Posts Tagged ‘pine street inn’

Another MassChallenge entrant that, like Erik’s company, won start-up money on October 23 is Lovin’ Spoonfuls. I was delighted to see this worthy nonprofit  mentioned by Noelle Swan in an article on food resources in Spare Change News, sold by Homeless Empowerment Project vendors.

“The first time Ashley Stanley walked into the back room of her local grocery store in search of discarded food, she found towers of eggplants, tomatoes, and potatoes rising up around her. The produce was not spoiled or rotten; it simply no longer fit on the display shelves and had been moved off the floor to make room for fresher shipments. Dumbfounded, she asked if she could have the food. She loaded up her car with as many vegetables as she could and drove to Pine Street Inn, a homeless shelter in Boston. …

“A recent study from the Natural Resources Defense Council lends credibility to Stanley’s suspicion that the country is not experiencing a lack of food. Nearly half of the food produced in the United States never makes it to the table, according to the study released in August 2012. Food goes to waste at every link in the food chain. Farmers plow unharvested crops into the ground, grocers discard unsold food by the caseload, and restaurants pour mountains of leftovers into dumpsters. In total, Americans throw away $165 billion worth of food every year, 40 percent of all the food produced in the nation.

“At the same time, 1 in 5 Americans was unable to pay for food at some point in the last year, according to a recent Gallup poll. …

“When Stanley first showed up at the door to Pine Street Inn with her arms full of vegetables, she said the staff seemed shocked to see her. …

“Since then, the former corporate luxury retailer has redistributed more than 150,000 pounds of food to area homeless shelters, domestic abuse safe houses, and food pantries. She started out delivering food in her own car while seeking donations and grants. Today, she has three employees, two trucks, and a waiting list on both sides of the equation.

“Lovin’ Spoonfuls is just one of a handful of food rescue organizations in the Boston area.” More.

Photograph of Ashley Stanley by Mike Diskin

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I liked a story in the January 25 Boston Globe. It’s about a gourmet chef taking a job at a homeless shelter and helping to train residents with the marketable skills he knows best.

“Frank Van Overbeeke used to prepare foie gras and filet mignon for the French brasserie crowd as executive chef at Bouchee on Newbury Street,” writes Katie Johnston. “Now he makes cheeseburger meatloaf for the residents at the Pine Street Inn.

“In the shelter’s kitchen, he also oversees the preparation of jerk chicken with pineapple rice pilaf for the Boston Foundation, chicken tikka masala for Simmons College, and baked ziti for doctors at Boston Medical Center.

“Van Overbeeke’s move two years ago from haute cuisine to homeless shelter was a key step in Pine Street Inn’s efforts to develop a corporate catering business to increase revenues to support its food service job-training program.” Read more.

Another job-training program in the culinary arts has been going since 1983 at a prisoner pre-release facility in Concord.

Betsy Levinson writes in a March 29 Globe article, “Four days a week, diners pay $3.21 to enter one of the drab gray buildings at the Concord rotary, drop off their licenses at security, and line up for a seat at one of nine tables in the cafe known as the Fife and Drum.

“Inmates serve as waiters, cooks, and busboys, all trained by chef Kim Luketich. Those who complete the 10-month culinary arts program get a Serve Safe food-handler certificate, making them eligible for work in restaurants.

“ ‘I love it,’ said Jacqueline Friedman, an Acton resident arriving for lunch. ‘It’s an experience. The guys are so nice and are trying so hard.’ …

“ ‘This is a premier program,’ said the superintendent. ‘No other facility has this kind of program that allows the community to come in and eat. We have some elderly who have come daily for years. It’s a great setting, a great atmosphere.’

“ ‘They learn quality skills,’ said Luketich. … “‘They learn social skills. The whole idea is that they will go back into society. That is what we focus on.’ ’’

Read more. As the article says, food service is one of the areas where there actually are jobs today, and it can be a way to get acclimated to dealing with the public.

Photograph: Bill Greene/Globe Staff

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