Lens on Leadership: With Adam Kahn

April 22, 2021 Updated: January 23, 2024

From our Board of Directors, to our Culinary Panel, to our Friends Advisory Board, we’re fortunate to count so many strong leaders among our lot! Every month, we introduce you to one of them.

This month, it’s Adam Kahn: Lovin’ Spoonfuls’ board member and supporter. He is a Partner at Foley Hoag LLP, a law firm headquartered in Boston, where he focuses on environmental and energy law.

How did you first get introduced to Lovin’ Spoonfuls?

I met the Lovin’ Spoonfuls (LS) team at a United Way Board Connection Agency Fair. This annual event brings dozens of not-for-profit organizations together with dozens of people qualified and interested in joining a board. After an evening of “non-profit speed dating” with a number of great charitable organizations, I knew I wanted to work with Spoonfuls, and fortunately, Spoonfuls wanted to work with me. Ashley and the entire LS family were inspiring, and I had great confidence in LS’s strategy and the people who implement it.

Why is it important to you to support Lovin’ Spoonfuls?

Once I looked beyond my own privileged situation, the effects of food insecurity were visible everywhere. In Massachusetts, we have more than enough food but not enough ways to get the right amounts of the right foods to people who need it, all safely, quickly, and efficiently. There are many amazing not-for-profits in Massachusetts that address food insecurity, and I am especially passionate about Spoonfuls’ contributions. Even a modest donation to Spoonfuls enables hundreds or thousands of meals from food that would otherwise be landfilled, incinerated, or turned into compost. I appreciate supporting an organization that has “cracked the code” for success.

How have you involved your company in our work?

I have encouraged my colleagues to learn more about Spoonfuls. Before COVID, I invited colleagues and their families to Tailgate events. Some of them became supporters, and I hope they, too, will spread the word. When we are back in the office this fall, I look forward to continuing that effort.

What is it about this organization or the issue of wasted food that matters to you?

Wasted food is a wasted opportunity to help families get the food they need. Food insecurity is about hunger, but it is also about equity, respect, dignity, and opportunity. Lovin’ Spoonfuls has optimized the process of identifying, collecting, transporting, and delivering millions of pounds of perishable food to more than 180 organizations, which in turn allows them to provide support to people. That matters to me.

Is food waste also an environmental issue?

Yes! Globally, it is often said that if food waste could be represented as its own country, it would be the third-largest greenhouse gas emitter, behind China and the U.S., and just ahead of India. The resources needed to produce the 35% of food that becomes lost or wasted has a carbon footprint of about 3.3 billion tons of CO2. Regardless of how the figures are calculated, this is a big deal by any measure. And that is not considering the other environmental damage caused by agriculture or the fact that wasted food will end up emitting large amounts of greenhouse gases when it is burned, landfilled (where it turns into methane), or composted (same). It will never be possible to eliminate all food waste, but even a small decrease can have an enormous effect.

What are ways that you work to waste less food, either at home or in the workplace?

We have tried to eat more intentionally, with a clear eye toward reducing waste. Sometimes a head of Swiss chard will freeze in the back of our refrigerator and wilt, but we try to make that an exception rather than the rule. We are especially careful with meat and other animal proteins.

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