures with guests and showcasing his new business venture, KEEL Vodka,  emcee Charlie Rose entertaining the crowd, as well as the return of everyone’s favorite football-themed photo booth, courtesy of Mike Young at StopDownFire Photography.

Thanks to everyone who came out to support our food rescue program and a special thank you to everyone who contributed to the success of this year’s event – all participating chefs, mixologists, the team at Sam’s, Peterson Party Center, Proforma Printing, KEEL Vodka, Peak Organic, and MS Walker.


Photos courtesy of Little Monkeys Photo Co.

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