Meet the Team: Samantha Mauro

Hometown/Current City:

Bethel, CT/Stamford, CTSamantha Mauro

What is your role at Community Plates?

Social Media Coordinator

What’s on your desk?

Photos of my nephew and lots of sharpies.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I play volleyball, practice yoga and enjoy exploring new places.

How/when did you first become inspired around issues of American food insecurity?

When I was younger I hosted bake sales to raise money for a childhood hunger organization. The statistics hit close to home given my age at the time.

Who or what inspires you most?

Kid President – check out his videos on YouTube if you’re not familiar with him. He’s a great reminder on how simple and easy it is to be a decent human being and that we could all stand to laugh more.

If there is one thing you recommend we could do to end hunger in our communities, what would it be?

It starts with awareness. Just because we live in an affluent area doesn’t mean that everyone has a safety net for when the going gets tough. Join a group like Community Plates, participate in a food drive or volunteer at a local pantry or soup kitchen.

Update from our Cincinnati Partner, La Soupe

Busy busy busy! My mind is always blown away with the beauty of the food we rescue. We have many interesting things happening at La Soupe this summer! Here are just a few:

Runner Appreciation Party – August 28

We are having our first Stone Soupe volunteer food runner appreciation party on August 28th at La Soupe. We will be baptizing our new paella pan, which will feed 150-200 tapas portions! My hope is to take it into the food deserts, have a community chopping party, and show them how to cook!

Recycling Damaged Fruit

We are also negotiating with a local distiller to utilize the abundance of damaged fruits we receive and distill eau de vie…a fruit brandy that I grew up with in Alsace!

This Week’s Food Rescue

This last week La Soupe rescued 7900 ears of corn, 4 pallets of powerade, and 1000 pounds of food in 2 restaurants that were closed overnight for lack of rent payment!….in addition to our normal runs. Next week we have 10 days of rescue at the ATP as we attempt to make it a zero waste event.


Chef Suzy de Young

La Soupe, Cincinnati, Ohio
A Community Plates Partner Site

An Update from Community Plates New Haven


Welcome New Food Donors

A great big welcome and THANK YOU to our newest New Haven food donors:

G Cafe Bakery, Ninth Square

Katalina’s Bakery

Upcoming Events

City Line Distributors Food Rescue: Tuesday- 10:30 am and 11:30 am Big food rescue from City Line Distributors West Haven!
18 pallets of food to be sent out to many partners. We need 16 food runners to meet and deliver food. Please register for the run, which is divided into two shifts, on the schedule.

New Food Runner Orientation: Thursday- 11:00 am United House of Prayer 500 Dixwell Ave. New Haven. Lots of free parking! We are creating a New Haven food rescue team to increase our impact in the New Haven area. This is an orientation for new folks, and an opportunity for food runners to meet. We will share rescue stories and tips. If you are interested in getting more involved- one possibility is to join our team for outreach, social media or events. Come to our meet and greet (and eat)!

If you live in Connecticut, please follow Community Plates New Haven on Facebook for the latest news and events from the New Haven area.

If you have any questions, or are interested in becoming a New Haven volunteer or donor, contact us.

Getting to Know: Community Plates in Hartford, CT

Facts & Figures

  • Year Founded: 2015

  • Meals Rescued: 97,200

  • Food Runners 67

  • Food Donors: 25

Meet MACC Charities, Our Community Plates Partner in Hartford, CT


Meaghan Sprague, MACC Charities at Unity Farm Machester

Since we signed on with Community Plates in October, the food rescue program has done wonders for the MACC Charities Food Pantry and Soup Kitchen. Our goal when we started was to offer our clients healthier wholesome options, and in just a few short months we were able to accomplish that goal. Our pantry shelves are full of fresh produce, bread, baked items, small milks, and yogurts.

Not only has our “Food Rescue” program improved the quality of food that we are able to offer our clients but it also has saved MACC a lot of money. Because of our daily donations of different meats and proteins our organization has not had to order meat since November. On several occasions we have not had to order milk for the week because one of our community partners donates half gallons of milk.

This program is quick, easy, and makes a huge difference in the lives of the people we serve!

– Meaghan Sprague, Community Engagement Manager, MACC Charities

About MACC Charities

Part of the core mission at MACC Charities is to feed those who are hungry and provide healthy food to those facing food insecurity. They do this through “Kitchen On Main” lunch program, Community Pantry, mobile & satellite pantries, and outreach to local elementary school children, families and the homeless in our community.

“Food Rescue” is the process by which MACC is able to do much of their work. Leveraging technology that allows 24/7 communication, volunteers transport excess, usable food from local restaurants, retailers and farmers to MACC on a daily basis. The food that we “rescue” gets distributed in our pantries, Grab n Go program, and used creatively in our kitchen.



Meet A Few Hartford Area Food Donors

Shady Glen, Manchester, CT (our newest food donor, welcome!

Unity Farm, Manchester, CT

Whole Foods in Glastonbury, CT 

Villa Louisa in Bolton, CT 

Big Fish Pro 

Shop Rite Manchester


Getting to Know: Community Plates in Fairfield County, Connecticut


Facts & Figures

  • Year Founded: 2011

  • Meals Rescued: 8,042,750

  • Food Runners 315

  • Food Donors: 46

What Our Fairfield County Volunteers Have to Say

“The 30 minutes I spend doing a food run are more rewarding and fulfilling than the hours I spend at my 9-5 job.

– Sam Mauro, Community Plates Volunteer Food Runner in Fairfield County, CT

I volunteer try to to make a difference for the better in other people’s lives and to remind myself that we are all connected together. Bottom line: good intentions don’t change the world, people do.

– Kate Albrecht, Community Plates Site Director for Fairfield County 

b.good has always wanted the communities we are in to be better because we are there. We think that connecting our customers to volunteer opportunities with Community Plates and providing a tangible means of addressing food insecurity in our community is a particularly impactful way of doing just that. We hope you’ll join us in signing up for a food run this March! Post a photo of your run with the hashtag #bgooddoesgood and we’ll send you a free b.good meal of your choice to thank you for your service.

– Allie Kroner, Community Development Director, b.good  and Executive Director, b.good Family Foundation

I love rescuing food because I know that if my life circumstances had been a little bit different, I could have been the one in need.

– Kevin Mullins, Community Plates Executive Director

Meet 3 Fairfield County Food Donors

Fleishers Craft Butchery

Screen Shot 2016-03-17 at 8.38.07 AMFleishers and Craft Butchery (Westport, CT) joined forces in support of one mission: to produce better tasting meat that’s better for their customers, their farmers and the land they share.

Craft Butchery, founded in 2011 by former Fleishers apprentices Paul Nessel and Ryan Fibiger, has led the most recent charge of local butcher shops creating industry-wide change in the way that we produce and consume meat.

Mrs. Greens_-uv3wIl_400x400

Mrs Greens has been an active donor to Community Plates for over two years, providing fresh, organic produce, dairy, bakery items, and much more each week.

Our goal is to educate and inspire our customers to eat well and live a good, healthy lifestyle.

Whole Foods, Danbury, CT

h9-UkNZv_400x400This northern Fairfield County location has been a great partner for Community Plates and pivotal in helping us make an impact in food insecurity in the greater Danbury area.




Meet Kate Albrecht, Community Plates Fairfield County Site Director

12313701_814884285301608_6988824114803624401_nWhat is your role at Community Plates?

I was recently named the Fairfield County Site Director. I work with our donors and partner agencies to grow the organization, manage the schedule of food runs and support our incredible team of volunteers. It’s amazing the number of hours that so many volunteers put in every single week to make Community Plates work.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I love cooking, especially baking bread. A few years ago I worked a 5am shift at a bakery so I could learn to make proper bread, and now I make bread at home once a week. I read a lot, especially non-fiction. I am a bit of a news junkie. And I love exercise. I have been learning to row, which is really hard but also incredibly rewarding.

How did you first become inspired around issues of hunger and food insecurity?

When I learned about what Community Plates was doing — taking advantage of a free resource to get healthy food to those who need it most — I was really motivated to get involved. When you consider how much food is thrown away in our country, it really hits home that hunger in the US, and in Fairfield County, makes no sense.

Can you share a memorable moment from one of your food runs?

I love taking my children on food runs. They love seeing the back of a grocery store (so do I, truth told), but they are also amazed by the amount of food that we collect and the number of people we can help feed. They take the work really seriously and have a lot of pride about their involvement.


Read the full profile


Food Insecurity in the News: Obama’s free lunch plan, Ugly Produce Update, Farm to Fridge

Our recent reading list of the people, places, and discussions taking place in food insecurity across the country.

Obama’s plan to give free lunches to millions of kids

The Obama administration will announce new plans Wednesday to launch a pilot program aimed at increasing poor children’s access to food through the National School Lunch Program.

The pilot program will allow participating states to use Medicaid data to automatically certify students for free and reduced-price school lunches. Currently, families have to submit an application — a laborious process for parents and a costly one for schools — even when they have already proven that they are income-eligible through their participation in other government assistance programs.

Read the full story on the

Q&A Ensuring Food Security for All

CFS-Chair-Gornass-260As the Ambassador of the Republic of the Sudan to Italy and Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Sudan to the UN Food and Agriculture organizations in Rome, Amira Daoud Hassan Gornass, takes-up her role as Chair of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), she shares her vision for the future of food security.

Read the full interview on


Getting Ugly Produce onto Hungry People’s Plates

Every fall, farmers in Washington throw away a sizable portion of the apples they grow. In 2015, thanks to the West Coast port slowdown and a lack of refrigeration, farmers in the state dumped an estimated $100 million worth of the fruit (or 143,000 bushels) in fields where they were left to rot, causing the nearby town to smell like rancid fruit for days.

Read the full story on

How Regional Food Hubs Shrink the Path from Farm to Fridge

aggregators-hjero-1Williams decided to give it a go anyway, launching Field Goods four years ago. Her subscription-based service, located in Athens, operates like a CSA on steroids, connecting 80 farms to 3,000 customers. By taking on the role of intermediary—determining which products to include, drumming up demand, and delivering the goods to locations in New York and Connecticut—she relieves farmers of the burden of marketing and prods consumers to make better choices, without leaving a big carbon footprint.

Read the full story on


Partner Spotlight: La Soupe in Cincinnati, Ohio

Meet our Community Plates partners. These organizations, companies, restaurants and markets are part of our community dedicated to helping eliminate hunger in the U.S. 

Community Plates recently announced a partnership with La Soupe in Cincinnati, Ohio to grow our food rescue community and collaborate with La Soupe to reach the food insecure in this city using our technology.

La Soupe is growing! We have made incredible impact on hunger in our community with a relatively small number of partnerships with local grocers and growers. But if we can salvage ten times more food, we can feed ten times more people. And we can.

We are now engaged with the Community Plates app that opens the way for explosive growth. It’s a volunteer’s dream, making the task of food rescue simple, efficient and rewarding. What if Cincinnati was known as the city that transformed the way our entire nation addresses hunger and food waste? – Suzy, La Soupe

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

About: Motivated by community and impassioned by food, La Soupe works boldly as a non-profit to find solutions for hunger in Cincinnati. Headed by chef Suzy DeYoung, their rotating menu features pot-friendly entrees, croque du jour, therapeutic broths, and seasonal specialties. These delicious, nutrient-dense meals are distributed to customers and the food-insecure alike. With their network of supporters, they rescue roughly 1,000 pounds of produce per week and have fed 45,000 children to date.

Website or Volunteer with La Soupe

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Food Insecurity in the News: Shareable Community Gardens, Ugly Fruit, Food Rescue in Philly

Our weekly reading list of the people, places, and discussions taking place in food insecurity across the country.

Food is Free in a City Near You via Civil Eats.

RedCurrantHarvest-e1440721115530-300x252The Pick Me! initiative was inspired in part by the Food is Free Project in Austin, Texas, a nonprofit that creates wicking bed gardens with reclaimed materials, such as wooden pallets and political signs. The organization hosts weekly build events to line entire streets with low-maintenance beds. The gatherings double as free workshops where residents learn to set up their own gardens and use eco-friendly growing techniques.

Community Plates Receives Grant from Fairfield’s Community Foundation via Community Plates.

Community Plates, the Connecticut-based food rescue organization, has some great news. Fairfield County Community Foundation awarded a $15,000 grant to Community Plates to support the expansion of the organization’s local food rescue efforts.

In produce, ugliness is only skin deep via LA Times.

la-oe-0908-figuereido-ugly-fruit-006Approximately 26% of all fruits and vegetables are thrown away before they even reach grocery stores in the United States, leading to billions of pounds of waste each year. Perfectly edible, wonderfully nutritious apples, peaches, carrots and onions rot in our landfills — in a country where 1 in 6 people are considered food insecure and where more than 80% of us are not eating enough produce. Fully 25% of fresh water goes to food we don’t eat.

Feeding People, Creating Jobs with Would-be Waste in Philadelphia via Civil Eats.

A Philadelphia grocery store chain tries to keep food waste out of landfills, feed the hungry, and make a little money.

Imagine making thousands of dollars a month for something you’re going to throw away. Oh yeah—and you’d be helping feed hungry people.

Sound good? According to a pilot project in West Philadelphia, it’s entirely possible for grocery stores. And the folks involved are hoping that when the pope visits the City of Brotherly Love next month, they can show the world a new way to deal with the global problem of food waste.

Letter from the Director: Food Innovation & Food Insecurity at FTI15

Jeff and I have just returned from the 2015 Farm to Table Conference in New Orleans where we had the privilege of hosting one of the breakout sessions in Food Innovation.

It was truly exciting to be surrounded by so many innovative, creative people passionate about making a difference in the food industry and even more importantly, doing it through the food industry. The opening plenary session was a great way to start in connecting us all to the importance of encouraging people to be in tactile contact with food and all of the important effects of that on our communities.  This idea really resonated with us since, many food runners have reported feeling more deeply connected to their communities after rescuing food and delivering it to receiving agencies for distribution to food insecure families. For us it’s always been about “this food here” feeding “these people here” so this opening talk really supported what our experience has been.

I want to thank each and every one of you for fueling the food rescue revolution in your own communities; this weekend showed us that we are on the right track to ending hunger in this country, one community at a time.

Kevin Mullins

Executive Director

Photo: c/o Sunny Young ‏@sunnyspeaksfood of Keynote Speaker Temple Grandin