After a decade of collecting and donating discarded fresh food, Lovin’ Spoonfuls has reached 20 million pounds of “rescued” produce and meat.

“We’ve been on the road for about 11 years doing food recovery and distribution and this 20 million pound milestone is huge for us,” said Lovin’ Spoonfuls Chief Operating Officer Lauren Palumbo.

A truck pulled up to the Grace Everett Food Pantry Thursday afternoon, where workers unloaded boxes of colorful, fresh vegetables and pounds of meat.

“It’s so refreshing to be able to deliver this to all the families,” said the food pantry’s director, Irene Cardillo. “They bring us a lot of things we can’t usually pick up, so we’re blessed by them. Is it amazing food? Absolutely.”

Cardillo said she never knows what a Lovin’ Spoonfuls truck will contain, but it’s always delightful.

Ashley Stanley started Lovin’ Spoonfuls in Boston back in 2010. Her mission was to take healthy food that would otherwise be discarded by grocery stores, produce suppliers, and farmers markets and “rescue” it for hungry Bay Staters. Spoonfuls collects fresh food and delivers it same-day to more than 170 programs, ranging from food pantries to shelters. The food is never stored or allowed to expire before delivery.

The pandemic has increased demand at local pantries, according to Palumbo and Cardillo.

“In Massachusetts, we have see the highest percentage increase in food insecurity in the country due to COVID. The pantries that we’re serving, some of them are seeing a doubling of the number of people showing up. The lines are getting longer. To be able to grow and do the work we’re doing when it’s needed has been incredibly important,” Palumbo said.

Lovin’ Spoonfuls has recovered 4 million pounds of food for donation in the last year alone. According to their figures, that’s enough food for 3.3 million meals for Bay Staters.

Cardillo said her food pantry has also seen a large number of people who are first-time visitors.

“The pandemic has hit us all.There’s not one family — going down from the President to the woman who sleeps here at the church — that is has not affected. We want to make sure that everybody feels welcome,” she said.

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