Team Lovin’ recently added a temporary Food Rescue Coordinator to our team. Get to know Julia Liburdi in this Q&A.
How did you arrive at Lovin’ Spoonfuls?
Ever since I moved to Boston, I have been intrigued by the work Lovin’ Spoonfuls does, especially because it addresses both the environmental effects of the modern food system (waste) and the social effects (food insecurity). I love that we are able to serve our communities with the resources that are already within those communities. I’m thrilled to be a part of this team!
Tell us about your background! How did you become interested in food rescue?
In college, I became deeply distressed by the negative effects of the modern food system on both our environment and on communities and individuals. I knew I wanted to pursue a career where I could address both issues concurrently. My career in food justice work began in Detroit, where I set up mobile farm stands across the city to increase access to fresh and local products and helped folks sign up for food assistance programs. I then worked for a company that provided federally reimbursable meals for schools in New England, which taught me more about the logistics and challenges of food distribution at a larger scale. I am grateful to be doing food rescue work right now, and I hope to work for a community-led urban agriculture project at some point in the future!
What passions do you bring to the job?
Aside from my passion for food justice work, I am passionate about learning! I think it’s so important to go into any situation being open and eager to learn. I look forward to listening to our partners and my colleagues so that I can continue to become better equipped for food justice work.
Do your friends/family consider you a good cook? Any signature recipes?
I’d like to think I’m a good cook! Either way, I absolutely love it. I’m not sure if I have a signature, only because I like to try new recipes and explore new ingredients. Every weekend my friends and I make a new meal, from slow-cooked lamb stew to vegan shepherd’s pie.
What would we find in your fridge now?
Cheese, eight kinds of hot sauce, arugula, tempeh, mushrooms, and cold brew.
What’s your favorite childhood food memory?
My grandparents are from Italy, and I grew up experiencing the beauty of homemade everything. My Nonna regularly made homemade pasta, sauce, and pizza, and every year we’d make big batches of sausage that we would both cure and eat fresh. Nonno made homemade wine, and they would both forage for mushrooms around town and jar them. It is always a treat to sit down to a meal at their house.
Who are your heroes?
I have many! My mom, dad, and sister are at the front of the list because they’ve taught me what unconditional love and support feel like. I am also very grateful for my community in Detroit, which taught me the importance of talking about mental health and the importance of resource-sharing.
Learn more about Julia and the rest of Team Lovin’ on our staff page.