Welcome, Kim Vanacore!

May 5, 2022 Updated: January 23, 2024

Lovin’ Spoonfuls is expanding to Worcester County! Our team has grown, too, with new Food Rescue Coordinators to run the route. Get to know one of them, Kim Vanacore, in this Q&A.

How did you arrive at Lovin’ Spoonfuls?

About a year ago, I left a job working as a food pantry coordinator, a position I loved, to travel the country with my partner and son. When we returned, we relocated to Worcester, and I found that Lovin’ Spoonfuls was starting a new route in the area. In my prior work at the pantry, we rescued food with a refrigerated truck and loads of volunteers. The items often made up the bulk of our fresh produce and prepared meals for distribution. I also knew that many of the smaller pantries we worked with lacked the truck, volunteers, and/or funding to benefit from these rescues. I was excited to learn how Lovin’ Spoonfuls was able to bridge that gap between [food retailers with an abundance of food] and [nonprofit] beneficiaries and wanted to be a part of their mission to serve my new community. 

Tell us about your background! How did you become interested in food rescue?

I started working in restaurants in college while earning a criminal justice degree, and I could never pull myself away from the food world. I was lucky to work with several chefs who cared about reducing waste and sourcing local ingredients whenever possible. It was through these restaurants that I built relationships with farmers, small business owners, neighborhood customers, and community advocates who helped me realize I wanted to pursue a career in nonprofits, specifically those addressing food insecurity and food waste.

What passions do you bring to the job?

I love cooking and finding ways to utilize every last bit of food. It’s an entertaining challenge to cook up dinners on nights when the refrigerator’s pretty barren and the produce is getting a little sad. I also love swapping recipes and tips with friends and partners to find tasty ways to stop food waste. It seems like every culture has a trick to use up leftover items – dumplings, soups, empanadas. Sharing recipes is a great way to learn more about your community and build meaningful relationships.

Kim and her husband during their Southwest travels.
Do your friends/family consider you a good cook? Any signature recipes?

Yes! My husband and I met working in restaurants together, so our family and friends are always volunteering us to do the cooking. My signature dish is chana masala – a delicious chickpea curry. We lived next to our favorite take-out spot, and the intoxicating smell lured us in far too often. I knew I had to master some Indian recipes, or we’d never keep to our budget.

What would we find in your fridge now?

The makings for tamales! After traveling in the Southwest, I developed a love for them and experimented with many recipes before perfecting my favorite, chile verde chicken. Now I just have to find the energy (and time!) to put them together.

What’s your favorite childhood food memory?

My favorite night of the week as a kid was leftover night. My mom would pull out every container in the fridge. We’d have a little of this and a little of that, resulting in the weirdest combinations like mashed potatoes, pizza, lo mein, all piled on the same plate.

Who is your hero?

My dear friend and mentor, Lisa Glenney. She is everything I want to be. She is a strong and confident woman who is unwaveringly welcoming and deeply caring. Her house is always full of food and friends, with people dropping by unannounced at all times of the day. And she rocks her own style – never caring whether it’s “appropriate” to dress in a one-piece velour tracksuit and fur hat to a casual coffee date or a glamorous gown and sneakers to the skate park!

Learn more about Kim Vanacore and the other members of Team Lovin’ on our staff page.

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