When Melissa Spiesman first joined Food Rescue US, we operated just one location. Today, as Melissa retires from her decade-plus tenure as our Chief Operating Officer, Food Rescue US operates in 38 sites all across the US! Her vision, leadership, and passion helped Food Rescue US grow from a local nonprofit to a national leader in food rescue
Captivated by the Mission
Recalling her first encounter with Food Rescue US, then Community Plates, Melissa shared, “I was immediately captivated by the mission. The simplicity and direct impact of food rescue spoke to me. It was a game-changer in the way we address food insecurity.”
Transforming Food Rescue US
Throughout her tenure, Melissa’s role evolved alongside the organization. She directed each new site launch, meticulously planning and executing strategies to ensure their success. She shared, “Every new site was a new opportunity to make a tangible difference. It was about understanding local needs and finding ways to meet them efficiently.” Her approach was not just about expansion but also about ensuring that each site could sustainably address the unique challenges of their communities.
Under her guidance, the growth of Food Rescue US was not merely in number of sites, rescues and meals delivered but in the depth of impact. Melissa emphasized building strong relationships with local partners and volunteers. She proudly noted, “Seeing our model replicated successfully in diverse communities showed the universality of our mission and the adaptability of our approach.“
What Lies Ahead
Looking to the future, Melissa expressed confidence in the path ahead for Food Rescue US. “The journey doesn’t end with me. There’s a robust team in place, and the need for our work continues to grow. I’m excited to see how Food Rescue US will continue to innovate and expand its impact.“
As Melissa steps into her well-deserved retirement, her legacy at Food Rescue US will remain. She leaves behind a robust, impactful, and continuously growing organization, poised to make even greater strides in combating food insecurity and disrupting the cycle of food waste.
We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Melissa for her years of service, her inspirational leadership, and her unwavering commitment to our mission. Her impact will continue to resonate within Food Rescue US and the communities we serve for many years to come.
Thank you, Melissa, for everything. We wish you all the best in your next chapter!