Team Lovin’

ASHLEY STANLEY – Founder / Executive Director

Ashley Stanley is a born and bred Bostonian. Since founding Lovin’ Spoonfuls in 2010, more than 12 million pounds of fresh, healthy food has been rescued and brought into the social service stream. She has created unparalleled awareness for food rescue, with dedication to addressing hunger relief, climate change and health equity. In 2011, the Boston Business Journal named her an ‘Emerging Leader.’ In 2012, Lovin’ Spoonfuls was a two-time winner of the Mass Challenge competition. In 2013, Ashley was selected as one of the BBJ’s 2013 ’40 under 40’ and served as a fellow at The Nantucket Project. In 2014, Ashley was recognized by The Boston Globe as a ‘Game Changer’ and in Boston Magazine‘s ‘Power of Ideas.’  She is an Oxfam International’s Sisters of the Planet Ambassador, a member of TEDWomen, and a TEDx community speaker. She’s been featured on NPR and written for The Huffington Post. Learn more about Ashley.

LAUREN PALUMBO – Chief Operating Officer

Born, raised, and educated in the Boston area, Lauren’s passion for the non-profit sector began at a young age while leading the community service group at her high school. That commitment to service led to a career working in support of nonprofits with innovative and unique missions. Her role at Lovin’ Spoonfuls combined that background with her passion for food, and has led to more than 7 years of growth and leadership on the ‘Spoonfuls team. Lauren has worked to grow the network of partners served by Lovin’ Spoonfuls and expand the reach of the organization throughout Eastern Massachusetts. Lauren seeks to bring this food rescue model to every community in Massachusetts, and to continue to lead conversations on the importance of reducing food waste and ensuring access to healthy food for all people. In 2015, Lauren was recognized as an ‘Emerging Leader’ by Bank of America’s Neighborhood Builders program, and in 2016, Lauren was selected as one of the BBJ’s ’40 under 40′, which recognizes Boston’s young business leaders. Contact Lauren

LIZ FERGUSON Communications & Marketing Director

A lifelong Bostonian, Liz is ecstatic to have joined team Lovin’ in January 2019 after honing her marketing and communications skills at Boston Magazine and the Museum of Fine Arts. A graduate of Boston College with a major in English, Liz uses creative communication every day while generating innovative marketing materials, planning events, and running publicity efforts for the organization. Liz has coordinated integrated programs throughout New England, such as Battle of the Burger, Taste, Design Home, and events at Nantucket Wine Festival. She has also been integral in the management of noteworthy local publications, such as The Boston Athletic Association’s Boston Marathon Program and creating the Chinese-Language Edition of Boston Magazine. Passionate about food and travel, Liz understands how access to reliable resources directly affects opportunity and is eager to support these efforts in Massachusetts and beyond through Lovin’ Spoonfuls.

SEAN AHERN Operations Manager

Sean began his career in food service and hospitality as a teenager; after obtaining his degree in hospitality from the University of Massachusetts’ Isenberg School of Management, Sean worked as a restaurant manager in and around Boston for the last decade. As a manager at Boston’s AAA five diamond rated L’Espalier, Sean learned the complexities of farm-to-table and fine dining; with that experience he went on to become the General Manager of Russell House Tavern in Cambridge, managing a team in the heart of Harvard Square. Throughout his life, Sean has always had a passion for food and its power to bring people together. Seeing firsthand the problems of food waste and food insecurity, Sean wanted to put his efforts towards serving the communities he works and lives in. These interests have led him to Lovin’ Spoonfuls, where he is excited to join such a great team and use his passions for good. Contact Sean

JOEL SIMONSON – Development Coordinator

Joel comes from a scientific background, majoring in Biology for his bachelor’s degree and completing a master’s degree in Environmental Science and Policy both from Clark University. While always having an interest in public health, he has become deeply interested in the relationship between long-term health and access to nutritious food through his coursework and past internship experiences. He was initially drawn to Lovin’ Spoonfuls because of its unique model in providing direct distribution of excess food. He is thrilled to be a part of the Lovin’ Spoonfuls team and to have the opportunity to work with people of different backgrounds towards a common goal. Contact Joel

CATHY PEDTKE – Education Coordinator

Cathy comes from a culinary background, with a degree in Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management from Paul Smith’s College and a masters degree in Gastronomy from Boston University. She became interested in food rescue after witnessing how much food goes to waste in the restaurant and catering industry, and taking classes in food policy and global food systems. As a lifelong homeschooler, learning from others and sharing your own knowledge and skills has always been important, so Cathy hopes to do both through the Plenty program and other education work with Lovin’ Spoonfuls. Contact Cathy

REGGIE NGUYEN – Food Rescue Coordinator

Reggie is a native Bostonian. Before working with Lovin’ Spoonfuls,  he worked for Rosie’s Place in their food pantry. Reggie enjoyed playing a role in alleviating food insecurity for the many women that visited the pantry. He is excited to join the Lovin’ Spoonfuls team for the opportunity to use his work experience to serve an even wider range of people. It has been great to be able to work with various donors and beneficiaries from the towns on Route 128 to his backyard of Dorchester. Contact Reggie

ANTHONY SUMMA – Food Rescue Coordinator

Anthony grew up in Connecticut, but recently moved to Bellingham, MA in order to join the Lovin’ Spoonfuls team. He was drawn to the organization after studying Sustainability at Roger Williams University and wanting to alleviate the environmental impacts due to food waste.  A man who has worked in various fields, construction and television production to name a few, he is looking for a more meaningful experience in which he can give back to those in need, while simultaneously having a positive impact on the environment. He is excited to meet and improve the lives of as many people as possible while exploring the MetroWest area. Contact Anthony

JACOB MATZ – Food Rescue Coordinator

Jacob comes to Lovin’ Spoonfuls with a background in sociology and an interest in environmental health and justice. Originally from West Virginia, Jacob has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Sociology from West Virginia University where he worked as a teaching assistant and studied social, political, and environmental impacts related to extractive industries. As a research assistant in Environmental Sociology at Northeastern University, Jacob continued to focus on natural resource extraction and collaborated with and an environmental health non-profit addressing exposures to pollutants from shale gas development. Often, the burden of exposure to environmental pollutants coincides with the burden of food insecurity.  Jacob is excited to be a part of Lovin’ Spoonfuls’ model of food distribution that simultaneously reduces waste and provides access to healthy food in communities across Boston. Contact Jacob

DEBORAH HICKS – Food Rescue Coordinator

Deb is originally from a small town in South Central, PA where she grew up surrounded by a hilly patchwork of farms and orchards. When she went off to college, Deb discovered farming for herself and worked year-round on her school’s organic farm. Thanks in part to a mentor’s suggestion to WWOOF during studies abroad, Deb later ended up teaching in Italy for 7 years. There she furthered her interest is food, community, cultural exchange, and the great outdoors. As a recent transplant to Boston, Deb is excited to have an opportunity to combine some of her biggest interests while working for such an amazing organization! Contact Deborah

VINCENT VASSALLO – Food Rescue Coordinator

Vinny is a New Englander, born and bred. From Everett, MA, he grew up in his Grandmother’s kitchen, learning how to cook the recipes that her parents from Sicily taught to her. Vinny then moved to from the asphalt jungle of Boston to the green woods of New Hampshire, where his love of food and cooking extended to gardening, where he learned to toil and soil, and even tap trees. While there, he earned his B.A. in Communication Arts at the University of New Hampshire. Now back in Massachusetts, he is excited to work at Lovin’ Spoonfuls, and see the fruits of their labor help the community that he calls home. Contact Vinny

REBECCA HANDFORD Food Rescue Coordinator

Rebecca was born abroad in the South of England but moved to Massachusetts when she was just seventeen months old. Raised in Southborough, Rebecca graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a double degree in English and Social Thought & Political Economy. During her time at UMass she became interested in solidarity economies and political activism which lead to her joining a student-coordinated Food Access Coalition on campus; sparking her passion for community-centric hunger relief efforts. Rebecca has researched and organized around the issue of food insecurity amongst disenfranchised and at-risk populations, and actively seeks to ensure her community members receive the resources they need in order to thrive. Contact Rebecca

EMILY LEONARD – Food Rescue Coordinator

Emily grew up in Northern New Jersey but has spent most summers in Vermont. After receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and History from Dickinson College, Emily moved to Vermont full-time to pursue her ever-growing interests in nutrition, healthy living, food systems, and sustainable agriculture (and cows). After 6 months interning at a small, diversified vegetable and beef farm she attended the University of Vermont Farmer Training Program earning a Certificate in Sustainable Agriculture. Throughout her farming experiences in Vermont, Emily became increasingly aware of the amount of beautiful fruits and vegetables that end up in seconds bins, compost piles, or simply the trash. Recognizing the amount of food that goes to waste and the overall disconnect between the American farmer and American consumer further enhanced Emily’s passion for making an impactful difference on food systems. Following the Farmer Training Program, Emily took a leap, moving to Boston for a change of pace and scenery, and landed at Lovin’ Spoonfuls where she feels that she can pursue both her love of food and passion for working and living in a sustainable community.

YENNY MARTINFood Rescue Coordinator

Originally from Northern California, Yenny grew up in a household that loved food above all else. Yenny attended Bennington College in Vermont where she studied visual arts with a focus in video, and partook in her first farming/food access internship. This is where she discovered her passion for connecting people with healthy produce and her dedication to environmental sustainability. In the years to follow, as Yenny’s appreciation for growing, cooking, and of course eating grew, her patience for food waste increasingly thinned. When she finally discovered the food recovery movement, it was a truly euphoric moment. Through the last several years, Yenny has been involved in environmental, art, and food access work through various channels, taking animal conservation documentary film projects to Southeast Asia and working in several Boston-based food security organizations. Yenny is excited to work toward alleviating this critical issue with Lovin’ Spoonfuls and their team of compassionate individuals.

MICHAEL PRINCEFood Rescue Coordinator

Mike was born and raised in Boston and Cambridge and developed a passion for food at a young age when watching his large family come together for meals. As a  Lead cook at the Haley House Cafe, he fell in love with producing delicious  food to eat and the cultivation of the ingredients needed (farm to table). He feels it is a reward  to contribute to the community and is motivated and enthusiastic about being a part of this very important Lovin’ Spoonfuls mission.

GABRIELA – Accounting & Administrative Coordinator

Gabriela, born and raised in Brighton, MA comes to Lovin’ Spoonfuls with a Finance and Human Resources background. It has been Gabriela’s mission since receiving her bachelor’s degree in Business Management, to work for organizations where giving back to the community is a top priority. Apart from crunching numbers, Gabriela enjoys cooking traditional recipes from her parents’ home countries and loves to bake! Gabriela is excited to be part of such a strong and mission driven team! Contact Gabriela

“When you talk to anyone in the organization, from the CEO down to the driver, it feels like such a closely-knit community. We’ve really gotten to develop great relationships with them. It feels like they have a genuine interest in the success of our organization.”

Kelsey Hampton, Director of Food Pantry & Volunteer Services, Natick Service Council