Lovin’ Spoonfuls is a Boston based non-profit food sharing start-up that says it “rescues” 25,000 pounds of fresh food each week. It collects the food and shares it with more than 50 food sharing programs that help feed hungry people. Here is its mission statement, as shown on its website:
Lovin’ Spoonfuls is dedicated 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.
We pick up wholesome, fresh food that would otherwise be thrown away from grocery stores, produce wholesalers, farms and farmers markets, and distribute it to community non-profits that feed Greater Boston’s hungry.
Bridging The Gap Between Abundance And Need
Lovin’s Spoonfuls is a 501 3C non-profit organization founded in 2010 by Ashley Stanley for the sole purpose of redistributing fresh food that would otherwise by discarded to hungry people in the Boston area. She says up to 40% of the food grown in America goes to waste. Even though there are people everywhere who are food insecure, there is plenty of fresh, wholesome food available. All that is needed is an efficient distribution system to connect the food with the people who need it.
Every year, an estimated 65 billion pounds of unused food that goes directly to landfills. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, the production of food that ultimately goes to waste in America accounts for 25% of the nation’s total freshwater use and over 300 million barrels of oil every year. Additionally, $750 million tax dollars are spent annually to incinerate discarded food. That unused food is valued at over $165 billion.
Lovin’ Spoonfuls’ food sharing network now has 5 refrigerated trucks on the road every day, picking up unwanted food from grocery stores, restaurants, farms, farmers markets, and grocery wholesalers. Since 2010, the organization has rescued and redistributed more than 3.6 million pounds of feed to help feed hungry people.
About The Founder
Founder Ashley Stanley was called an “Emerging Leader” by the Boston Business Journal in 2011. In 2012, Lovin’ Spoonfuls was a two-time winner of the Mass Challenge competition, which is the largest global start-up accelerator. In 2013 Ashley was selected as one of the BBJ’s 2013 ’40 under 40′, which recognizes Boston’s most innovative business leaders. In 2014, Ashley was recognized by The Boston Globe as a ‘Game Changer, and in Boston Magazine‘s ‘Power of Ideas’. She serves on the Boston Food Policy Council, and is one of Oxfam International’s Sisters of the Planet Ambassadors. A Fellow at The 2013 Nantucket Project, she’s also a member of TEDWomen, and a TEDx community speaker.
What is it like to drive for Lovin’ Spoonfuls? Driver Kelsey says the number one question people ask her is “What is your typical day like?” You can follow along with her as she starts her day at company headquarters, makes her way to the nearest Whole Foods market to pickup unwanted food and then distributes it among the many organizations in the Boston area who provide facilities for the homeless and the hungry.
Many organizations like Lovin’ Spoonfuls have sprung up around the country to try to balance the gap between abundance and need. One of them swung into operation in Phoenix last year during Super Bowl weekend. There is enough food in America so that no one needs to go hungry. Pioneers like Ashley Stanley are showing others how to recycle and redistribute food successfully.