Food Rescue, Lovin’ Spoonfuls, Awarded Largest Grant in Organization History To Fund Food Recovery Work

Food rescue, Lovin’ Spoonfuls, has been named among 140 nonprofit organizations to receive a Cummings Foundation Grant in support of its efforts to reduce wasted food and tackle food insecurity in Massachusetts. The 12-year-old nonprofit, headquartered in Boston and working across the Commonwealth, picks up food (often excess) that would otherwise be discarded from retailers like grocery stores, wholesalers, and farms. It distributes the food it recovers, same day, to nonprofits serving people facing food insecurity.

Said Senior Director of Development, Erin Keohane, the award – which supports Spoonfuls’ operations in Suffolk, Middlesex, and Essex counties – comes at a particularly important juncture for the organization, which recently rescued its 25th million pound of food and is embarking on a strategic planning process. Spoonfuls does approximately 80% of its business in these counties, where more than half of the 500,000 Massachusetts residents facing food insecurity live.

“Lovin’ Spoonfuls has grown rapidly over the past few years in response to the pandemic,” said Keohane, “yet we still have over 100 organizations on a waiting list for our food distribution services. Our goal is to strategically scale our operations, to reach more programs and people with fresh, wholesome food. We know that food is out there. We want to help ensure it reaches people who need it, and our ability to do that comes back to philanthropy. The Cummings Foundation is helping us meet our mission.”

Spoonfuls’ food rescue model utilizes professionally-trained, ServSafe-certified Food Rescue Coordinators to transport food safely and on a set delivery schedule. Service reliability has proven consistently important, especially as pantries and meal programs in the Spoonfuls’ network are serving more people. According to Project Bread, the number of people facing food insecurity across the Bay State has ballooned since pre-pandemic from 8.2% of Massachusetts households facing food insecurity in early 2020 to 16.4% at the end of April 2022.

But the paradoxical problems of wasted food and hunger aren’t going anywhere. Keohane points to challenges throughout the food system and badly-needed policy interventions to correct them. “We aim to be a resource for as long as we’re needed. We know even when we rebound from the pandemic, even if we get back to where we were in January 2020, where just over 8% of the population was facing food insecurity, that’s not good enough.”

The Cummings Foundation Grant – $50,000 a year for 10 years – will be a sustaining source of support for the organization, which has a budget of $3.56M in 2022. Every $1 the organization raises enables its team of Food Rescue Coordinators to rescue and distribute more than 2 lbs of food, providing nearly a day’s worth of food to a person facing food insecurity.

Interview Opportunities Available: Phone Joni Kusminsky at (617) 390.4450, ext. 413 or e-mail [email protected].

Established in 2010 by Ashley Stanley, Lovin’ Spoonfuls is a nonprofit food rescue headquartered in Boston and dedicated to facilitating the rescue and distribution of healthy, fresh food that would otherwise be discarded. Spoonfuls picks up wholesome, perishable food from grocery stores, produce wholesalers, farms and farmers markets, and distributes it, same day, to more than 160 community nonprofits that feed people experiencing food insecurity. Spoonfuls operates across eight routes in Greater Boston, MetroWest, Worcester County, and Hampden County. Each week, the organization rescues over 86,000 pounds of food, which serves over 42,000 people.

Spoonfuls never stores, or “banks,” what they rescue. Operations are structured to ensure the recovered food is matched with the specific needs of their nonprofit partners.

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